Many of us have been affected on our computer or tablet by a virus, spam or malware while surfing the internet. This is not a new problem, but a problem that is growing at an alarming rate. Hackers from all over the world are watching you and looking for information that the can steal or use against you.
So what is your defense against the latest virus, spam or malware? Is it one of the top anti-virus protection software like McAfee or Symantec’s? If so that is no longer enough to keep your information safe. Despite the best intentions of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome, web browsers remain a most dangerous place. Some people cannot help visiting nefarious sites or clicking on dodgy links in their e-mail. And browsers are all too eager to let folks give in to temptation. Some malicious bit of code makes it way from the browser onto your computer, your e-mail and bank accounts are compromised; days later, an 18-year-old in Slovenia has a new hot tub.
This has troubled Branden Spikes for many years. Branden Spikes has worked for many companies like PayPal, Ebay and SpaceX alongside Elon Musk and at a later time been faced with the challenge of protecting ideas that the U.S. government deems national secrets and that the Chinese government deems of interest.
Having dealt with constant bombardment from spammers and hackers, Branden Spikes created a company called Spikes Security in 2012 and this week he announced his new web browser called “AirGap”. The basic premise here is that instead of running a browser directly on your PC, laptop, or mobile device, you run it inside a Spikes Security data center. The company keeps the browser software on its servers and then essentially streams a video of your experience using the browser to your computer; anything nasty you click on can’t infect your computer because the browser software is running elsewhere. The Web page gets built in the cloud, and you sort of watch a movie of it. This means you have total isolation from any malware.
Spikes Security has more than 20 corporate customers using the AirGap browser, with the finance, film, aerospace, and pharmaceutical industries showing the greatest early interest. The companies can opt to run the AirGap browser software in their own data centers or funnel the traffic through Spikes Security’s data center.
Consumers, however, will have to wait. “We don’t plan on doing a consumer browser,” Spikes says. “But one of our customers, like a carrier, might. They could purchase it and offer it to their customers. It would help them reduce malware on their networks.”