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VMblog Expert Interview: Exploring Keep Aware, the Revolutionary Browser Security Platform and Its Relevance in Today's Digital Landscape


In this VMblog Q&A interview with Ryan Boerner, founder and CEO of Keep Aware, we dive into the fascinating world of Keep Aware, a cutting-edge browser security platform. In this exclusive conversation, we explore the ins and outs of this innovative solution and gain valuable insights into why browser-based security has become increasingly relevant in today's digital landscape. Boerner, a leading expert in cybersecurity and the mastermind behind Keep Aware, shares his expertise and sheds light on the importance of protecting our online presence through enhanced browser security measures.

Read on as we unravel the secrets behind Keep Aware and discover how it is reshaping the way we safeguard our browsing experiences.

VMblog: Before we dive in deeper, congratulations on your recent funding announcement. By way of introduction, can you let our readers know what Keep Aware does?

Ryan Boerner:  I found in my prior security roles that organizations were investing a lot in building out comprehensive security stacks, but the web browser, where people now do much of their work, was a blind spot to these systems. Keep Aware is a Browser Security Platform that eliminates this blind spot and provides robust protection against known and unknown people-targeted attacks, including credential phishing, spoofing, social engineering, and malicious extensions.

VMblog: What is the problem that Keep Aware solves?

Boerner:  Keep Aware began with the realization that no matter how advanced our security technologies are, threats still find a way to the user and often through the web browser. Security and IT teams build strong perimeters, but those solutions can't secure the browser interface, a workspace where employees are spending the majority of their day handling sensitive data. Attackers know this too, and continue to bombard people with creative ways to carry out credential theft attacks, impersonate popular brands, and deploy malware through the browser. The browser can only be secured by understanding how information is being presented, and how users are interacting with it. This is a big problem and many organizations are shocked when they realize just how exposed they are.

VMblog: Can you talk a bit more about what it means that Keep Aware is a Browser Security Platform?

Boerner:  As we've shown the browser is a soft spot in an organization's security stack, what our solution does as a Browser Security Platform is to remove that exposure. Keep Aware deploys directly to the web browsers that organizations already use, such as Chrome, Edge, and Firefox, and provides protection against credential phishing, suspicious links, social engineering and specific browser attacks like malicious extensions out of the box. Security teams can quickly identify risks and automate the investigations of these user-facing threats.

VMblog: Why is browser based security especially relevant right now?

Boerner:  Browser security has quickly become a top priority for all types of organizations for a number of important reasons.  First, the browser is a blind spot to traditional security solutions, leaving the employee very vulnerable to attack. Typical threat detection technologies wrap around the browser, but don't effectively analyze what happens within.  Second, as organizations adopt more SaaS and cloud services, the browser is increasingly becoming where employees do the majority of their work. Information workers can spend 90% of their work day in a web browser accessing sensitive data and systems.  Third, bad actors know all this and have made the browser a primary attack vector. Browser attacks are increasing in both velocity and sophistication. Up to a third of all data breaches involve a web browser.  Combine those reasons with the fact that employees are increasingly working outside the office, off the corporate network, on an unsecured personal device, so perimeter security may be ineffective, and organizations can't afford not to address browser security.  The consequences of a breach are just too severe.

VMblog: Keep Aware uses an employee-focused / behavior-focused approach to detecting and addressing both known and unknown security issues. What does that mean?

Boerner:  Keep Aware combines the analysis of how information is presented to people, and how they interact with it, to create what we refer to as a human-centric solution. Our platform embeds security directly into the user interface and operates in the considerable gray area where, without context, the risk level of any specific activity may be unclear. While typical technology-based security solutions are designed to prevent attacks from machine processes, events, and connections, often relying on what's known to be a threat, Keep Aware analyzes the behavior and questions why an individual activity, like a click on a suspicious link or an upload, might be dangerous. When a threat is detected, Keep Aware immediately involves both the employee and security team in its resolution by assessing intent and alerting to suspicious and unusual actions. It's not enough to block threats that we know to be bad,  Keep Aware equips the user with the knowledge they need to make a secure decision at the point-of-click.

VMblog: What's next for Keep Aware? What can we expect to see in the next 12 months?

Boerner:  We are hyper-focused on building our team and working with our customers to develop a solution that meets their current requirements for browser security and grows with them as their businesses evolve. Our unique understanding of how work takes place in the organization helps to prevent threats at the point-of-click, and while the browser is a key piece, it's just the start. We plan to work with early adopters on building Keep Aware into their wider security programs, enriching the security stack and existing workflows, and contribute to a more transparent security culture within organizations.

Published Tuesday, June 06, 2023 8:01 AM by David Marshall
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