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Today, Java is part of nearly every organization’s ‘standard’ desktop image, often used for mission-critical business applications. And Java usage is prevalent beyond with the enterprise as well. Oracle claims more than 3 billion devices are running Java globally. That large target population is very attractive to hackers and can leave your IT environment exposed.
Java has a long history of security vulnerabilities and in 2014 alone there were 133 reported vulnerabilities, resulting in roughly 25 updates each for Java 7 and Java 8. Most of those updates were delivered in quarterly update packages, but several critical vulnerabilities required updating every few weeks to remain fully secure. This represents a major drag on your IT resources to keep pace.
What it took in the early days to keep pace with Java updates when they ran as standalone Java applets running directly on client operating systems, is very different today. Developers have shifted their focus to web-based applications built on the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) and run in a browser. These web-based Java applications share many similarities with standalone Java applets, but they must be packaged and delivered differently for the web. This results in a variety of compatibility and security issues caused by JRE incompatibilities from version to version and by unlimited threat vectors on the web. Despite these challenges, Java application development remains incredibly common within medium and large organizations.
In response, most information security organizations have pressed for regular internal updates to Java versions on end user PCs. This creates challenges for most organizations with change management processes and application compatibility. While these to challenges are often linked, they are distinct issues. Our new whitepaper Managing Java Security in the Enterprise will overview each challenge individually. In addition it will provide you with detailed guidance for managing Java security in your enterprise using a combination of sound security practices and Browsium’s browser management platform.
Learn more about this vital topic by downloading Managing Java Security in the Enterprise. We hope it helps you understand how to effectively deal with Java without compromising compatibility, security, or your change management process.
As readers of this blog are well aware, the timeline to migrate to IE11 has been moved up. January 2016 will be here in no time. The pressure is on to make the move or risk losing technical support and essential security updates.
Because most line-of-business applications now run in the browser, incompatibilities caused by a browser migration can be catastrophic to your business. Today’s rapid pace of innovation in browser technology, combined with compression of the support lifecycle, forces you to confront browser migrations far more frequently. Yet the traditional tools to remediate critical web applications and manage browsers have not kept pace.
Ensuring compatibility with IE11 for all line-of-business web applications before the migration deadline is very frequently an obstacle in the migration process for enterprises. Our new eBook “Clearing the Path to IE11 Migration” is now available to help you find the best option to smoothly and cost-effectively achieve web application compatibility and manage web browsers throughout the migration process and beyond.
This free eBook will provide you with an overview of the tools which have been historically used to solve web application compatibility issues – modifying applications and virtualization. In addition, it discusses two new browser management solutions introduced specifically to address application remediation.
Download the eBook and start planning your migration to IE11 today.
On 1 April 2015, Browsium hosted a webinar: Multi-browser Management with Browsium Catalyst. The webinar was a huge success and generated a number of great questions from the audience. We have compiled the complete set with answers to share with all attendees, and anyone else who is interested in multi-browser management. If you missed the webinar, you can watch the video archive on YouTube today.
Read on to see the questions (and our responses) from the webinar.
Will Catalyst also manage different versions of Java per browser like Ion does?
Browsium Catalyst is a multi-browser web traffic manager for the enterprise, enabling IT to pair all web applications with the most compatible and secure browser. Catalyst can help you secure Java by only allowing a browser with Java disabled to access public websites. Browsium Ion is our solution for Java version management, enabling multiple versions of Java to run side-by-side in a single browser.
Does Catalyst download the needed browser or does the browser have to be downloaded previously?
Browsium does not create or distribute web browsers. We provide browser management tools that work with all major browsers used by enterprise organizations. You will need to download your required browsers from their respective vendors and then install the Catalyst Client on each end user PC to centrally manage the browsers throughout your organization.
What are the integration benefits of using Catalyst and Ion together?
Browsium Ion is a web application remediation and browser management solution for enterprise, designed to simplify browser migration and enable IT to maintain control over browser compatibility and security. Browsium Catalyst is a multi-browser web traffic manager for the enterprise, enabling IT to pair all web applications with the most compatible and secure browser. Together they provide a complete browser management platform.
Imagine you are an IT director in an organization that is in the process of migrating from IE8 to IE11 and you must keep your business applications up and running throughout the process. At the same time, many of your end-users may use another browser for personal purposes, and even tend to favor this other browser because it’s what they use at home.
This is where Catalyst and Ion come together to facilitate productive workflow for you as the IT director and your end-users. You can use Catalyst to redirect to all business applications to IE11, while you have Ion to remediate legacy IE8-dependent applications that you now need to run in IE11.
You have control over the entire browser environment, maximizing compatibility and security while still giving your end-user a choice of browsers for the web.
Will Catalyst support Project Spartan in Windows 10?
We hope to support Spartan in Windows 10, but it’s too early to commit since the preview of Spartan just came out this week and it doesn’t have an extension model at this stage. We expect enterprises to standardize on IE11 in Windows 10, as Microsoft has recommended. If end users also want to use Spartan in the enterprise, and Microsoft provides the APIs for Browsium to manage Spartan, we will investigate providing a version of Catalyst that supports it.
Is there another webinar for Ion coming up soon?
We will be posting our upcoming webinars on the Browsium Blog. We try to host one every 45-60 days. As a reminder, you can watch the archive of our Java webinar from December 2014 and our IE11 migration webinar from January 2015.
Is Catalyst scalable for my IT environment if I have 20,000 users?
Catalyst has infinite scalability in any IT environment, as the program itself does not require any servers. If your organization is experiencing rapid growth, Catalyst can tackle that growth, quickly and efficiently (assuming you’ve purchased the required number of seat licenses).
Browsium founder Matt Heller dropped in on Brian Madden and Gabe Knuth over at brianmadden.com today for a deep-dive on enterprise browser management. The discussion covered a range of topics, from the impact of Microsoft’s new Internet Explorer support policy on IE11 migrations to the increasing adoption of Chrome and Firefox in the enterprise. Matt, Brian, and Gabe even spent some time musing about the Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary and a few other old-time television shows. So click on over to Brian and Gabe’s site, pop in your ear buds, and enjoy the show.
With the release of IE11, Microsoft introduced its newest tool for web application compatibility, Enterprise Mode for Internet Explorer (EMIE). Since its inception, there has been a lot of excitement and also confusion about what EMIE can do and what it can’t do. Many of our customers have been asking, “When is EMIE sufficient and when should I choose Browsium Ion?” This blog post compares the two, highlighting the key differences that matter to your browser migration projects. In the end you’ll find it’s clear that EMIE is useful and important, but Ion is essential for mission-critical web applications in complex enterprise IT environments.
Microsoft designed EMIE to address web applications that were developed for IE8, but do not work properly in IE11. Developing this tool was critical for Microsoft and its customers, as IE8 is now the single most popular version of any web browser, particularly in enterprise where it’s dominant. With Microsoft ending support for IE8 (and IE9 and IE10) in January 2016, every enterprise now must evaluate the tools that can assist in their IE11 migration strategy.
EMIE offers more features than Microsoft’s previous tool, Compatibility View, which was optimized for IE7 compatibility. It’s great to see Microsoft adopt approaches and provide tools to help with web application compatibility as they continue to evolve Internet Explorer.
Customers who have limited complexity in their IE8-dependent web applications will be pleased with EMIE. It is designed to address user agent string and CSS expression issues. It also has a Site List Manager to enforce which sites will use Enterprise Mode through Group Policy and end users can select Enterprise Mode for public websites as well. In our experience, customers with these basic needs will benefit from this improved and easy to use tool for simple IE8-based web applications.
However, many of our customers have discovered that, while EMIE addresses some of their basic compatibility issues, it falls short in addressing defects with their more complex business critical web applications. Many of their IE8-dependent applications will not work properly with IE11 and EMIE. In addition, EMIE does not provide a solution for migrations to IE11 from IE9 or IE10. For all of these applications, a more comprehensive solution is required.
Web based applications with compatibility challenges often hold companies back from a required browser or OS migration. These troublesome and frequently mission critical applications are typically very complex and highly customized. They exist at a foundational level of the business process or provide parts of the core IT engine that drives the overall business. These applications aren’t broken simply because of a user agent string or a CSS expression button, which EMIE is designed to address. They are made up of many little applications and reporting tools, and each may be broken by a range of issues that require a different set of changes to fix them. This is where we see the majority of defects in these complex applications. And this is where Ion goes above and beyond what EMIE can provide.
Browsium Ion delivers a complete solution for remediating both basic and complex legacy applications running in modern versions of Internet Explorer and also delivers granular management of browser environments for true side-by-side compatibility and enhanced security. (Screen shots of Ion and EMIE found at the end of this post clarify how different these two products are in the granularity of their settings.) Ion uses the same Internet Explorer and Windows APIs as EMIE, but is much more powerful to effectively remediate complex enterprise web applications.
Another major area of concern for our customers is safely managing the multiple versions of Java required by various applications. EMIE does not to address Java management. Browsium Ion enables you to maintain a defense-in-depth Java strategy by allowing specific applications to run only the Java version it requires, when needed, independent of your overall Java security strategy. Ion provides granular control of Java so you can run multiple versions side-by-side, maximize your security stance, and accommodate legacy applications that require older versions of Java.
The following table will give you an idea of how Ion can work in your environment when compared with EMIE.
|Target web apps for remediation by domain or URL||✔||✔|
|Provides IE8, IE9, IE10 rendering modes to fix basic layout issues||✔||✔|
|Provides IE8, IE9, IE10 user agent strings to server||✔||✔|
|Provides option of using any IE rendering mode, from Quirks through IE11||✔|
|Manage multiple versions of Java and run them side-by-side in IE||✔|
|Enables phased rollout to heterogeneous IE environments, across XP, Win7 and Win8||✔|
|Custom Registry Settings per web application to control specific IE features and security settings||✔|
|Override ActiveX controls for each web application, with zero-footprint installs||✔|
|Deploy configurations via Group Policy||✔||✔|
|Deploy configurations via any enterprise mgmt tool||✔|
Clearly, EMIE is rarely enough for most large enterprise environments. Complex enterprise organizations with many legacy and in-house developed applications need much more — they need Browsium Ion for web applications compatibility and the added browser management capabilities today’s most dynamic IT environments demand. Try Ion in your organization by downloading the free evaluation kit.
The following screen shots provide a very clear picture of the power and comprehensiveness of Browsium Ion when compared with EMIE. Ion has many rich features and granular control for web application remediation and browser management, while EMIE takes a more simplistic approach with only a single site list in its management tool.
By now you’ve read the news about Microsoft’s changes to the Internet Explorer support policy. Supporting only the most recent version of Internet Explorer on each Windows release is a bold and necessary step for Microsoft. Internet Explorer fragmentation has made life miserable for web developers and created an unsustainable support matrix for Microsoft. The increasing pace of change in operating systems and browsers has made an already nasty problem even worse.
Microsoft’s new approach is clearly good for the web and for consumers (and it’s great for Microsoft). But what does this mean to enterprises – organizations like yours that just struggled through a Windows XP to Windows 7 migration and have now standardized on IE8 (or IE9 or IE10)? Now you must all migrate to IE11 by January 2016 or lose support. How will you upgrade all of your line-of-business applications by then … and how will you keep pace moving forward?
Inquiries arrive daily at Browsium from organizations asking these very questions. Our answer is the same answer we’ve been giving for more than four years – your application upgrade schedules don’t need to be dictated by browser vendors. There is a better option.
Browsium’s browser management platform gives you control over the timing of application upgrades. It does this by allowing legacy IE-dependent applications to run in modern versions of Internet Explorer, side by side with your most current applications. This enables you to easily migrate to the most current release of Internet Explorer on each Windows platform with confidence, knowing your critical business applications will continue to run. You’ll save time with our easy-to-use tools, and you’ll save money by avoiding unnecessary application rewrites and upgrades.
To be fair, there are other options. Microsoft offers guidance on best practices to re-write or replace existing applications. However, we continue to hear from enterprises that application rewrites or replacements are not in the budget (and certainly not within the time-frame available), so they must look into compatibility tools. Microsoft has an option for compatibility – Enterprise Mode (aka, EMIE). IT organizations have told us that it’s an improvement over the older Compatibility View. They find it useful for some business applications and public websites, but it’s often not sufficient for large scale, complex enterprise applications. A specialized tool with much more granular control is needed to handle these applications.
Browsium’s powerful browser management platform has been designed with the world largest and most complex enterprise IT environments in mind. It delivers granular control of your browser environment, resulting in optimized compatibility and security.
As a CIO, CTO or business unit owner, you should be making application upgrade decisions based upon your business needs. For years we’ve been helping customers do just this with our worry-free browser migration approach. We’ll help you put in place a robust browser management platform to support your business-critical applications well into the future. And as we’ve all seen, rapid technology change is the new normal in the IT industry. Browser management will help you keep pace.
You can manage the complexities of your enterprise browser environment, take the worry out of browser migrations, and extend the ROI of your existing business applications. Learn how Browsium’s browser management platform can make this happen.
Start by downloading the evaluation version of Browsium Ion. Next, contact our team of experts, or one of our partners, to help you plan, implement, and deploy our browser management solution across your enterprise. The next time you’re faced with an Internet Explorer upgrade, you’ll be so prepared, you’ll have the confidence to say “Bring it on!”
Many in IT want to be seen as innovators – a very worthy aspiration. But it’s also comforting to know that the technology platform upon which you’re going to bet your business is a proven solution already in use by many other organizations just like yours. It’s exciting to be first … but who wants excitement in IT when mission-critical web applications are at stake?
When choosing a browser management platform, you can rest easy. You’re not first. In fact, far from it. Browsium solutions have now been successfully deployed by a broad range of organizations across a variety of industry verticals. We’ve put together a sampling of real-world stories of Browsium products at work solving real enterprises browser management challenges.
This compilation of success stories spans the finance, pharmaceutical, retail and transportation industries. While each story has a unique browser management challenge, in all cases the need to ensure the preservation of business critical applications was paramount. These enterprises have:
These achievements have all taken place thanks to Browsium’s browser management platform.
Take a look and see how much your organization has in common with these highly successful and technically complex enterprises. Read Browsium Industry Success Stories.
Web browsers are a critical component of modern IT infrastructure. Many existing business applications run in a browser, with more moving to the cloud every day, yet the tools to manage browsers have not kept pace. Today’s rapidly changing operating system and browser environments bring with them complex and costly application compatibility and security issues – issues that must be addressed to keep those business-critical applications running. This leaves IT organizations, like yours, with the challenge of cost-effectively managing web browsers throughout the enterprise. Some of the obstacles you’ll encounter include:
Read the Browsium Executive Overview to learn how our browser management platform delivers essential browser compatibility, security, and control to enterprises like yours. This easy-to-read 2-page PDF provides a brief overview of our solutions. It’s designed to help you make the case to use Browsium Ion and Catalyst in your organization, so please share it with your IT management and your CIO.