Spikes Security Unveils Web Gateway to Isolate Malware

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    Spikes Security, a startup company headed by the former technical lead of PayPal, Tesla and SpaceX, this week unveiled an Isla appliance specifically designed to isolate malware from the end-user computing environment.

    Spikes Security CEO and CTO Branden Spikes says the Isla appliance takes advantage of advances in remote networking, virtual machines, JavaScript, HTML5 and a new transport mechanism to render content on an appliance rather than on the local machine where a Web browser is actually running.

    Given the fact that most lethal malware these days is bypassing the network perimeter to execute directly within a Web browser, Spikes says it is clear there is a need to find a way to isolate end users from potential malware. To accomplish that, any Web code actually winds up being executed on the Isla appliance, which end users then log into over an Air Gap transport developed by Spikes Security.

    While Spikes concedes that this idea is not especially new, it’s never been widely adopted because all previous attempts comprised the end-user experience. In contrast, Spikes says Isla solves the problem by providing a Web gateway running on a Linux appliance that actually renders content, including video, audio and graphics, at scale faster than a local browser running on most endpoints can.

    IT organizations can still opt to pass certain Web traffic they trust directly on to a browser, or use Isla to eliminate access to Web sites that are known to distribute malware. In either case, Spikes says it’s up to the internal IT organization to decide what mix of white and black listing they want to employ.

    More often than not, the way to solve an intractable issue requires the right set of technologies to come together in just the right way to create a slightly different approach to address the root cause of the problem. Spikes freely admits that when it comes Isla, Spikes Security is standing on the proverbial shoulders of giants that have gone before. The difference now is that all those shoulders are finally leaning in the same direction to isolate malware once and for all from the end-user computing environment.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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