Bromium protects hosted desktops and Windows XP with its Microvisor

The company also has plans for Android and Mac OS

Bromium has upgraded its security platform vSentry, which uses virtualization to isolate malicious code, to protect virtual desktops and old Windows XP PCs.

The vSentry platform is powered by Bromium's so-called Microvisor, which isolates vulnerable Windows tasks in a specifically tailored virtual machine that can't modify Windows or gain access to enterprise data or network infrastructure. Bromium can isolate, for example, a browser tab.

Consequently, any malicious code in the virtual machine is prevented from doing whatever harm it was designed for and all the while the user experience remains unchanged, according to Simon Crosby, CTO at Bromium.

"The system becomes naturally immune against infections from even undetectable malware, which then gets automatically discarded," Crosby said.

The first iteration of vSentry was compatible with desktops running the 64-bit version of Windows 7, and started shipping in September.

Version 1.1 of vSentry also protects the 32-bit version of Windows 7 as well as virtual desktops delivered using Microsoft's Remote Desktop Services, XenDesktop from Citrix Systems, or VMware's View, according to Bromium.

Virtual desktops are vulnerable to exactly the same attacks as native PCs, according to Crosby.

Bromium's technology is made possible thanks to the hardware-based virtualization technology Intel integrates in its processors, but that also means it won't work on older PCs.

To address that, Bromium has adopted its technology so it can be used to protect machines running Windows XP, as well. It does that by running all untrusted activities on a server using Remote Desktop Services.

However, even if the company can now protect Windows XP machines, it still advises enterprises to upgrade their desktops to a more modern version of Windows.

"People should be getting off XP, because it is much more vulnerable than Windows 7 or Windows 8. There is no reason to be hanging on to it," Crosby said.

Version 1.1 of vSentry also includes Live Attack Visualization and Analysis (LAVA), a feature that was previously included in beta form, but is now generally available.

Today, enterprises lack accurate information about what is happening on their desktops, but Bromium is hoping to change that, according to Crosby.

The narrow scope of the code running in any one of Bromium's tiny hypervisors makes analyzing what's happening in it much easier, and LAVA takes advantage of that to create signatures of attacks.

"It automatically produces all the forensic information that a security team might want to see to be able to reconstruct an attack, and understand how a hacker tried to compromise the system," Crosby said.

The data from LAVA is presented using XML, and can be fed into a security information management system.

Also, like any new vendor in the post-PC era, Bromium has plans for other operating systems besides Windows.

"Next year we will have a product for Mac OS, and we are also working on a products for Android, Windows 8 and so on," Crosby said.

Avid followers of the virtualization sector may recognize Crosby's name. Prior to co-founding Bromium he helped start virtualization pioneer XenSource, which was acquired by Citrix in 2007. Crosby then was CTO for Citrix's Virtualization and Management division.

XenSource co-founder Ian Pratt is also a co-founder at Bromium, where his title is senior vice president, products. Bromium's third co-founder, CEO Gaurav Banga, previously worked at Phoenix Technologies.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags virtualizationonline safetysecuritydesktop virtualizationDesktop securityBromium

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?