As browser choice has broadened, IT organizations like yours are increasingly faced with multi-browser environments. Whether your IT team installs a second browser on every PC, or your end users install and use the alternative browsers of their choice, this multi-browser trend is becoming ever more common.
While multi-browser environments are often needed (and desired) to address compatibility and security problems, they come with several management challenges. When end users switch between legacy and modern business applications or access consumer sites on the Internet, multiple browsers pose compatibility risks. In addition, using old versions of Internet Explorer on the Internet can compromise network security.
The complexities of multi-browser environments are continuing to become more challenging. Today, ongoing browser exploits (like the recent Java and Internet Explorer zero-day exploits) pose additional risks and work disruption if a second browser is unavailable. In addition, browser vendors have designed new ways for users to work around admin rights requirements to install software, so the traditional approach of locking down browser use is no longer a solution.
These problems are solved with Browsium Catalyst, which was released today and is ready for enterprise deployment.
Catalyst is a browser management utility that makes deploying multiple browsers in the enterprise a manageable reality. It reduces helpdesk calls and improves IT security by putting you in control of all browsers in your enterprise. With Catalyst, you can specify the most compatible and secure browser for each website on every PC in your organization, regardless of default settings or user behavior.
We invite you to try Catalyst in your enterprise environment. Simply fill out our Evaluation Kit Request Form to receive the free Catalyst 30-Day Evaluation Kit. It’s simple to install and configure and you’ll instantly see how it will improve compatibility and security throughout your organization.
You can learn more about Catalyst throughout the Browsium website. Be sure to read the product overview pages, peruse the FAQs, and search the Knowledge Base. If you’d like to talk with our team about pricing or a reseller in your region, you can email Browsium Sales.
The multi-browser enterprise is here to stay. Take control of yours with Browsium Catalyst.
I’m a believer in following the rules. As a company we may challenge some rules to be innovative, but following rules has been part of our DNA from the beginning. Rules are part of our product approach – we believe in opt-in solutions where our products are used in a surgical manner. Following rules has helped us ensure our products don’t break the browsing experience. Most importantly, our approach has avoided any complications when Microsoft updates the Windows OS or Internet Explorer. We comply with Microsoft browser extension developer guidelines for all of our software solutions.
Going back to the early history of Browsium, looking at alphas, betas and release versions, we have delivered products for more than 2.5 years without anything breaking on a single Windows update. It’s an important statistic, and one that I’m very proud to share with customers. Our developers work very hard to make this happen, ensuring they follow only public documentation and use public APIs or other supported Microsoft coding practices.
The Browsium team has a long history of experience working with Microsoft, with many of the “Browsians” having worked on engineering and product management teams at Microsoft. That experience enables us to understand the browser in ways no other group outside Microsoft would, including the quirks and internal workings of Internet Explorer. But we’re also very careful in how we use what we learned at Microsoft. We realize that using our knowledge of the browser code and internal (aka not public) designs would not only raise intellectual property issues, it would leave us exposed to breaking changes. Microsoft is free to make breaking changes to any undocumented API or feature control key, etc. at any time. Using only public sources and APIs prevents that exposure.
Sometimes this means we need to proceed slowly to release new versions, more slowly than we or our customers would like. But the trade-off is too great and we want to do all we can to ensure that patching customer systems won’t break our software.
So what will go wrong if Microsoft needs to change something they expose publicly or deprecate one of their APIs in a future release of the browser? Nothing. Microsoft has made plenty of changes from IE8 to IE9 and beyond. We expect (and want) that to continue. We’ll identify what they did and get to work on ensuring our products work properly with the new version. We’re actively doing that now as we prepare to support IE10 and Windows 8.
What happens if Microsoft makes a change to an existing browser to break or deprecate a function we are using? Given that we follow the rules they’ve established, it would impact the entire extension ecosystem and that’s not something Microsoft is inclined to do without significant advanced notice for everyone to provide a workaround.
Going further than just updates, building our software in this way has a more important impact on customer systems. Your Windows installations are supported. We’re not changing the way Windows works or virtualizing the browser so when you call Microsoft for support, our software meets their guidelines. It’s also easy to disable for troubleshooting, like any well-behaved add-on should.
By staying inside the lines we are able to deliver innovative solutions to solve difficult browser compatibility and management problems for enterprise customers, without the worry of future support by Microsoft. Check out Ion and Catalyst to see how we can solve these problems for you.
Founder & CEO
Browser security, or more precisely, browser “plug-in” security is in the news quite a bit these days with the recent Java exploit. While Java exploits are unfortunately quite common, this recent incident seems to be more serious. It’s not every day that the U.S. government recommends consumers disable or uninstall a browser plug-in because of security concerns.
Anyone who works in IT, or has a part time job as PC tech support for friends and family, knows how difficult it is for the typical PC user to manage browser security. We can coach them on safe browsing habits and encourage them to stay patched, but that’s about the extent of it. Beyond that, you just need to be ready to clean up after something goes wrong.
But for IT managing PCs in a large enterprise, much more can be done. Tools to manage browser security give IT a fighting chance to stave off the next security crisis and associated lost productivity (for both IT and end users). At Browsium, we build the tools that put IT in control of the browsers on end user PCs. This granular control yields considerable benefits when the next zero-day exploit occurs. The following are examples of how each of our core products help secure browsers in the enterprise:
There are many more scenarios where Ion and Catalyst can be used to improve browser security in the enterprise. Give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org to start a discussion on how our tools can help you mitigate security risk and keep your users productive.
Browsium is a bi-coastal organization, with a team in each of America’s “Washingtons”. Our company headquarters and business team is located in Redmond in Washington state, while our development team is based in our nation’s capital Washington DC. Both were named after America’s first president, but that’s where the similarities end. 2,800 miles and wildly divergent cultures separate these two regions of the country.
Most years, these two regions don’t think about each other much at all. But this year the two Washingtons have been thrust together in cross-country rivalry in the American football playoffs. The Seattle Seahawks (from Washington state) are playing the Washington Redskins (from Washington DC) in a playoff game this Sunday. This has created a chance for the Browsium teams to battle for bragging rights, a valuable currency that can be spent strategically throughout the year. We’ll also throw in a picture of the losers wearing the winning team’s cap- that sort of humiliation is priceless.
The East Coast Redskins contingent is led by Browsium founder and CEO Matt Heller. The West Coast Seahawks boosters are led by Gary Schare, President and COO. Each gets one paragraph to make their team’s case. The outcome will be decided by the teams on Sunday at 4:30 EST. May the best team win.
From Matt: As a lifelong Washingtonian it’s great to see our team rising back to the level of play they had when I was growing up. There’s a storied history here with The Hogs, Joe Theismann and Super Bowl victories under Joe Gibbs. The past few years haven’t been good for the Skins, at times we couldn’t give away our game tickets unless people wanted a chance to see powerhouse visiting teams like the Giants, Eagles or Cowboys. Not this year. Not with RGIII, Alfred Morris and London Fletcher playing for the Redskins. I’m looking forward to a good game against the Seahawks and even with the incredible scoring they’ve put up recently I have confidence we will see Gary wearing the burgundy and gold next week. Hail to the Redskins!
From Gary: Though I grew up a fan of the San Francisco 49ers, I jumped on the Seahawks bandwagon immediately upon moving to Seattle in 1996. (It didn’t hurt that the 49ers began a rapid slide to mediocrity about the same time.) Despite the emotional pain of the 2006 Super Bowl, I have come to love this team and the amazing fans here in Seattle that turn out every week, rain or shine (okay, mostly rain). While the Redskins have put up an impressive 7 wins in a row, no team has more momentum coming into the playoffs than the Seahawks. Both the offense and the defense are firing on all cylinders. The road to the Super Bowl goes through Washington DC this year, but it’ll be the Seahawks who move on to the next round after a resounding road win against the Redskins this Sunday. Go Hawks!