Talon and Island battle for browser safety
Today, our browsing activity is not limited to surfing the Internet. In the era of cloud computing, more and more professional enterprise applications are operated from the browser, instead of a dedicated application, making the browser the de facto operating system of the computer. . So it’s only natural that browsers have become a primary focus for the cybersecurity industry.
This goal began several years ago with solutions such as Remote Browser Isolation (RBI), which transferred all browser activity to a remote server in the cloud to protect the user’s computer from Internet attacks. . This solution is considered very secure and used by government and military agencies, but it is very expensive and has long response times. israeli startup Keep, which was founded in 2018, has developed a lighter and cheaper solution with a browser security add-on for small private and business customers, which protects against phishing attacks and malware on the Internet. By the end of 2021, Guardio reported that he had over a million users.
Browser security is also the scene of one of the most intriguing rivalries among Israeli startups. Cyber Security Talon and Island. The two startups, which launched products in the past year, Talon in late 2021 and Island in early 2022, offer a similar secure browser solution for businesses – a new area that didn’t exist before.
What makes the competition particularly interesting is that Talon and Island were founded by a pair of experienced entrepreneurs who previously spearheaded releases worth hundreds of millions of dollars each.
Talon was founded by CEO Ofer Ben-Noon and CTO Ohad Bobrov. Ben-Noon previously co-founded vehicle cybersecurity company Argus, which protected cars from cyberattacks and was sold to Continental for $430 million. Bobrov co-founded Lacun Security, which developed security solutions for mobile phones and was sold to Check Point for $100 million.
Island was founded by CEO Michael Fey, former CTO of McAfee and senior executive of a startup sold for $4.5 billion and CTO Dan Amiga, who developed an early RBI with FireGlass, which was sold to Symantec for $250 million.
Based on the innovative concept, and no less important the reputation of entrepreneurs, Talon and Island raised large sums of money from well-known investors. Last week, Talon raised $100 million, after raising $26 million previously. Island has raised $220 million since inception, with its latest funding round in March 2022 giving it a valuation of $1.3 billion, just two months after unveiling its product. Island is the largest company with 130 employees, while Talon has 75 employees.
Both companies continue to strongly claim to have developed the first enterprise browser. Talon launched its enterprise browser first, but Island says it started developing its product first.
Similar products, different ambitions
Israeli secure browser Talon raises $100 million
Cybersecurity co Island raises $115M at a $1.3B valuation
Talon and Island’s browsers allow companies to remotely set security definitions for users, such as blockable sites and certain downloads, to prevent malicious elements from entering computers. In addition, content uploaded by users is kept encrypted from the operating system to prevent malicious elements from infiltrating corporate systems. The browser may also block screenshots or the ability to copy and paste information. Both browsers are built on Google’s Chromium open code, which is what the world’s two most popular browsers are built on – Chrome and Edge. This fact provides users with a familiar feel which makes it easy for them to get used to the new browser.
While the products of Talon and Island are very similar, the difference between the two companies mainly lies in their ambitions. Talon is more modest and designed its browser for a certain type of user – those who access company systems remotely from their PC. These users do not have the protection software installed on the computers managed by the company and therefore their access to the company system is more dangerous. According to Talon, this market is sufficiently large and complicated, especially in the era of hybrid work and on-demand work based on contractors.
Talon’s solution, designed for companies with thousands of employees, is intended to replace the use of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), in which the user logs in remotely from a separate office. in the cloud and is therefore protected against threats on his physical computer. VDI is a very convenient and popular method for remote connections.
On the other hand, Island presents itself as a global solution that can become the browser used by the entire company, including all the computers it manages. While Talon focuses on protecting enterprise applications against infiltration and data leaks, Island presents itself as protecting everything from everything. Island also targets the enterprise market, but also sells to small businesses.
To endear you to users while keeping your finger on the pulse
Both companies are still in the early stages of selling, but the large sums paid to them demonstrate that investors have very high expectations. The main question is whether companies will really be successful in getting their users to switch from the browsers they know and love to work with a more secure browser. Talon and Island must build a product that is almost a consumer product but also appeals to a wide audience and not just professionals. Browsers are also evolving at a very rapid pace with additional features and security updates, so both companies need to keep pace so they don’t get left behind.
Additionally, both companies focus on browser security and don’t protect apps that run separately – apps like Slack for business, for example. Israeli start-up in the start-up phase Red Accesswhich raised $6 million in a fundraising round, tries to tackle this problem by protecting all browsing, regardless of its origin, by passing it through a filtering server that checks suspicious pages and analyzes the files.
Google’s Chrome browser itself also has a version for business, which includes options to set and change the user’s security policy. While Talon and Island’s product may be better and broader, if Google decides to invest in its own version, it could be very serious competition for the two budding startups.
Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on August 11, 2022.
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