cake_pk_v2For computer security and Web browser experts, September 1 might be one of the holiest days of the year. On that day eight years ago, Google debuted the first public beta test of its Chrome Web browser, whose emphasis on speed and security changed people’s expectations for navigating the Web.

The engineers behind Chrome, which now commands 49.83 percent of the overall browser marketplace across computers, phones, tablets, and consoles, according to analytics firm StatCounter, still constantly struggle alongside their competitors to stave off threats to consumer security. As Simon Crosby, founder and chief technology officer of enterprise browser security provider Bromium says, securing browsers as they deliver websites to devices is no small task.

“On one end point, the browser is the most demanding application, has the most lines of code, is the most demanding of CPU. It is what defines the end point vulnerability,” Crosby says. “Why is it such a big deal? Because whenever I browse someplace, it’s inherently trustworthy.”

Developing and maintaining highly capable browsers that protect consumers from threats to the software programs and the content they deliver is a great responsibility. The Web, despite and largely because of its complexities, remains the most versatile tool available to consumers and developers.

This week, The Parallax is examining the current state of browser security. We launch this special report with a look today at why browsers are hard to secure, and what developers are doing to keep the Web safe and viable.

On Tuesday, graphic designer Pinguino Kolb and I present an interactive timeline of key moments in browser security, from the 1991 debut of Nexus through today. On Wednesday, we take an in-depth look at how one company wants to improve the quality of Web ads while protecting its user privacy. And on Thursday and Friday, respectively, contributing writers Kristin Burnham and Malena Carollo present ways to make your browsing experience safer with and without add-ons.

Thank you for reading, and thank you to Kristin, Malena, and Pinguino for contributing to our latest special report. We welcome direct feedback via social media. You can also reach me at seth@the-parallax.com.

Seth Rosenblatt

Editor, The Parallax