The German cybersecurity government service BSI has declared Firefox the safest web browser. The agency did this after testing based on its own safety guidelines. Other browsers fall short in terms of transparency, among other things.
The BSI carries out the tests to advise government bodies and companies in the private sector on the use of internet browsers. The agency has tested Firefox 68, Google Chrome 76, Microsoft Internet Explorer 11, and Microsoft Edge 44, which is not yet based on Chromium. Browsers such as Safari, Opera and Vivaldi have not been investigated by the BSI. The agency used its own safety guidelines, which the BSI revised in September. The guidelines include support for tls, support for extended validation of security certificates, and support for sandboxing. Browser updates must also be signed and verifiable, and companies must have a local blacklist with blocked URLs.
According to the BSI, Firefox was the only tested internet browser that met all requirements. The other browsers fall short in the area of organizational transparency and the browsers also lack support for a master password function. Also, Chrome, Edge and Internet Explorer can not block telemetry collection, also known as data collection by companies, for example. Edge and Internet Explorer also do not support custom browser profiles and different configurations.
Internet Explorer made a mistake on most points. For example, the browser has no built-in update function, no options for different browser profiles and no support for some important security concepts, such as SOP , SRI, and CSP. Internet Explorer 11 came out in 2013 and is no longer supported by Microsoft. Earlier this year, the company advised against the use of its browsers. It is, therefore, no surprise that the browser does not comply with the BSI security guidelines as a result.