Feeds

The Register Guide on how to stay anonymous (part 3)

Browser privacy at work

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

Changing up the internet

Microsoft's utter dominance of the browser market in the early 2000's fed a corporate hubris that resulted in software stagnation. Corporations wanted a stable platform to develop against, and for the longest time Microsoft felt IE6 was "good enough." The real world is no longer so clean and simple.

There are solid business cases for the use of alternate browsers. Microsoft makes an excellent mass market browser, but the lack of a browser extension community has harmed its ability to reach out to the growing number of users who need their browser to do something different.

THE_BROWSER_SHEEP

Firefox's plug-in library is unmatched. Many of these plug-ins offer time-saving productivity enhancements simply unavailable to IE users. Google's Chrome holds the speed crown for most common workloads. In an increasingly JavaScript-enabled cloud computing world, Chrome's raw speed provides a significant advantage over Internet Explorer. Some businesses even find uses for Safari or Opera.

Plug it in, baby (click to enlarge)

Chrome in particular is starting to see rapid enterprise uptake. Chrome officially supports many enterprise features, including Active Directory GPOs. This brings Chrome within reach of IE's manageability.

More importantly, Chrome offers the ability to whitelist, blacklist, and force installation of extensions. This includes the ability to host extensions on your own server.

Though Chrome's enterprise configurability is second only to IEs, this enterprise functionality does have its drawbacks.

While not officially supported by Mozilla, there are third parties attempting to make Firefox deployable in an enterprise fashion. While a significant first step, these projects are either abandoned, nascent, or lacking in critical granularity regarding browser extension configurability. Efforts are ongoing, supported by a determined user base.

Neither Apple's Safari team nor Opera seem particularly interested in extending enterprise functionality to their browsers. This last is a shame; the emerging importance of non-Microsoft platforms - especially mobility - makes cross-platform browsing more important than ever.

We are far from the Utopian dream where coding a website to standards results in software that will work across all browsers and platforms. All browsers have quirks. Not all businesses can afford the developer time and expertise required to support all iterations of all browsers. Businesses - especially when coding complex internal-use sites - require a stable target to code for.

The next step in data security

Next page: The iPhone Effect

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.