How to Choose an Enterprise Browser

Learn more about choosing the best enterprise browser for your organization. This article dives into features, top vendors, and what to consider when researching.

Not all enterprise browsers are created equal. Here's what to consider and which questions to ask when evaluating vendors and solutions.

How to Choose an Enterprise Browser

Forward-thinking IT and security leaders realize that the most commonly used application in their organizations — the browser — has become a bottleneck to their modernization efforts. Until recently, the only available choices were consumer-grade browsers that require layers of additional security tools to resemble an enterprise application. With the advent of the enterprise browser, though, there is a superior choice. But how does one properly evaluate the options on the market to select the right one? 

The choice of which enterprise browser to deploy is a multivariate decision. Choosing the right enterprise browser requires evaluating its security, productivity, manageability, and efficiency features to ensure that it meets your enterprise's needs on all these dimensions. 

In this article, we explore the benefits of enterprise browsers, what types of organizations they make sense for, what to look for when evaluating enterprise browser vendors, and what questions to ask the vendors to help you make the right choice. 

What are the benefits of an enterprise browser?

Enterprise browsers provide many benefits that enable companies and their employees to work more efficiently and securely. These benefits can be described with four broad categories: access, performance, security & privacy, and productivity & efficiency.

Access: Enterprise browsers offer a familiar interface that provides quick access to a company’s work applications and resources. Features such as single sign-on make the login process frictionless, and provides access to SaaS, web, and non-web applications without requiring the user to switch between multiple windows. Using an enterprise browser streamlines onboarding for new staff and makes it easy to introduce new applications for existing users. This benefit extends to contractors, partners, and third parties — an enterprise browser enables them to simply log in and work using their existing hardware while giving the organization complete control over access, data security, and visibility.

Performance: Enterprise browsers are fast and responsive because they are optimized for enterprise applications, rather than for advertising like a consumer browser. One such optimization is the blocking of ads and trackers. These represent up to 20% of web requests, but they’re completely unnecessary in the workplace context. Enterprise browsers also eliminate performance delays caused by the extra layers of abstraction required by other approaches like desktop virtualization and remote browser isolation solutions. For remote or hybrid workers, an enterprise browser can eliminate the need for extra network routing and eliminate another source of latency. In most cases, an enterprise browser delivers a performance experience that exceeds the more common consumer browsers.  

Security and Privacy: Enterprise browsers enable consistent security policies to be enforced company-wide by integrating Identity Provider (IdP) verification and supporting multi-factor authentication (MFA) to verify user identity, checking device posture to confirm that the device meets security standards, and examining network and geolocation data to check the source of the request. These elements are evaluated with every access request to implement and enforce robust security policies across all browser activity. Enterprise browsers also distinguish between personal and work-related browsing to ensure privacy, and build dynamic data protections directly into the browser to prevent data loss without disrupting workflows. 

Productivity and Efficiency: Enterprise browsers are optimized for the workplace and designed to enable greater productivity and efficiency. Beyond the performance enhancements under the hood, they also integrate tools to speed up common workflows, such as a smart clipboard manager, an AI assistant, a password manager, and a PDF editor. They also offer powerful workflow automations for users who carry out repetitive tasks, which greatly enhances their productivity. Since these automations are built into the browser, automations can be used anywhere, and don’t rely on proprietary APIs or application-specific support.

What companies benefit most from an enterprise browser?

While an enterprise browser offers a wide range of benefits, they may not be right for every organization. Assessing whether your organization can truly realize the benefits of an enterprise browser before investing in one is essential. To determine whether your organization can benefit from deploying one, there are several factors to consider when evaluating its suitability for your organization. 

This list of questions will help guide your decision on whether your organization should deploy an enterprise browser. Answering yes to more than one of these means that your organization will likely benefit from one. 


  • Does your organization regularly handle sensitive data? 
  • Is the industry you operate within subject to stringent regulatory requirements that may require advanced security and compliance features?

Application Compatibility

  • Do you use a mix of both legacy and modern SaaS applications? (This situation needs tools that guarantee compatibility and seamless operation across different platforms.)

Centralized Management: 

  • Do you have to support numerous devices and types of users, including employees, contractors, vendors, and partners? 
  • Does your organization want to simplify deployment, configuration, and maintenance while enforcing consistent security and usage policies through centralized management?

Performance and Efficiency: 

  • Do you have application workflows that could be automated or optimized to increase productivity? 

User Experience: 

Digital Transformation: 

  • Is digital transformation a differentiator for your business?

What to look for when evaluating enterprise browsers

As a relatively new product category, there are a variety of products from a range of vendors that use the term enterprise browser. Not all enterprise browsers are equal in their capabilities, so it’s important to step back and consider the role this technology plays in your organization. To add lasting value to your organization, an enterprise browser must address three key areas: 

Security: Cybersecurity is often the initial driver for an enterprise browser implementation, and for good reason. Shifting your primary security controls to the browser is an opportunity to reduce complexity and tool fatigue while gaining dexterity and precision. The browser serves as the frontend for many enterprise workflows, so it’s a natural opportunity to improve security and protect from both external and internal threats. However, while security capabilities are an essential requirement for an enterprise browser, they are not sufficient alone. Some vendors focus primarily — or  exclusively — on security capabilities and leave the following two areas unaddressed. 

Business Operations: Many IT and security tools are invisible to the business. For example, a properly configured firewall, while essential for operations, goes completely unnoticed by all but the IT teams responsible for it. An enterprise browser should be the opposite. Its visibility to the business is essential in order to fulfill its potential. Lines of business should see the enterprise browser as an enabling technology that helps them introduce new services and applications quickly and safely, and gracefully support every type of user. 

User Convenience & Productivity: This final area of concern is critical and holds tremendous opportunity. A well designed enterprise browser should offer real value to the end users who interact with it every day. This should include capabilities to improve performance and minimize distractions, all within a familiar interface. User communication should provide actionable information about policies along with guidance on how to request exceptions. The best enterprise browsers will offer built-in productivity tools to optimize and automate common workflows. 

When selecting an enterprise browser, look for a breadth of capabilities that can fulfill the diverse needs of security, business operations, and user productivity. Be on the lookout for products that emphasize only one of these areas at the expense of the others. While this may appeal to the buyer or administrator, such a product will not be successful in the long run.  

Questions to ask any enterprise browser vendor

There are a handful of questions that you should ask every enterprise browser vendor you’re considering. The responses to these questions will help you choose your vendor more objectively. The following is a list of questions and key considerations to remember when evaluating the vendors’ responses.

Question: How many customers do you have of a size and industry similar to my organization?
Key considerations:
Many small vendors offer some version of an enterprise browser, and while the feature list may meet some or most of your technical requirements, other factors will impact the success of your deployment. Larger organizations usually need support for various devices, so cross-device compatibility should be one of the first things you ask about. Be sure to also ask about 24/7 customer support and global scalability, which are critical as your organization grows internationally. 

Question: Does the enterprise browser offer integrated zero-trust network access (ZTNA)?
Key considerations:
The term “zero-trust” is used to describe a wide range of technical capabilities. When exploring an enterprise browser, it’s essential to understand if zero-trust principles are applied throughout their technology stack and extend to the ‘last mile of zero trust.’ Some vendors require you to purchase additional products or integrate with other technologies to deliver ZTNA.

Question: Is the enterprise browser available on mobile devices?
Key considerations:
Mobile availability is a must in contemporary business environments; hence, the enterprise browser must support mobile devices. Some vendors may not support mobile applications for iOS and Android or offer a significantly reduced feature set for mobile. Be sure to check that full mobile support is available.

Question: Does the user experience help enable productivity?
Key considerations:
Many vendors orient their products exclusively around security requirements and treat the user experience as a secondary priority. However, user experience and satisfaction are critical in driving productivity. Ask about the speed of the browser’s performance and features or functions built into the browser to help speed up workflows and make work more efficient. 

Question: Do you offer both a standalone enterprise browser and browser extension to manage and secure the consumer browsers in my environment?
Key considerations:
Finding a vendor that supports both enterprise browsers as a standalone application and a browser extension is key, as it provides organizations with the ability to have the backend management controls they require, and flexibility in the deployment method.

The best option for a modern enterprise browser

Island, the Enterprise Browser, provides organizations with the core requirements every enterprise stakeholder  needs — from CIOs, CISOs, IT and lines-of-business, users, and everyone in between. Rooted in the philosophy that the enterprise browser should take a holistic approach and benefit everyone in the organization, Island provides a comprehensive set of features and benefits that enhance the work experience for all.

Efficiency and Cost Savings: By deploying Island, some of the security tools, endpoint agents, and IT solutions previously needed to secure and enable the enterprise will be negated by Island’s core functionality. These built-in features lower the cost and effort involved in licensing, deploying, maintaining, and supporting the infrastructure for additional solutions.

Application Provisioning: Every user in your organization gets a personalized workspace with all the applications that they should have access to, whether they’re SaaS, web applications, or non-web apps. We support the latter via Secure Shell (SSH) or Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), removing the need for desktop installation. This makes the onboarding process more efficient and improves the user experience.

Analytics and Data: Island provides analytics on application usage and performance. This data, combined with workflow insights, helps organizations optimize application spending, identify and remediate performance issues, and inform IT strategy to maximize business value.

Remote Access: Island supports the burgeoning trend for remote work by removing the need for traditional VPN or virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solutions. Secure remote access for employees or contractors outside the corporate office is built into Island, empowering employees to access their applications from anywhere, using any device they want. 

Data Protection: Island builds dynamic data protections into the browser, which enables you to create policies that prevent data leakage. With Island, you can protect sensitive data from being improperly downloaded or uploaded before it leaves or enters the browser and set your policies to govern the exact scenarios in which screenshots, copy/paste, saving, or printing can be executed. This granular level of control allows data to move freely between work applications while preventing it from being leaked elsewhere.

Safe Browsing and Password Protections: Island helps stop phishing attacks before credentials are compromised and blocks access to unsafe or inappropriate sites. It also prevents password exfiltration or interception through local malware like keyloggers and builds in an integrated password manager that’s optimized for enterprise use. Island also supports privileged access management (PAM) workflows—users can authenticate with credentials assigned to them without ever having to see a password.

Zero Trust Security: Organizations can easily implement a zero trust security framework across a wide range of deployment scenarios. Island’s zero trust security framework is integrated into the browser, emphasizing user identity verification, device compliance, and least-privilege access to resources, thereby mitigating a broad range of cybersecurity threats. 

Productivity and Automations: Island has built-in ad blocking to remove distractions and speed up browsing and it includes tools that help users to be more productive. These include an AI assistant, a password manager,  a smart clipboard manager, and a PDF editor. Users who carry out repetitive tasks can simplify these tasks using Island’s workflow automation feature. Best part of it all? These automations are built into the browser and can be leveraged across any application.

True enterprise browsers deliver multifaceted ROI. Settle for nothing less.

Enterprise browsers come in various guises. The majority are focused on security, and while security is a critical feature, the contemporary needs of the enterprise extend far beyond that. Modern organizations have to realize the most from their investments in tools and people, and the leading enterprise browser solutions generate an ROI that impacts more than one dimension.

An example? Read about how Hendricks Motorsports enhances productivity, security, and data analytics, while ensuring seamless and secure access for their diverse team with the Island Enterprise Browser.