Supporting Legacy Web Apps in the Modern Era

Tad Johnson

If you’re supporting a legacy web app and want to bring it into the modern era, here are three ways The Island Enterprise Browser can help.

Supporting Legacy Web Apps in the Modern Era

2022 marks the end of the Internet Explorer era, with Microsoft ending all support for IE11. While it’s no surprise that modern browsers like Chrome, Edge, and Safari have replaced the legacy Internet Explorer, there are still many organizations who rely on legacy web apps developed years ago and seldom updated. These legacy tools are often critical to some business process and difficult to replace (hence why they’re still in use today). 

1. Add Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Many legacy web apps were built before MFA was a common practice. Refactoring the login and authentication flow to support MFA is a daunting task for old, brittle code. So, while it’s a universal best practice to use a second factor during authentication, it may be impractical if not impossible.

The Enterprise Browser can change that: the browser integrates with your enterprise Identity Provider so every user is identified and authenticated with as many factors as you like. You can go further and require a one-time code on when a user navigates to a web app–giving you the security benefits of multi-factor authentication without touching the legacy source code.

2. Access shared credentials without disclosing passwords

Another challenge for legacy apps is managing shared credentials. In an ideal world, every user would use their own credentials to authenticate; in practice it’s not uncommon for legacy systems to rely on a shared administrator account. When common credentials are shared among several users, you lose visibility and control over user access. And revoking credentials for a user when they leave the organization can be inconvenient (or worse, left undone).

The Enterprise Brower can help: you can store shared credentials securely and make them available to specific users or groups. When the user reaches a login page, the browser will offer to auto-fill the credentials. Unlike using a shared password manager, the actual password is never disclosed to the user. Since every user is identified within the browser, you get an accurate record of every user and every login event where shared credentials are used. Password rotation is much easier, with a single place to update in the Island management console. And revoking credentials is as simple as removing that user from the access list in your IdP.

3. Support Internet Explorer 11 compatibility

As published by Microsoft:

The Internet Explorer (IE) 11 desktop application ended support for Windows 10 semi-annual channel on June 15, 2022. Customers are encouraged to move to Microsoft Edge with IE mode. IE mode enables backward compatibility and will be supported through at least 2029.

In global web browser market share, Edge holds about 4% behind Safari (20%) and Chrome (63%). Rolling out Edge with IE mode is a sizable effort for a rather limited benefit. It doesn’t answer either of the issues addressed above, so MFA and shared credential challenges remain unsolved.

The Enterprise Browser is a better choice: it’s built on the same Chromium browser engine as Edge or Chrome, so it looks and feels familiar. It offers IE11 compatibility mode so you can run legacy web apps in a separate tab, and it can solve the other legacy web app challenges listed above. Of course it doesn’t stop there–The Enterprise Browser is built for the modern workplace with security and user productivity in mind.

Tad Johnson
Product Marketing Manager

Tad Johnson is the product marketing manager at Island and joined in 2022. He previously led product marketing and product management groups at Jamf, building the leading Apple Enterprise Management platform.

You might also like