A SWG can detect malware and phishing threats that enter a business online. It can also filter content to prevent employees from accessing distracting websites that hinder productivity. A SWG can integrate with zero trust to ensure all devices are authenticated and authorized before being allowed into a network. This reduces security risks and provides a better user experience.
A secure web gateway (SWG) is a solution that prevents unsecured Internet traffic from entering an organization’s internal network. These solutions are used by organizations to meet compliance standards, reduce cyberattacks, and protect sensitive information. A well-designed SWG can monitor and filter traffic, detect viruses and malware, and block websites that contain malicious content. It can also track and limit employee use of social media and other sites that decrease productivity. SWG security measures include URL filtering, which can help your company block websites that could lead to a data breach and reduce employee productivity. If an unauthorized user attempts to access the blocked website, an alert is sent to the IT team, and the site cannot be accessed. This is essential to SWG cyber security because it can reduce the risk of costly cyberattacks. A good SWG should also provide a zero-trust network architecture (ZTNA). This includes security tools that accurately identify, authenticate, and verify users to grant them minimally required access to organizational data, applications, and services. A SWG that incorporates ZTNA should also be able to prevent malware from spreading laterally within the organization. This is essential because disgruntled employees can launch ransomware attacks to disrupt systems and cause downtime for critical business operations.
SWGs are deployed on the edge of an organization’s network, meaning any traffic entering or leaving the network passes through them. This makes them an essential tool for detecting malware and other threats hiding in encrypted data. When a request to visit a website or use an application in the cloud travels through the SWG, it is scanned for malicious content and then for compliance with corporate policies. This prevents employees from visiting sites that could harbor malware and other cyber-attacks that can spread to other parts of the network and helps protect against data breaches. In addition, SWGs can monitor and log all activity within an organization’s network, which makes them valuable tools for detecting data loss. This is because it can detect when unauthorized data, such as credit card numbers or other confidential information, is being exported outside the company. The SWG can then block this data from leaving the organization and notify administrators for further investigation. SWGs also help to keep workers productive by limiting access to distracting websites and applications that can detract from work performance. They can also help reduce bandwidth consumption and cost by filtering unnecessary non-work-related data. This can also help reduce the risk of cyber-attacks often caused by poor network architecture.
With more and more companies moving away from traditional offices and relying on remote task forces, the need for SWGs becomes even more essential. However, cyber-attacks are becoming more sophisticated than ever. Using remote work means employees are often connected to the company network via unsecured devices on public networks, which puts the organization’s digital foundation at risk. With the rise of remote working, there has also been a significant increase in malware attacks. SWGs detect web-based threats and filter out traffic not compliant with security policies. These include URL filtering, anti-malware scanning and protection, web access and application control, and data loss prevention. When a threat is detected, an SWG will notify the administrator via integration with zero-day anti-malware solutions and alert administrators to suspicious activity on their network. In addition, SWGs offer a range of features that allow organizations to institute policies for specific users or applications, such as blocking unauthorized sites or limiting bandwidth usage for popular apps. SWGs can also decrypt SSL/TLS (Secure Sockets Layer and Transport Layer Security) connections, allowing the software to inspect outgoing data from your internal network for unauthorized transfer to external systems. This is important because it allows your IT team to detect if any sensitive data, such as credit card numbers or confidential information, is being transferred outside the network unnecessarily.
With the growing popularity of remote work, enterprises need to ensure that their employees can access their business applications remotely. This means that they need to use a secure web gateway. This solution monitors web traffic 24/7 and prevents cyberattacks from harming users or exposing personal information. Security Gateways are software or hardware solutions at the network perimeter and filter all web content for malicious activity. They also protect against internal threats such as the exfiltration of confidential data to unauthorized third parties. The best SWG solutions will offer the following capabilities:
URL Filtering: Extensive databases of URLs are analyzed and classified for content, such as sexually explicit websites, spam sites, viruses-infected websites, and more. This allows corporations to enforce policies and block access to specific sites that harm the organization.
Application Control: The SWG will allow administrators to control which web applications and widgets are allowed on the network. This helps keep productivity high and ensures that employee internet usage is limited to what is needed for the company to function.
Zero Trust: The SWG will allow the enterprise to implement a zero trust posture at scale. This will provide security functionality to users regardless of where they are working, whether on a home Wi-Fi network or at a client site with unsecure Wi-Fi.