Business Why SquareX thinks it can save you from cyber...

Why SquareX thinks it can save you from cyber attackers and fraudsters


“Conventional cybersecurity products don’t work well for consumers because they get in the way,” said Vivek Ramachandran, founder and CEO of the Singapore-based start-up SquareX. “They’re so unproductive that many consumers end up just deleting them,” he warns.

SquareX, announcing today a $6 million seed funding round, therefore takes a different approach to conventional cybersecurity products such as antivirus software and firewalls. “Our slogan is that we let consumers be fearless online,” says Ramachandran. “We will never block a document you want to download or a website you want to visit, even if it has a problem, such as malware.”

In which case, how do consumers stay safe online? The answer is what SquareX describes as a disposable browser. The technology works like an extension that you add to your existing browser of choice; every time you go online, you have the option to do so through one of SquareX’s disposable browsers – in which case you visit sites and open attachments in a safe space in the cloud, far away from your own device.

This approach is sometimes described by information security specialists as a remote browser. Conventional products work by blocking access to documents and sites that are considered potentially suspicious. With a remote browser, on the other hand, you can access anything you want—and even work on it—because you’re doing it remotely; the site or document never touches your device, so it doesn’t matter if it is full of malware and other nasty stuff.

The advantage of the remote browser approach, according to SquareX, is that people can get on with their lives without having to think about security. In an era where more people than ever are working remotely, the way conventional cybersecurity products keep you from accessing what you need online is a growing annoyance, it says. “Safety and security shouldn’t get in the way of productivity,” adds Ramachandran. “They should just be there in the background.”

The company is also keen to pitch its solution as an alternative to the virtual private networks (VPNs) that many internet users now use to get online. VPNs allow people to go online anonymously without their data being tracked — and to access sites that are sometimes restricted to browsers from certain jurisdictions — but they can be slow and clunky. SquareX’s disposable browsers offer another way to achieve the same goals.

If these ideas sound appealing, it’s worth noting that as far back as 2017, market analyst Gartner identified remote browsers as an exciting growth area for cybersecurity. internet browsing sessions from corporate endpoints and networks,” it emphasizes.

So far, however, the concept has been relatively slow to take off, particularly in the consumer market. A recent study suggests that the global third-party browser market – dominated by enterprise customers – is worth just $4.1 billion; however, the forecast is an average annual growth of 18% over the next decade, until the market is worth $22 billion by 2033.

Consumers can stimulate this growth, says Ramachandran. The big players in the consumer security market have no incentive to take a new approach – risking cannibalizing their existing market – but start-ups like SquareX can make a significant impact. The company’s approach will be aimed at young internet users and early adopters, with influencer marketing seen as a potentially important way to get the message across.

The company has a freemium model. Users can install the SquareX extension in their browser for free and use it for free for up to one hour per day. Those who want to use the application longer pay a monthly fee between $8 and $15 depending on their exact needs.

It’s a value proposition that SquareX’s investors believe can quickly gain traction in this developing market. Today’s $6 million seed round is led by Sequoia Capital Southeast Asia, which hopes consumers will recognize that third-party browsers offer more security.

“Any cybersecurity solution out there is only likely to succeed in protecting internet users, which is not very pleasant when they get hacked and lose money,” argues partner Anandamoy Roychowdhary. “SquareX is the first solution we’ve seen that takes a 100% protection approach – where no matter how new and sophisticated the attack is, it has no chance of infecting users.”

Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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