UPDATED 15:35 EDT / OCTOBER 23 2023


Island nabs another $100M for its secure enterprise browser

Island Technology Inc., a startup with a Chromium-based browser built for the enterprise market, today announced that it has raised $100 million in funding at a $1.5 billion valuation.

Prysm Capital led the Series C round. Insight Partners, Sequoia Capital, Canapi Ventures and a number of other institutional investors participated as well. Island says that its total outside funding now stands at more than $325 million.

“This capital infusion will accelerate our ability to scale globally and continue to aggressively invest in R&D, customer success and geographic expansion to cover the major global buying centers,” said Island co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Mike Fey. 

Island’s enterprise-focused browser is based on Chromium, the open-source software engine that underpins Google Chrome. The company has extended the engine with a raft of upgrades designed to block cyberattacks. Moreover, it can prevent workers from using business data in an unauthorized manner.

Some of the cybersecurity features built into Island focus on protecting the browser itself. According to the company, its browser can detect attempts to modify its executable file or memory and automatically shut down in response. It also blocks insecure extensions.

Malicious websites can exploit vulnerabilities in a visitor’s browser to download malware or steal data. To address that risk, Island has disabled Chromium’s JIT compiler, a performance optimization engine that is often the focus of cyberattacks. Island can also temporarily disable more than a dozen of its other components when it detects hacking attempts that target them. 

Another set of built-in cybersecurity features enables the browser to counter malware that might already be installed on the user’s device. According to Island, those features can block infected machines from accessing a company’s web applications. Furthermore, Island fends off keyloggers by entering random data into its host device’s keystroke buffer, a section of computer memory that stores the user’s keyboard input.

The company says that its browser can not only block hacking attempts but also prevent employees from using business data in breach of company rules. Island can, for example, prevent users from pasting sensitive information into an untrusted cloud application. It also enables administrators to restrict other browser features such as the built-in file download and screenshot tools.

For organizations with legacy web services, Island doubles as a kind of application modernization tool. The browser can add multifactor authentication to applications that don’t support the feature out of the box. Moreover, it’s capable of accessing legacy web services designed for Internet Explorer thanks to a feature dubbed IE Mode.

Island says that its browser is used by organizations in all “major verticals and segments.” Those organizations, the software maker detailed today, include several of the 20 largest companies on the Fortune 500 list. Workers at the enterprises that Island counts as customers have downloaded its browser more than 2 million times to date. 

Image: Island

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