HP acquired security company Bromium, announcing the purchase on Thursday afternoon. Much as Intel, AMD, Nvidia, Microsoft, and other major vendors hoard key pieces of computer technology, HP may be trying to corner the market on a unique piece of browser technology it already uses.
Bromium technology already underlies HP’s Sure Click feature, which locks every individual browser tab inside of its own virtual machine. Theoretically, any piece of malware on the tab can’t “see” anything more than the tab upon which it resides, protecting the browser as well as the PC host.
Bromium also supplies what it calls Secure File technology, which does the same for each individual download—Office documents, PDFs, and the works. If the file isn’t marked as trusted, it will be opened in what Bromium calls a micro virtual machine.
We’ve previously looked at how virtualization seems to be a key Microsoft technology within the company’s own Windows Server products, and how virtualization-dependent features could translate into the consumer space via Windows 10 Pro. A central component of that is Windows Sandbox, which dramatically expands what Bromium is doing. Instead of wrapping each file in a virtualized environment, Sandbox virtualizes the entire Windows OS, building a Windows PC within a PC. Microsoft doesn’t have a direct analog to Bromium’s technology.
According to HP, the Bromium technology will be used in conjunction with its existing Sure Sense AI-driven antimalware solution on the Elitebook 800 G6; its Sure View display technology; and Sure Start, a secure boot technology. HP didn’t disclose how much it paid for Bromium.