Have you heard of the term “malvertising”? As the “mal” in the name suggests, it’s another problem to be wary of online.
The U.S. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) defines it as “the use of malicious or hijacked website advertisements to spread malware. … It bypasses built-in browser protections against pop-ups and forced redirects and inserts malicious ads into legitimate ad networks.”
CISA says malvertising can be a broad-based attack – or focused on a specific individual who may hold valuable access credentials.
While CISA publishes to assist federal agencies with security, its recommendations are also appropriate for other organizations, including private companies.
Their recommendations are:
- Standardize to a single web browser across your organization and secure it.
- Deploy advertising blocking software.
- Consider isolating browsers from your Operating Systems.
- Consider implementing Protective Domain Name System Technologies.
CISA has a PDF which you can download here that explains more in-depth. We wanted to elaborate, though, on the third recommendation – isolating browser operation.
CISA recommends you think about securing your web browsing in the Cloud, separate from your systems. This moves potential malicious Web behavior into an independent, temporary Cloud domain that’s secure or isolated with sandbox-like containers. This is a Software-as-a-Service offering that sends web data to a safe, virtualized environment or remote cloud-based platform.
If malicious code is present, it’s removed, and the cleaned version is forwarded to the user. CISA says isolation is highly customizable and can be combined with web content filtering, data loss prevention solutions, secure email/web gateways, and other security approaches.
CISA notes that isolating browser operations in the Cloud can be expensive initially and recommends that it be considered when contemplating “a broader architectural change or network refresh.
“However,” CISA adds, “over its lifecycle, browser isolation may have a lower cost, based on reduced costs for maintaining ad-blocking software, lower incident response and recovery costs, and bandwidth efficiencies.”
If you need help assessing how you can achieve this, contact us for a confidential chat.