Browsium offers enterprise-wide IE zero day kill switch

  • Liam Tung (CSO Online)
  • 01 November, 2012 12:35

Browsium, a company that helped enterprises stave off Internet Explorer 6 compatibility disasters, is offering CIOs a leash to control the emergence of Chrome and Firefox in the enterprise or blacklist any browser with a zero day flaw.

The Redmond-based firm, started by former Windows and IE execs, is capitalising on more IE6 fallout -- multiple browsers in the enterprise.

“You’d be hard pressed to find any CIO that says their browser standard is anything but IE, but that’s not to say we’re not seeing a second browser in the enterprise,” Gary Schare, COO of Browsium told

Second or third browsers enter the enterprise through several doors, but one, closely related to Browsium’s first product, Ion, is the need to support old applications in IE6.

Ion was designed to help large enterprise migrate from XP to Windows 7 without breaking old IE6 dependent web applications, for example, Siebel and PeopleSoft applications.

Some organisations have dealt with IE6 barriers for XP to Windows 7 migration by using Microsoft’s preferred method, Windows XP Mode for Windows 7. Others have introduced two browsers in the form of Firefox or Chrome, which could occur in response to the roll out of new business applications that are crippled by IE6.

Whether an organisation settles on virtualisation or two different browsers, in both cases there are multiple browsers and that introduces security or compatibility risks, argues Schare.

Browsium’s follow-on product Catalyst (currently in beta) mitigates these by offering IT managers tools to put rules around what scenarios a particular browser can be used in.

“The sole purpose [of Catalyst] is to re-route requests to web pages to the appropriate browser as determined by IT. So IT will specify in a set of policies, which browsers should open which sites, and what’s the default browser should it not match any of the rules they set,” explained Schare.

But the feature which Schare says banking customers are particularly interested in is the ability to block IE when the next zero-day comes up.

“What Catalyst lets you do is effectively shut that browser down or contain it to only be used on your intranet. So if there’s a big IE issue and there was one last year where Microsoft recommended that until they got a fix out that people use another browser.”

The company expects to release Catalyst and pricing for the product in the first quarter of 2013.

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