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McAfee buys Light Point to enhance web browser protection

Acquisition of Light Point Security will extend the capabilities of multiple McAfee products

McAfee has announced an agreement to acquire Light Point Security, a pioneer of so-called browser isolation technology, for an undisclosed sum, enhancing the capabilities of its Secure Web Gateway and Mvision unified cloud edge (UCE) solutions.

With increasing use of the internet and adoption of cloud-based services making the web browser one of the most vulnerable elements of an organisation’s potential attack service, McAfee said that the importance of protecting the browser was now becoming clear.

Light Point, which was founded by several former employees of the US’ NSA, claims its service protects users from zero-day threats, malware and ransomware, and credential phishing attacks by isolating user browser sessions in a remote virtual environment away from the corporate network. Its proprietary technology delivers “highly performant, complete isolation” that prevents dangerous elements of a web page from reaching and attacking a client browser.

“Web browsing is one of the most common threat vectors for endpoints to get infected,” said Ash Kulkarni, executive vice-president and chief product officer at McAfee’s Enterprise Business Group. “Adding Light Point Security’s capabilities into our products will create solutions that enable our customers to mitigate web-based threats without impacting user experience.

“We’re constantly working to find ways to help our customers safely adopt the cloud so they enjoy increased productivity without experiencing heightened concerns about cyber attacks,” he said. “Light Point Security’s browser isolation capabilities will bolster the McAfee Unified Cloud Edge offering to make it a preferred solution for security-focused businesses without compromising on productivity.”

Zuly Gonzalez, co-founder and CEO of Light Point Security, said: “Light Point Security’s technology enables users to browse any website safely, securely and without limitations, without having to keep up with website changes. This stops attacks launched against a web browser before they can even enter the network without hampering user experience.

“We’ve been recognised for revolutionising the way that organisations think about security; now we will be joining a leading standalone cyber security player to be part of the next revolution,” she said. “Together, we’ll advance McAfee’s mission to protect the world from cyber threats while supporting customers as they accelerate their own businesses by removing limitations.”

Read more about browser isolation

McAfee will integrate the service into its Secure Web Gateway as a complementary element to its pre-existing inbound and outbound web and cloud traffic protection. It said the combination meant customers will be able to prioritise security and user experience by removing exposure to threats, while maintaining responsive access to legitimate websites and cloud apps.

It will also incorporate it into its Mvision UCE solution, which it has just announced at RSA Conference 2020 in San Francisco alongside a number of other updates to its Mvision service.

Besides the Secure Web Gateway, Mvision UCE includes McAfee’s Data Loss Prevention service and Mvision Cloud, and is held to enable a “complete and simplified implementation of the SASE [Secure Access Service Edge] architecture”, letting customers apply consistent threat protection policies across their networks and cloud apps.

“To recognise the full potential of the cloud, IT needs to secure data in cloud services they do not own and on networks they do not operate. UCE enables organisations to mount a powerful data-centric defence where modern work is done – from any device, to any cloud service,” said Kulkarni.

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