Wednesday, 30 March 2016 10:38

Citrix puts browser in the cloud

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The idea of using a mobile or desktop browser to access a cloud-based browser in order to use web applications does seem a little odd at first, but Citrix thinks there are some good reasons why organisations may wish to add another layer of complexity.

The purpose of Citrix Secure Browser is "to securely deliver web and SaaS applications to any modern browser."

"Securely" - modern browsers have the ability to save passwords and other information (usually with little or no protection once someone has logged into the device account), which may breach company policies. But with the widespread shift to BYOD, locking down the browser(s) on an employee's own device is unlikely to be an acceptable option. Additionally, the perceived need to protect 'internal' traffic with a VPN adds to the complexity.

"any modern browser" - as much as we'd like them to go away, there are still a number of web apps, especially those that were custom-developed several years ago, that were coded specifically for Internet Explorer. Similarly, some web apps use plug-ins that are now falling out of favour, such as Flash, or that are not commonly installed on privately-owned computers, leading to additional support calls.

So Citrix has come up with a two-tier approach.

The company's Receiver for HTLM5 already allows modern browsers to act as endpoints for programs delivered by Citrix's XenApp application virtualisation software, with VPN-like security. And the most common applications published through XenApp are web browsers.

Adding Citrix Secure Browser makes it possible to provide a locked-down browser whether or not XenApp or XenDesktop are already in use.

The Citrix Workspace Cloud Secure Browser is a fully-hosted service allowing IT departments to quickly and easily publish web apps, including SaaS applications, to Receiver for HTML5, which employees can use inside any modern browser.

Even if that browser is updated, the environment 'seen' by the web app remains constant, so there's no need to delay browser updates for compatibility testing.

Prices for Citrix Workspace Cloud Secure Browser start at US$20 per user per month.

For organisations that prefer the in-house route, Citrix XenApp Secure Browser is offered as a perpetual licence from US$150 per user or device, and the Secure Browser Deployment Kit (which simplifies new deployments of XenApp that are dedicated to publishing web apps) is free of charge to XenApp and XenDesktop customers with Subscription Advantage or software maintenance.


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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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