Businesses choose browsers based on security, compatibility

Do you load browsers like Firefox with a lot of applications?

When you selected a web browser, what guided your decision? Did you go for one with a lot of applications, or were aesthetics more important? Are you able to use your favorite browser where you work? Browser selection may seem like a simple choice, but companies can actually face several concerns when they decide which browsers to support on company-owned devices.A recent ZDNet article reported that security and compatibility are the most important factors for businesses choosing which browsers to support. But certain business needs may also impact the decision. For example, social media marketing company Blugrapes suggests Safari and Firefox for Mac users, while recommending Firefox and Chrome for PC users.

“Our official policy is to have only Mozilla’s Firefox and Internet Explorer,” said Matthew Kovac, Asia-Pacific director of corporate communications at Wincor Nixdorf, who was quoted by ZDNet. “They are considered more stable than other browsers. In our circumstances, we deal with very sensitive customer data so it is an appropriate reason and a fair corporate position to decide which browser will be used [over users’ preferences].”

The article also warned there is no browser that fully protects against all security threats and is fully compatible with all applications. Deciding which platforms and web browsers to support at work may seem like a simple option, but security can become an increasingly complicated issue. With trends like bring-your-own-device allowing a large number of personal devices into the workplace, the issue can become even more difficult to manage.

Especially with more applications being developed, it is important for companies to educate employees in regard to best security practices and current threats. A recent CSO article reported on a security breach affecting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that highlighted the risks organizations may face from one security incident. The breach, which was caused when a contractor opened up a malware-ridden email attachment, may be part of a larger trend of security mishaps.

The article said organization policy needs to be supported by comprehensive security solutions. The EPA breach, for example, could have been mitigated using application control software to prevent unauthorized programs from running and stealing sensitive data.

Did you select your web browser for security or convenience? Do you use a large number of browser applications?

Scott Cornell

When he’s not knee deep in blogging and all things tech, Scott spends his free time playing ultimate Frisbee and watching foreign films. An expert in emerging tech trends, Scott always has his ear to ground for breaking news related to IT security.