UPDATED 12:57 EDT / FEBRUARY 25 2020


McAfee acquires browser isolation provider Light Point Security

McAfee LLC has acquired Light Point Security LLC, a provider of browser isolation technology founded by former National Security Agency cybersecurity experts.

McAfee announced the deal against at the RSA Conference in San Francisco on Monday afternoon along with an update to its product portfolio. The company unveiled Unified Cloud Edge, a security toolkit that combines the features of its existing cloud access security broker, web gateway and data loss prevention products. Light Point’s technology will be integrated into the toolkit.

Baltimore, Maryland-based Light Point was founded in 2010 by NSA veterans Zuly Gonzalez and Beau Adkins. The startup has developed a software platform that shields workers from malicious websites by allowing them to view online content without opening it in their browsers. Light Point’s platform renders web pages in a cloud-based sandbox and then streams what is essentially footage of the content to the user’s browser, which means malicious code has no way of reaching its intended destination.

McAfee will bake Light Point’s technology into Unified Cloud Edge to give enterprise security teams more options for protecting end-users. Specifically, the company plans to add a browser isolation capability into the McAfee Web Gateway product included in the toolkit.

The gateway currently catches threats by running web pages in an emulated environment that tricks malware into triggering. “Emulation removes the vast majority of malware in milliseconds as traffic is processed,” Ash Kulkarni, the executive vice president who heads McAfee’s enterprise business, wrote in a blog post. “The next evolution is removing the ability for malicious code to reach an end-user altogether.”

“Light Point Security’s browser isolation technology takes the end user’s web browsing session and isolates the page remotely in a secure location, then replicates an interactive image of the session in the user’s browser with a technique called pixel mapping.” Kulkarni wrote. “This provides the end user with protection against web-based threats because malicious code can’t leave the isolated browser.”

The network protection benefits of browser isolation have caught the attention of other cybersecurity providers as well. Just last month, Cloudflare Inc. revealed that it had acquired S2 Systems Corp., a browser isolation startup whose technology it has used to build a new web gateway service similar to Symantec’s. 

Neither Symantec nor Cloudflare shared any financial terms for their respective acquisitions. 

Photo: McAfee

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