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Georgetown Security and Software Engineering Research Center Tests Cloud Browser Security for Enterprise IT Networks

S2ERC’s Productive Browser Project reveals Authentic8 Silo virtual browser
delivers greater malware protection than Google Chrome desktop model

Washington, DC –  The Security and Software Engineering Research Center at Georgetown University (S2ERC) today released results from its Productive Browser Project that shines new light on the importance of security in the enterprise IT browser space. The study found that Silo, the secure cloud-based browser from Authentic8, provides enterprise users a higher level of protection from malware threats than Google Chrome (Chrome).  A full report of the testing results can be found here (S2ERC Productive Browser Report).

S2ERC researchers conducted a series of rigorous security tests to measure the capabilities of the Authentic8 and Chrome browsers to defend against many of the typical malware threats encountered by enterprise users.

The goal of the S2ERC Productive Browser Project was to determine whether a virtual browser could provide sufficient security against malicious malware threats with minimal impact on the productivity of a typical enterprise end user. The project focused on validating security properties hypothesized as a result of isolating the web browser through virtualization technology. The research initiative studied the security capabilities of virtualized, cloud-based browsers in enterprise network environments.

“The goal of this project is to research the impact that virtual browsers can have on the security of computers in corporate IT network environments,” said Paul Brigner, S2ERC Managing Director. “Not only did we want to compare virtual browsers’ security against conventional desktop browsers but also test their capabilities while supporting a typical workload of enterprise applications to ensure there is minimal impact on users’ productivity.”

Browsers are often a high-value target and attack vector for criminals and nation states who can exploit their vulnerabilities as a gateway into cloud applications and the enterprise network. By doing so, cybercriminals can compromise the security of these software as a service (SaaS) business applications in the cloud while also being able to penetrate the on premises enterprise network itself.

TESTING APPROACH

To determine the practical security benefits of a virtual browser, S2ERC researchers first cataloged a set of typical attacks. The testing team compiled a list of websites containing malicious malware code using databases from security watchdog organizations malc0de.com and vxvault.net.  After verifying that these sites contained malware.  The S2ERC team attempted to download infected files using these websites using both Silo and Chrome on two identically configured laptop PCs that also had a standard enterprise antivirus software installed on them.

The S2ERC team attempted to download 54 files, eight of the data successfully infected the machine running Chrome while none of the sites reached the computer running Silo. In short, approximately a seventh (1/7) of the malicious sites visited by Chrome experienced a successful download while Authentic8 Silo virtual browser prevented downloads in all cases.

A further examination of the results found that Silo did allow sandboxed downloading of 13 files, or about a quarter of the sample. The sandboxing – or software isolation – of these files still provided protection from direct exposure to hardware systems.

When Silo downloaded a file, the browser sandboxed the file in cloud storage. Upon exiting the browser, the files were deleted. As such, these files never reached the test laptop nor reached the local enterprise network.

While sandbox downloading occurred in Silo with many of the malicious sites, many of those were blocked on Chrome by either the PC’s anti-virus program or Google itself. Thirty-six sites were blocked by the PC’s anti-virus programs, meaning three-fifths of the malicious sites were blocked by the cybersecurity add-on. An additional four sites were blocked by Chrome.

Still, the files that Chrome did download were able to successfully infect the computer. This allows for possible security breaches in an enterprise setting. While the anti-virus software should eventually find the malware, the ability for viruses to reach the computer posed a serious security threat to the users.

S2ERC PRODUCTIVE BROWSER PROJECT

The S2ERC Productive Browser project marks the second and final phase of its multifaceted virtualization research project exploring benefits of a virtual browser for secure Internet use by enterprises networks. The first phase of the research evaluated the performance of virtual browsers versus conventional desktop browsers on desktop PC and MAC computers.

“It was a goal of this project to explore and test whether an isolated cloud browser can be a mechanism for improving the security and compliance of enterprise networks and data,” added Brigner. The Productive Browser study validated that virtual browsers like Authentic8’s Silo help enterprises improve the security of their networks and data.”

About the Security and Software Engineering Research Center at Georgetown University
The Security and Software Engineering Research Center at Georgetown University (S2ERC) is a National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored research center working on the safety, security, and stability of today’s communications networks.  S2ERC uses applied and basic research to address the technology, policy, regulatory, legal, governmental, and business issues impacting secure networks.  S2ERC research results create solutions to technical issues and enable vendors and service providers to offer products and services that real enterprises need and can deploy. Learn more at https://s2erc.georgetown.edu/.

Media Contact
For S2ERC: John Gates, Elevate Communications
o: 617.861.3651, c: 617.548.8972, john@elevatecom.com

Right Networks Named Cloud Hosting Winner of the Accountex USA User Favorite Awards

Receipt of Elite and Unbiased Accounting Technology Award Showcases Right Network’s Dedication to User Satisfaction

Hudson, NHRight Networks, the leading provider of cloud-based accounting and business solutions for CPA firms, accounting professionals and small-to-medium-sized businesses, was awarded with the User Favorite Award in the “Cloud Hosting” category at Accountex USA 2017, an independent expo and conference devoted to accounting technology.

The Accountex USA User Favorite Awards is a unique designation for an elite group of solutions and is based on the Accounting Technology Ecosystem. The User Favorite Awards are decided by a cumulative scoring system rather than the vendor that receives the most votes; users must rank the solutions they use on a 5-star system so that the winners are recognized on reported client satisfaction. It is designed to recognize the solutions that are truly the favorite of the people who use them regularly. This year, there were hundreds of nominees and thousands of votes cast to determine the winners.

“We are honored to have won Accountex’s User Favorite Award for Hosting,” said Rachel Krug, Director of Product Marketing at Right Networks. “Right Networks always aims to offer the highest quality technology and customer service to help our users and businesses of all sizes to easily, affordably, and securely host their favorite accounting software in the cloud. We are thrilled to learn that users in the accounting technology ecosystem are pleased with our cloud hosting solution.”

Founded in 2002, Right Networks addresses the critical need accounting professionals and small businesses have to easily access and share their data with the applications and people who need it in a secure and reliable way anytime, anywhere and from any device. Through this enhanced access and collaboration, Right Networks helps its customers improve business efficiency allowing them to focus on growing their businesses. Right Networks provides its users with 24/7/365 support, daily backups, access from any device. Today, Right Networks helps cloud connect more than 100,000 people at 15,000 companies with their HyperRight™ technology, allowing users to host QuickBooks Desktop in the cloud.

Brian Cuthbert, Group Vice President of Accountex USA, explained the significance of the awards program: “The User Favorite Awards are unique in that it doesn’t just recognize the largest company with the most users. It honors the solutions that have the happiest clients. It creates a true user satisfaction award rather than a popularity contest and on the most expansive ecosystem available today. It is truly inclusive of all accounting technology systems.”

To view the 2017 User Award winners for Accountex USA 2017, please visit: https://www.accountexusa.com/awards/user-favorite-awards-2017-winners/.

About Right Networks

Right Networks is the leading provider of cloud-based accounting and business solutions for CPA firms, accounting professionals and small to medium businesses who want to gain all the benefits of cloud-based applications without needing to replace what they use today. The Right Networks cloud combines advanced, highly-available technology with 24x7x365, U.S. based phone, email and chat support to deliver an always accessible and always there for you service experience allowing customers to focus on growing their businesses.

Visit https://www.rightnetworks.com/ to learn more about our solution, pricing and available plans.

Media contact:
Tory Waldron
Account Executive
781-454-6822
twaldron@elevatecom.com

Right Networks contact:
Rachel Krug
Director of Product Marketing
603-324-0488, ext. 3148
rkrug@rightnetworks.com

About Accountex USA

Accountex USA is the leading independent expo and conference focusing on accounting technology. Accountex USA focuses on the technology that moves accounting forward as well as the business processes and organizational success needed in the marketplace. It is an independent conference, which means that it offers more than one viewpoint of solutions. Accountex USA features the most accounting technology solutions at one major event, plus latest trends and the traditional technologies that still dominate, without any focus on a singular suite of products. www.accountexusa.com.

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