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Startup SquareX Targets Browser-Based Attacks

SquareX runs headless browsers in data centers on the user's behalf so that threats never reach the user's machine.

Dark Reading Staff, Dark Reading

May 10, 2023

2 Min Read
A lock against a dark screen saying "attack"
Source: Alexander56891 via Shutterstock

Startup SquareX has emerged from stealth with plans for a "disposable browser" for users to access the Internet safely and privately.

The bulk of a person's daily computer activity occurs within a Web browser, whether for playing games, looking up information, communicating with others, or accessing various applications for school or work. More than half of the respondents in a recent Forrester Research survey said they are "doing all their work in the browser," says Paddy Harrington, a senior analyst for security and risk at Forrester.

SquareX aims to protect these users from various browser-based attacks, such as phishing, identity theft, and session hijacking, by allowing them to open links and files in a cloud environment so that anything malicious will be contained and never reach their devices. SquareX is not creating a new browser but rather an extension that will connect a user’s browser to the cloud service. The idea isn't so different from other browser isolation technologies on the market, but it's geared toward the individual user.

SquareX tackles endpoint protection differently from most endpoint security products, as it doesn't try to block access to potentially malicious files or resources. Users often disable security products or otherwise bypass controls in order to access the flagged materials — thinking it may be the product's error or worrying that they need to still complete their tasks. SquareX's focus is to neutralize threats by containing malicious files and processes in temporary "container sandboxes."

SquareX is taking a "protection approach, where irrespective of how new and sophisticated the attack is, it has no chance to infect users," said Sequoia partner Anandamoy Roychowdhary in a statement. "This is the future we think all internet users deserve."

The company announced $6 million in a seed round led by Sequoia Capital Southeast Asia. SquareX founder Vivek Ramachandran was previously the founder of cybersecurity training startup Pentester Academy. SquareX is planning a beta version for later in the year.

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Dark Reading Staff

Dark Reading

Dark Reading is a leading cybersecurity media site.

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