108: The Citrix Session: Citrix Features Explained: Browser security in Citrix Secure Private Access

Jul 1, 2022

Swift and easy access to information is the lifeblood of productive remote work. You want your hybrid workers to be able to easily browse the internet for whatever insights and resources they need to do their best work — but how do you protect these users from browser-based attacks? It’s tempting to adopt strict browser policies to liberally block any site or app that might be risky, but draconian internet policies can frustrate your hybrid workforce. This can lead to users devising complex and vulnerable workarounds to access the sites or apps they want to access, which puts your organization at risk.

This is why Citrix Secure Private Access offers remote browser isolation and security capabilities. Using secure browser, Citrix Workspace Browser, and the mobile web viewer for Citrix Workspace, your hybrid workers can easily access the sites and web apps they want in a safe browsing experience. This protects users from browser-based attacks and malware to create proper internet security policies without disrupting the remote work experience.

Host: Andy Whiteside
Co-host: Geremy Meyers
Co-host: Todd Smith

WEBVTT

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Andy Whiteside: hi everyone and welcome to episode 108 of the citrix session i’m your host Andy why so i’ve got to sit rights with me.

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Andy Whiteside: here on the call I tell you what guys I JEREMY you would know this place, maybe a spirited cyclist up in Davidson North in I walked in there Friday I didn’t mean to I take my son to the dentist.

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Andy Whiteside: The bike shop is right beside the dentist I saw exactly the bike i’ve been looking for kind of looking for, and so I just started talking to the guy and I end up buying it.

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Andy Whiteside: You know I i’ve needed a bike my bike 20 years old, it weighs 1000 pounds it’s horrible it’s a horrible mountain bike I needed a bike.

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Andy Whiteside: I deserve a bike I bought a entry level specialized was not that Nice of a bike but still nice long story short i’ve got on my citrix shirt.

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Andy Whiteside: And the guy who owns the bike shop asked me what a citrate was and he automatically associated with citrix because, as I started talking he started talking about his.

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Andy Whiteside: His file storage aka share file aka citrix files so it’s it’s still out there, people still still have an idea what it is.

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Andy Whiteside: that’s a while.

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Geremy Meyers: that’s very well that’s awesome.

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Todd Smith – Citrix: i’ve got relatives and either still think I worked for the gotomeeting company.

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Andy Whiteside: Well, and you still try to explain to them, where you just let it go.

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Todd Smith – Citrix: I just let it go.

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Geremy Meyers: You just let it go yeah sometimes it’s not the juice isn’t worth the squeeze.

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Andy Whiteside: Well guys i’m going to share my screen Well, first of all, how are you doing how have you been what’s going on in your world JEREMY i’ll start with you.

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Geremy Meyers: Oh man, so I just got back from vacation I spent a week and Alaska slash the Pacific Northwest so i’ve never been up there before and.

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Geremy Meyers: it’s pretty amazing so we did a cruise seven day cruise and we made the trip up the Juno got out and the little hiking saw I saw a glacier that was pretty amazing it made our way back so we’re good time good time.

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Andy Whiteside: I did that trip the reverse order from anchorage down to Vancouver when I was 13.

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Andy Whiteside: wasn’t wasn’t the most exciting cruise for a 13 year old to go on.

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Andy Whiteside: But yes i’ve been there i’ve been there twice since then for work which has been awesome to go, and you know spend some time and work and how you can do stuff if you haven’t been gotta go.

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Geremy Meyers: You gotta go you gotta go so you’ve done citrix work up in September work up in Alaska.

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Andy Whiteside: citrix work up and enrich.

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Andy Whiteside: I am I left there thinking Oh, I need open an office here there’s so much opportunity well working with the state in the organization and there’s, no, no, not allowed citrix partners up there yeah yeah.

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Geremy Meyers: there’s a there’s a there’s a town and so i’ve found out because it wasn’t you know right before she moved to juneau she lived in kings cove I want to say.

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Geremy Meyers: Okay talk, which is, it is the last peninsula before the illusions, you know shoot out towards roster right and she mentioned to me that the next closest big town was anchorage which was 1000 miles away so just to put the whole thing in perspective, like how big that state is.

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Geremy Meyers: yeah it’s ridiculous.

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Andy Whiteside: I was listening to.

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Andy Whiteside: Something recently I think on national parks or maybe it was something else yeah Maybe it was like the Andrew Jackson error of politics and.

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Andy Whiteside: Oh no, it was actually related to yeah it ended up in the civil war and steward the Attorney General or the Secretary of State at the time, he was the one trying to buy Alaska.

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Andy Whiteside: Actually, they tried to buy it before the civil war and then after the civil war, they revisit it and nobody understood why and now it’s a no brainer that was that was that was a deal.

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Geremy Meyers: It wasn’t deal yeah.

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Todd Smith – Citrix: It was originally called seward’s folly because of because of that.

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Is.

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Andy Whiteside: Before I go to Todd here for what’s new and todd’s world JEREMY I have to ask how did your virtual desktop performed from a cruise ship, I know you tried.

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Geremy Meyers: I didn’t try I didn’t even remotely try.

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Geremy Meyers: With the Internet, first of all, they had the Internet on the cruise ship is notorious and that stretch of of water for not working in general, so we got a little Internet the ports, but when you were cruising up and down the straight.

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Geremy Meyers: yeah even the whatever satellite service they’ve got was was not good, so I tried to turn it off, I thought about it.

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Andy Whiteside: But I didn’t.

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Geremy Meyers: I didn’t try it at all.

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Todd Smith – Citrix: well.

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Andy Whiteside: I mean kudos to you for turning it off it’s also then that’s pretty a guidance right, I mean what we do in the world of uc digital workspace vdi, if you will, in some cases, many cases.

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Andy Whiteside: Look, I mean there’s a there’s a time to know when the whole time and time to know when to fold them and, in some cases it’s not the right solution because of that pesky your network thing that you know it’s extremely important to be stable, reliable vast.

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Geremy Meyers: yeah.

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Geremy Meyers: yeah, although I will say this we’ve got I don’t think I can name drop, but we do have some cruise lines that we’re leveraging our branch for Peter, you know, for that kind of use case just working from the ship’s doing that sort of thing.

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Andy Whiteside: Well Todd you may remember, and I know we got a limited amount of time here so don’t that memory lane year, but there was somebody on my team has a citrix se that was like a week or two at a time got to go on a cruise ship and do you see where do you remember this.

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Todd Smith – Citrix: yeah there was a one of the one of the one of the cruise lines out of Miami had they had a couple of things that they were that they were investigating right one of them was the entertainment system.

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Todd Smith – Citrix: was going to be delivered via PBS right so they’re going to have all of the devices booed off of you know, an image, based on what type of device, it is so if it’s a crew facing device, it was going to have a obviously a crew image, if it was going to be something in a state room or a.

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Todd Smith – Citrix: or any of the the hotel areas of the the ship, they were going to have that and then there was another one for purely entertainment right yeah so very similar to some of the old wise use cases that they had with some of the hotels yeah where they wanted to be able to deliver.

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Todd Smith – Citrix: You know, Internet access via a PC experience, without giving them putting a PC in every single room.

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Andy Whiteside: yeah I love that you just touched on, I think three different types of potential virtualization concepts, one would have been streaming virtualization.

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Andy Whiteside: One would have been presenting virtualization which would have been the virtual desktop but, most people call the virtual desktop streaming that’s not provisioning services is streaming.

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Andy Whiteside: presentation is that one, and then you know machine virtualization potentially with what was called Zen client.

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Andy Whiteside: would have been another use case and all the things you just said and.

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Andy Whiteside: You know the truth is that the day the presentation virtual desktop hosted virtually you know back on some containerization solution.

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Andy Whiteside: And then presented to wherever has ultimately one out and that’s because of that network thing we’re just talking about has gotten better and better and better, to the point where on airplanes now sometimes it’s a great experience and sometimes it’s still crap but it’s getting there.

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Geremy Meyers: Believe it or not, this is going to be a good segue today’s topic so i’ll just go out there there’s a tease.

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Andy Whiteside: All right, real quick Todd anything, important that we know about, in your role going on.

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Todd Smith – Citrix: yeah so a couple of things up in the Boston area, we had a we finally hit 90 degrees over the weekend, so people are complaining about the heat, whereas three months ago they were complaining about the cold, so you know so cycle of life up here.

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Todd Smith – Citrix: But other than that you know it’s great seeing everyone seeing everyone’s kids graduate from high school college kindergarten you know nursery school.

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Todd Smith – Citrix: it’s you know it’s that time of year and it’s great also to hear people are taking some time off and enjoying themselves and kind of finding a way to disconnect from work either.

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Todd Smith – Citrix: By doing it intentionally by not paying attention or not not trying to work while they’re on vacation or unintentionally like having a ship that doesn’t always have great reliable Internet access.

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Andy Whiteside: So this week is the week is integrity gives away our bronco or Ford bronco with our work has no boundaries campaign, and you know, I think, as I say that out loud sometimes i’ll make work has no boundaries yay and then i’m like work has no boundaries, no.

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No.

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Andy Whiteside: Well i’ve committed to work to live live to work live to work so i’m toast anyway.

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Andy Whiteside: Alright, so for today’s topic we have a concept from citrix I want to review, let me share my screen.

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Andy Whiteside: And this concept around citrix is where you guys are using your blog workspace is workspace.

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Andy Whiteside: To talk about explain features and I, you know centered so over the past 10 years has really come out with new things to try to move beyond not run away from the move beyond.

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Andy Whiteside: The virtual desktop virtual APP presentation world i’m a huge fan of the the old product name presentations server because, as a truest I thought it really.

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Andy Whiteside: It really did exemplify what the product did of course marketing guys didn’t like it too much.

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Andy Whiteside: But now we’re talking about things like you know how to how to allow people to work remotely but work securely without having to go through that.

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Andy Whiteside: Virtual presentation layer guys any just kind of general ideas and we’re going to do a bunch of these features explain this one’s called this is, I Stephen bells bills citrix features explain this one’s a browser security in citrix secure private access.

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Andy Whiteside: Can you give any comments on just the overall concept of why it’s important that citrix starts to break down each feature and explain them one, at a time.

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Geremy Meyers: um man, so I know from a security perspective, we like to talk about citrix being a part of a layered approach to security so there’s lots of parts and pieces that make up a security strategy right so.

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Geremy Meyers: You know, trying to walk in the door, with a customer with just an organization and have a discussion around you know just citrix security, I mean that’s a that’s a loaded question right so.

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Geremy Meyers: You know, there is a lot that sectors can do as a part of that strategy, I think it’s very helpful to break down just where some of these parts and pieces fit, so I mean secure browser is a.

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Geremy Meyers: First of all, is a great use case but I mean listen, you know, at the end of the day, you know Andy before I even took this job.

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Geremy Meyers: 10 years ago if you were to ask me the question what’s the number one published application in a presentation server farm, so what I did there, what would you tell me.

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Andy Whiteside: Well, so I would tell you and I don’t know if you’re saying this question because you know i’m going to answer answer different events I say windows like windows Microsoft windows, is that application that’s most widely available through a presentation phone.

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Geremy Meyers: or you’re not wrong, but what would be the second most.

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Geremy Meyers: yeah popular.

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Geremy Meyers: Published application.

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Andy Whiteside: And that’s the Andy answer and people look at me weird but I truly believe that is the answer, however, the second most widely and probably the one I did the most of in my career as an admin is a browser.

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Geremy Meyers: it’s a browser yeah yeah, so I think.

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Geremy Meyers: You know, and why were folks doing that right, I mean the biggest thing was number one.

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Geremy Meyers: A lot of cases, honestly, it was trying to get users access to an internally based APP right, so you know how do you do that without a vpn that’s all part of the story.

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Geremy Meyers: But at the same time, you know, even if it’s an externally facing APP you know, can I.

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Geremy Meyers: publish that through citrix and, more importantly, route some security around it right, you know so a lot of the reasons folks were publishing things for presentation service, because they can control copy and paste printing.

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Geremy Meyers: You know, things like that you know, but you introduce that into a browser you know what are your options yeah.

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Todd Smith – Citrix: If I can add one thing on here as well, there were so many applications out there that were being accessed via browser.

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Todd Smith – Citrix: That any change to that browser could render that application either not performing at all or.

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Todd Smith – Citrix: subpar right so so having the ability to publish out a specific version of the browser with the plugins already added in and all of the features in the security settings.

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Todd Smith – Citrix: built in there, it really kind of it became a stopgap measure to restricting people’s access but also providing something that the it folks could actually support and support well.

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Andy Whiteside: So Todd true or false malicious people took down my company application portfolio.

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Andy Whiteside: More then Andy whiteside the systems administrator did.

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Todd Smith – Citrix: i’m gonna say it depends.

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Right.

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Todd Smith – Citrix: But but it’s true true or false, it would be oftentimes it’s a user error.

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Todd Smith – Citrix: it’s causing us.

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Andy Whiteside: yeah I took the whole thing down the middle day flicked the switch okay that fixes that Issue No problem next thing you know the phone’s ringing everybody’s down because I systematically made a change to something and, at least in the world of presentation, I can put it right back.

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Andy Whiteside: versus getting the button that says okay roll that back and roll this in.

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Andy Whiteside: which can take forever.

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Todd Smith – Citrix: Well, and the other thing end that a lot of a lot of the software vendors, the the browser vendors have trained us to do is just click randomly and just to accept all updates except.

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Todd Smith – Citrix: by default when we add in a plugin or we we add or change the configuration settings right so taking that control away from the SIS admins and the security professionals has really cause some havoc out there, and a lot of organizations.

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Todd Smith – Citrix: what used to be under the control of the IT folks is now being pushed over towards the end users, which can have a huge impact on both security, as well as performance yeah.

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Andy Whiteside: hey so guys i’m in the world of citrix when it comes to secure private access related to a browser.

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Andy Whiteside: I think there’s at least three items to be covered i’m not sure exactly which one’s this one’s covering.

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Andy Whiteside: Where we’re actually controlling the flow of the data back and forth through some type of.

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Andy Whiteside: You know proxy mechanism there’s the secure browser which is embedded in the workspace APP and then there’s a secure browser workspace service where it’s actually launching the browser.

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Andy Whiteside: Somewhat seamlessly very seamlessly to the end user, but in some other data Center where you’re totally isolating it other than the screen shots to come across what is this blog specifically covering or is it covering all of them.

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Geremy Meyers: I think it’s covering all of them right So the first thing first it talks about to that last thing to flow right or, I guess, maybe i’m going to i’m going to i’m going to butcher the flow here but.

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Geremy Meyers: Ultimately there’s there’s two things that this this blog that are definitely hits on is what does that user experience like what is the user clicking on and what’s launching whatever they do the clicking so.

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Geremy Meyers: If i’ve got a URL that i’m clicking you know I think there are two ways for that URL to be presented to that end user.

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Geremy Meyers: The first one is there is a service that citrix hosts called the secure browser service, and that is basically a.

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Geremy Meyers: You know we’d like to call it, throwing browser but it’s a browser instance that.

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Geremy Meyers: will launch that URL inside of containerized browser that’s off your data Center so think about the original discussion where you publish the URL Andy off your presentation server farm here’s an F bar.

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Geremy Meyers: That that black that browser actually sat in your data Center this one actually sits off site in fact citrix hostess they manage it, they update it and maintain it.

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Geremy Meyers: And the nice thing about it is, is once you click the link and it fires up, you know that instance is created, it renders your your web page.

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Geremy Meyers: will skip the flow right now, just to say that it also works with internal Apps within your data Center so we can broker into an internal web APP.

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Geremy Meyers: But as soon as that user closes the tab guess what that browsers gone so along with any of the data that presented so that’s an pretty important concept.

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Geremy Meyers: The other thing that this article hits on is there’s also a browser embedded within any of the modern workspace Apps so if you’re launching this not from.

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Geremy Meyers: Not from the workspace for web, but from your local workspace APP.

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Geremy Meyers: Then it’ll actually initiate that local browser session within workspace which by the way, the security controls that you give the same ones, you get in the browser services just whereas that browser hosted either a in the browser service or be launched from the workspace APP so.

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Geremy Meyers: Does that make sense.

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Andy Whiteside: No, it does for me I just find that, for whatever reason, a lot of legacy citrix customers, or even new ones they’re just so understanding that citrix is this presentation virtualization company.

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Andy Whiteside: That they don’t even know these options exist and and you really don’t even think that way until you start thinking digital workspace as a solution and then all of a sudden, you know left turns right turns go straight turn around go backwards l become doable within one pane of glass.

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Geremy Meyers: Yes, I had a customer recently that we went down this path with and they showed me what their user experience was for their positions right.

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Geremy Meyers: And the way it works is they launched their emr and once they were inside their your margin their emr was hosted within the data Center it’s being delivered with you know see bad right.

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Geremy Meyers: And once they got into that emr sitting on a desktop inside their data Center we noticed that there was another page that popped up and guess what that was it was literally.

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Geremy Meyers: A URL they just had a web mix and they would click any of those web links and it would take them somewhere else now Andy you and I both know that physicians don’t like a lots of clicks.

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Geremy Meyers: Right, they want to, they want to click something to get right into it, and so, when I showed them.

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Geremy Meyers: You know, and this was literally a list of maybe 1620 different web links, I said hey you know what if we took those web links outside of this internal portal and presented those right inside of workspace.

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Geremy Meyers: And they could click that link it was like a game changer for them right they had no idea that that was even an option, why no one had ever talked to them about it, so we did to your point, we did, and it just kind of opened up a lot of possibility that and considered.

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Andy Whiteside: Well, and I, and I blame citrix because of the success of all the other stuff people just kind of you know there’s still people this day that are just now learning about routing protocols and how magical, that is, I saw my first one in 1999.

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Andy Whiteside: The success of that is kind of dwarfed all this other stuff but this other stuff is where it’s going next.

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Andy Whiteside: As you know, the world of SAS becomes more and more mainstream every day for everything.

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Geremy Meyers: yep nope you’re absolutely right you’re absolutely right now I think what’s different is the fact that you can apply those same policies that were used to doing with presentation server.

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Geremy Meyers: to any of these web links and that’s a game changer right so certainly I can do some single sign on these websites that’s great.

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Geremy Meyers: But being able to wrap that same level security to it, and you know, then today also bypass the vpn just like I couldn’t before again that touches on that that network flow you just discussed, but you know we’ve got a way to broker internal websites.

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Geremy Meyers: Even if they’re rendered locally on my device yeah.

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Todd Smith – Citrix: Well, not only that, but also being able to control the access right, so you have it, based on role based access, controls, but also being able to.

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Todd Smith – Citrix: to manage and control cut and paste and clipboard functionalities and printing printing functionalities as well within the browser even though it’s you know, coming from a from a secure browser service or from a secure browser inside the workspace APP.

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Geremy Meyers: yeah and that link right there you’ve got up right now Andy that’s a great flow, so what that does is, if you launch that i’m not saying do it here, but it takes you through the flow of the same web APP with a security controls turned on or not turned on so again it’s policy driven.

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Andy Whiteside: has helped me understand where.

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Andy Whiteside: Where the networking for some I.

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Andy Whiteside: can’t believe i’m drawing a blank on this, but the overall concept of routing your client in user browser traffic through in and out of some technology to make sure it’s clean or sanitized first what is that called.

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Geremy Meyers: You are we have what we have two different solutions here so i’m not i’m not quite sure which one you’re hitting on we’ve got.

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Geremy Meyers: Secure Internet access, which is really more filtering out based outbound traffic yeah but then we also have you know another solution that will basically it’s client lists access into internal web Apps you know that sort of thing too so which one, are you are you thinking of.

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Andy Whiteside: I guess i’m thinking of client list X some.

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Andy Whiteside: I can’t i’m drawing a blank on the concept of being able to have in users proxy through something you know the old days of a Microsoft proxy.

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Andy Whiteside: But now we’re doing it through a service that is expecting inspecting the traffic along the way, so that if things that we know are bad or malicious type of activities are happening in that traffic we’re able to call it out and stop it.

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Geremy Meyers: Are we taking a laugh so.

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Geremy Meyers: yeah like a like a web APP firewall.

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Andy Whiteside: Well, not really i’m not really on the endpoint the end user, the thing like eyeballs type technologies What are those call.

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Geremy Meyers: I gotcha I gotcha so that is a citrix secure internet access and the idea behind that guy is there’s an agent that would sit on either the employment or even within a virtual.

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Geremy Meyers: Virtual desktop you know share desktop and you know you need the traffic that’s outbound would get scrubbed.

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Geremy Meyers: You know, through the service so let’s say, for instance republishing that browser you know even there was an APP session or adapt session.

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Geremy Meyers: You know any of that outbound traffic is being scrubbed and the policies that we enable or everything from you know just just site content to you know dlp I mean the list of what you can scrub and again manage that data.

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Geremy Meyers: is pretty lengthy, but the idea behind that is scrubbing the traffic within the session that makes sense.

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Andy Whiteside: Now boy, and that agent, you talked about the beautiful thing is you’re already going to have the citrix workspace APP on there it is inside that that workspace APP correct.

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Geremy Meyers: It is yeah.

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Andy Whiteside: Well guys, I know you both had to go at the bottom of the hour, I do too so it’s probably fine I think what we’ll do is as a follow on to this conversation will do secure access.

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Andy Whiteside: Next, so we take the the browser story and then this story time to together, and then we move on to the other.

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Andy Whiteside: 20 features, we got to cover for our listeners and try to expand everybody’s horizons beyond see that and beyond presentation server and when frame and metaphor.

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Andy Whiteside: All the beautiful successful things that we all thought was a magical in, and still is, I mean I don’t want to diminish that still is, but there’s so much more that we need in a digital workspace strategy.

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Geremy Meyers: Absolutely i’m looking forward to it.

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Andy Whiteside: tada got the New York excel thing coming up right, so you just.

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Todd Smith – Citrix: We do we have a CDC XL event coming up on July 27 it’s going to be a Yankee stadium, we got a we’ve got a great lineup of.

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Todd Smith – Citrix: presenters including Joe Kim who is our chief product officer we’ve also got Christian Riley who’s one of our he’s our chief product strategist when it comes to technologies.

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Todd Smith – Citrix: We also have several CT peas and other folks that are going to be joining us it’s a full day event registration is available go to my cdc.org.

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Todd Smith – Citrix: And it’ll probably prompt you to create a new account because the platform did change but go ahead and register for that event once again it’s a great opportunity it’s free of charge.

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You know.

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Todd Smith – Citrix: There is a limit on the number of people can register so register now.

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Todd Smith – Citrix: it’s a great opportunity to go here what’s the latest and greatest from not only citrix, but a lot of our innovation partners and ecosystem partners, as well as well as going to visit to the hallowed halls of Yankee stadium.

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Geremy Meyers: Is that going to be virtual as well, but they’re going to do a an in person, but also make it virtually.

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Todd Smith – Citrix: No, this is a fully in person event.

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Andy Whiteside: Well Todd i’m going to go ahead and start planning my trip.

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Todd Smith – Citrix: i’ll be there.

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Andy Whiteside: And they gotta run we’ll see you next week.

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alright.

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Todd Smith – Citrix: Have a safe fourth of July.