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Over the past two years, many organizations have shifted to a remote workforce with employees accessing business-critical environments from home. Protecting sensitive data is a vital part of securing a remote workforce. Hysolate has recently introduced a solution for securing sensitive data called Hysolate Free for Sensitive Access.
What is Hysolate Free for Sensitive Access?
I reviewed the Hysolate Free offering that allows isolating risky end user activities in a virtual machine. The Hysolate Free offering works like a sandbox that enables you to isolate risky activities from your host machine. However, in reviewing the market trends and user feedback, Hysolate realized that it was providing a way to isolate risky activities but not isolate and protect sensitive activities.
For users who wanted to achieve the opposite of what Hysolate Free offered, protecting sensitive activities in an isolated workspace, Hysolate Free did not solve their use case. Now, with Hysolate Free for Sensitive Access, Hysolate provides a solution that isolates access to sensitive websites, documents, and apps from within a sensitive-access virtual machine running locally.
If you think that you can do much of the same thing in a VMware or Hyper-V VM running locally, you can accomplish much of the same separation. However, the power of the Hysolate solution is the security automation it provides, which makes the solution seamless and easy to use. One of the main reasons that an isolated local VM environment fails to be used effectively is that it is cumbersome. For example, simply remembering to open certain websites in a sensitive VM can be challenging.
In addition, Hysolate Free for Sensitive Access provides additional security protection against threats and malicious tools, such as ransomware, phishing, keylogging, screen capturing, and human-error data leak threats.
Features of Hysolate Free for Sensitive Access
Let's talk about the features of Hysolate Free for Sensitive Access. The new solution from Hysolate offers the following features for securing your sensitive data:
- Redirect sensitive websites to the Hysolate VM
- Risky website access on the sensitive VM will redirect to the host environment
- Everything in the sensitive VM is encrypted—This feature helps to protect against ransomware extortion
- Admin rights are withheld on the Hysolate VM
- The isolated VM protects against keyloggers and screenshot captures
- The isolated VM environment contains separate instances of Edge/Chrome, so it is isolated from any browser hijacks and malicious plugins on the host system
- There is no access to USB devices or printers in the isolated VM environment
- The isolated VM environment is reset to a pristine OS image each time the isolated VM starts/restarts
One of the nice things about the Hysolate solutions, including the new Hysolate Free for Sensitive Access, is the ease of installation and configuration. You don't have to worry about configuring the underlying virtualization layer and the tedious settings often required for it. Instead, the Hysolate installation takes care of the details. The installation process is a "next, next, finish" process.
Hysolate will ask for your email address to begin setting up the Workspace.
Hysolate will email you a one-time passcode to continue the Workspace configuration.
You will also be prompted to install the browser redirection extension in Chrome automatically. It is also available in Microsoft Edge. The browser redirection extension seamlessly passes web links from the host browser to the Hysolate Sensitive Access Workspace.
After configuring the options for your browser extensions, the Workspace will begin preparing.
After the setup of the Workspace finishes, you will see the Hysolate Workspace icon in the system tray.
Configuring Hysolate Free for Sensitive Access
For users who are new to Hysolate, simply download ‘Hysolate Free for Sensitive Access’ from this link.
On the Hysolate flavor menu option, you will see the Change flavor button under Sensitive Access.
Once you choose to change the flavor of the installation, you will be prompted to confirm the change.
The Workspace will reconfigure itself.
If you want to view the keyboard shortcuts for switching between Workspaces or install the browser extensions (if you chose not to install them during the initial configuration), click the Guide menu.
The Hysolate Free for Sensitive Access browser extension uses the same icon as the system tray utility.
Press the Windows key + Alt + Left arrow/Right arrow to switch between your host environment and the Hysolate Sensitive Access Workspace.
The Hysolate Browser Redirection plugin does an excellent job of identifying websites that are most likely sensitive in nature, which you would want to open in the Hysolate Sensitive Access Workspace.
Wrapping up and final impressions
The new Hysolate Free Sensitive Access offering is a great option to provide a secure environment for accessing sensitive data. There is a lot of robust functionality contained in Hysolate Free for Endpoint Threats and Sensitive Access Workspaces. Like the Endpoint Threats solution, the Sensitive Access solution does what it says it can do.
I think the use case provided with the Sensitive Access solution fits a broader group of enterprise customers and helps round out the Hysolate product portfolio. In addition, Hysolate also offers a fully managed enterprise OS isolation solution for end users that businesses can use to control business-critical and sensitive data access.
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You can download Hysolate Free for Sensitive Access here.