Secure web gateways have become more critical as employees work remotely. They help prevent confidential data from leaving the network, such as social security numbers, credit card information, and medical records. A secure gateway acts like a traditional proxy server, mediating between endpoints and Internet servers. However, it also performs threat scanning, content inspection, and application control.
A secure web gateway (SWG) is a security device between your employees and the internet. It inspects incoming and outgoing traffic, ensures that the content complies with company policies, and blocks access to malicious or inappropriate websites and applications. This helps prevent data breaches and other threats that can infiltrate the network.
The cost of a SWG can vary, depending on its features. Some offer a software-based platform that can be hosted in the cloud or as an appliance. Others support an in-line connection and require that all web traffic be sent to the device, which may add costs. A good SWG should also be scalable and can handle future growth. It should also be integrated with your existing infrastructure.
SWGs can detect and protect against various threats, including malware, spyware, viruses, and Trojans. In addition, they can also block phishing attacks and other types of unauthorized data transfer between company and personal accounts. They can also prevent data leaks, a key component of a zero-trust network.
Unlike legacy infrastructure, which backhauls all internet-bound traffic to the data center for scanning and inspection, SWGs can detect and protect against new and unknown threats in real-time. This eliminates the need for costly hardware appliances and reduces complexity by removing bottlenecks and minimizing lag times.
Secure web gateways (SWG) solutions monitor web traffic to ensure it complies with organizational policies and regulations. They can be on-premises or cloud-delivered and act as a proxy between endpoint devices and the internet, inspecting web requests and preventing access to malicious websites and applications. This allows organizations to protect employees and their data from threats.
Many SWG solutions provide various security services, such as IPS, antivirus, and URL filtering. However, the ability to run these engines in parallel depends on the appliance’s capacity. Smaller appliances often need more scalability and inspection capabilities. Next-generation SWGs offer a range of security and networking technologies, including application control, CASB, and DLP, that can work in tandem to deliver a single solution for protecting the entire network. By combining security and networking technologies, next-generation SWGs can minimize latency and improve performance while offering a single platform for managing web and cloud app security and compliance policies. They can also help reduce complexity by reducing false-positive security alerts, decreasing alerts from other security products, and making it easy to manage policies and updates anywhere.
Secure web gateways (SWG) are software or hardware solutions on the network perimeter. As such, all traffic to the Internet goes through them first. The SWG inspects this traffic for malicious code, threats, and other policy violations before it passes along to end users. This happens through a proxy architecture where the SWG terminates and emulates all attempted URL connections and then analyzes them using security and content filtering, antivirus software, sandboxing, or other threat detection techniques.
SWG solutions also offer native or integrated data leak prevention, which helps prevent unauthorized applications from accessing sensitive information. This feature is handy for distributed companies that rely on remote workers. SWGs can protect these employees by requiring them to use a company-issued device or web browser that runs through the gateway.
This way, the company can monitor all internet-bound traffic and ensure it is aligned with corporate policies. This is impossible with legacy infrastructure, which requires all traffic backhauled to the data center for scanning and inspection. This can significantly slow down traffic and create a poor user experience. In addition, these legacy systems are designed with something other than mobility, the cloud, and device scaling in mind. They can make it difficult to manage security policy across multiple devices. In contrast, a SWG solution can scale effortlessly to meet the organization’s needs, regardless of location or what devices its employees use.
With cyberattacks at an all-time high and remote workforce relying on software as a service (SaaS) to do their work, secure web gateways are a necessary part of any layered security strategy. SWGs perform two primary functions: they filter out unsafe content and block risky or unauthorized user behavior.
SWGs typically run on proxy servers, which act as intermediaries between a device and its destination. This allows them to examine web traffic in real time, ensuring that the response from the server meets company policy. They can also intercept a request and redirect it to another location for additional analysis, such as sandboxing or data loss prevention (DLP).
A cloud-based SWG minimizes the number of hardware appliances that must be procured, configured, and managed in the environment. This reduces complexity and overhead costs while minimizing the impact on performance. The latest SWG solutions offer more advanced features than previous generations. They often include remote browser isolation (RBI) solutions that prevent malware and other malicious code from entering the organization’s network. They also feature a broad range of access and application controls to protect users from unwanted websites, applications, and devices.