Secure Web Gateway (SWG) is an excellent approach to protect your data and implement your security policies.

As cyberattacks are increasing, many security solutions seem to fail against them. Not only big businesses but also small and medium-sized businesses are impacted due to such risks.

Data breaches, malware attacks, and other deadly cyberthreats are posing greater risks to businesses and consumers alike.

Therefore, implementing a better, advanced solution that can combat such issues and avert them is important.

Secure web gateways are one such technology. 

In this article, we will understand what SWG is, its capabilities, and some of the best SWG solutions you can look up to.

What Is a Secure Web Gateway (SWG)?

A Secure Web Gateway (SWG) is a cybersecurity solution that protects systems and data and helps enforce security policies in a company. It filters malware and harmful content from internet traffic to stop data breaches and cyber-attacks and blocks unauthorized users.  

An SWG ensures the users access only approved and secure sites while blocking the rest. It comes with advanced security capabilities to detect and restrict malicious traffic. Some sophisticated SWG can also protect an organization’s sensitive data such as personal information, confidential documents, intellectual property, etc.

Features of SWG

Secure web gateway solutions usually contain technologies and features like: 

  • URL filtering 
  • Application control 
  • Anti-malware scanning and blocking
  • Content filtering
  • Data loss prevention (DLP)
  • SSL inspection
  • Social media prevention
  • Multiple protocol support
  • Integration with security solutions like zero-day solutions, anti-malware software, monitoring tools, etc.

How Does a Secure Web Gateway Work?

Secure web gateway solutions are installed as a hardware device or software component at user endpoints or on a network’s edge. SWG solutions can be of different types:

  • Software-based SWG: It runs in the cloud as a SaaS-based application or on an organization’s premises.
  • SWG running on a proxy server: It can be a virtual machine (VM) running in the cloud or a physical server located at a place
  • SWG running as on-premise devices: It can be a hardware system connected to an organization’s IT infrastructure.

Irrespective of how they are deployed or run, each type of SWG works in a similar fashion. It acts as a gatekeeper and monitors web traffic for risks, malicious content, URLs, etc. And all the incoming and outgoing web traffic must pass through this gateway.

In order to differentiate bad vs. good traffic, it maintains a list of approved and known sites and permits traffic from those sites while blocking all the others. This list is secured in the SWG solution’s database and applies the filters when web traffic tries entering or leaving an organization’s network.

For example, when a user tries to access a site, this request first goes to the SWG instead of directly reaching the targeted site. At this time, the gateway or SWG solution inspects this request by checking it against the accepted list and security policies. The SWG passes the request only if it falls under the list and doesn’t violate any security rule.

For outgoing traffic, a similar pattern is followed. When someone tries accessing your network or site, the SWG in use will inspect this request against its set of security rules and allowed list. If the request seems legitimate, the SWG will permit the traffic to pass; otherwise, it blocks it right there so it cannot reach your network or systems and infiltrate your data. This way, the SWG helps protect your data, systems, network, and other digital assets.

Why do Businesses Need SWG?

Enterprises both big and small need a secure web gateway due to its advanced security capabilities.

Traditionally, businesses used to run only on-premises systems using just the internal network. Today, the business scenario is changed. Now, people are working from anywhere using any device, system, and network. Also, businesses are relying heavily on cloud computation for services and solutions that can help companies automate tasks and increase flexibility, productivity, and speed.

Although these technologies have increased convenience and given plenty of benefits, cybersecurity risks have expanded further. Cyber attackers are finding new and improved ways to infiltrate your systems and steal data and damage your reputation and customer trust.

Hence, technologies like SWG are highly useful for every business type since no one is safe these days, irrespective of business size. SWG can be deployed and run anywhere and provide security everywhere. Here are the various benefits it can provide businesses with:

Detecting and Preventing Cyberthreats

Web traffic can bypass security solutions such as firewalls.

But an SWG solution has capabilities to detect potential threats, malicious code, vulnerable data, etc., easily that are embedded in web content. An SWG via a poxy can monitor complete sessions carefully to find violations and harmful agents.

SWG may include evolving attack signatures dynamically to increase its detection capability. It can also offer the latest web intelligence correlating with endpoints, emails, records, files, etc., to create threat profiles. This way, it can provide all-around protection from cyber threats.

Exposing Harmful Encrypted Traffic

Secure sockets layer (SSL)-based web traffic is increasing, and a large amount of this data is not generally analyzed for threats and policy violations. However, attackers can use encryption to hide malware and deploy their harmful intent.

SWG solutions come with an SSL inspection feature to monitor and block harmful code encrypted in web traffic. This way, you get superior protection.

Better Security Control

You can visualize and control your traffic better using an SWG solution since it has advanced capabilities. It can log events continuously and monitor all the activity happening in your network.

This helps you get superior control and protection over your network. In addition, if you have a remote workforce with employees and contractors working from any part of the world, SWG will be beneficial since you can deploy it anywhere.

Maintaining Compliance

Data privacy is a big concern due to increased cybersecurity issues like data breaches. There are also people that sell personal information illegitimately to other parties for their financial gains. All these pose harmful impacts on businesses and people due to their exposed data. Using SWG, you can protect your data as it monitors web traffic 24/7 and prevents risks.

Maximizing security ROI

You can integrate SWG solutions with other security solutions such as monitoring tools, anti-malware software, etc. It also extends across environments from on-premise to cloud. Hence, you can utilize your current security tools in combination with an SWG solution. It will help you maximize your security investments. 

So, if you are looking for the best secure web gateway solution, here are some of our recommendations. 

Perimeter 81

Deploy the secure web gateway easily for your business with Perimeter 81 and protect your critical resources and employees from web-based threats. It helps you prevent shadow IT, filtering malicious sites, tracking web activities, and defining bypass rules. 

As maximum security breaches happen due to human errors, Perimeter 81 monitors network traffic for enforcing compliance and malicious activities with privacy regulations to secure human error. 

Using Perimeter 81 helps ensure every employee uses only authorized sites for work-related purposes. You can even control their activities of accessing certain content with custom URL filtering rules. In addition, this solution is easy to deploy and manage.

Prevent security issues by defining some limitations and boundaries across the network. You can take the help of logging and monitoring to gain complete insight into users’ activity. Plus, use Perimeter 81’s monitoring dashboard to filter reports to specific sites, web categories, or employees.

Prevent web-based attacks today by deploying the best-in-class secure web gateway, Perimeter 81, for your organization. 

Zscaler

Get AI-powered security for every application, user, and location with Zscaler secure web gateway. It offers SaaS-based security solution with fast internet and safe access with the world’s most popular cloud-native Security Service Edge (SSE) platform.

Experience a superior approach to network security with Zscaler and start using it from now to secure your gateway. Allow your security policies to travel everywhere along with the users by moving your security to the cloud. This will protect all your applications, locations, devices, and users 24/7.

Zscaler ensures a seamless and fast user experience by eliminating backhauling, simplifying network administration, improving performance, and more. In addition, it performs in-line inspection of every internet traffic, such as SSL decryption to stop advanced attacks, zero-day malware, and ransomware.

Your employees will get secure and fast application access from anywhere across the globe. It will also help you move your security from legacy network to zero trust architecture to protect your business from cyberthreats. 

Zscaler is keen to provide the most holistic information protection solution. In addition, it will help you modernize your infrastructure security to stay on the top. It is available in simple editions specially planned according to your needs. 

Zscaler can eliminate lateral movement and reduce attack surfaces with superior data and cyber threat protection. Deploy the cloud service along with zero infrastructure to start using the security within 24 hours.

Cisco Umbrella

Experience the cloud-based secure web gateway with better visibility for your business and get advanced protection with Cisco Umbrella. According to Radicati Market Quadrants, Cisco is a top player for web security.

Cisco’s Umbrella SWG offers better transparency, protection, and control over your security, and is great for organizations looking for a more efficient and multi-use security solution. You get proxy capabilities to enhance performance while minimizing risks through controlling, inspecting, and logging web traffic. 

Umbrella provides a wide range of web security features in one place, without requiring separate solutions for each. It offers complete visibility on every anti-virus, malware protection, web traffic, decryption, content control, granular app activity controls, and sandboxing in an effortless user interface.

Furthermore, you will get a flexible, efficient, and consistent cloud-based protection for every location, simplifying management, incident investigation, and more from a single console. This will save your time and money. 

Forcepoint

Make the web a safe place for users to access it from anywhere through Forcepoint’s Secure Web Gateway. It can stop advanced threats that are hidden in your dynamic web content. With in-line security scanning and full content inspection, it helps reduce risk and protect the web against malware.

Facepoint offers CASB, NGFW, DLP with flexible redirection and connectivity. Direct Connect allows switching between in-line proxy enforcement mode, secondary enforcement mode, local enforcement mode, and the default. You will get cloud, hybrid, and on-premises architectures so that you can deploy it anywhere at your own pace. 

Forcepoint Secure Web Gateway can keep your users safe from malicious threats, such as zero-day threats, with remote browser isolation, deep content inspection, and threat intelligence. Its Web DLP module gives DLP engine to secure data exfiltration over the web.

All the security policies can be enforced consistently for every user at any time whether at work, traveling, or at home. It partners with Tier 1 networks for better and faster connectivity. You will also have the flexibility of deploying this solution when, where, and however you want.

Explore its secure web gateway moe and submit a request to get a FREE trial.

McAfee

Get the next-generation secure web gateway for your business with McAfee. It is a cloud-native web security solution that provides security and connects your workforce with any application and device from anywhere.

McAfee offers a unique experience of distributed workforce and productivity. You will get the most advanced protection from the latest data and cloud threats. It also comes at an affordable price to help you enhance security with scalability and reliability but without spending a fortune. 

Keep your workforce working remotely without any complications with the help of McAfee Hyperscale Service Edge, which runs on a cloud fabric and guarantees 99.999% uptime. Connect your users to the service edge and establish a foundation of a SASE architecture.

There will be no risk of data loss since McAfee comes into action. Now, you do not need to be worry when users visit cloud applications or websites. McAfee introduces multi-layer security to prevent zero-day threats. It will prevent malicious code from reaching your device by employing RBI technology.

McAfee SWG is coupled with SD-WAN to deliver the world’s best protection and provide the fastest route to SASE deployments. Take your next step with McAfee now and secure your enterprise. 

Avast

Don’t allow any web threats to attack your network; block them before they can enter your network with Avast Secure Web Gateway. It makes network traffic security simple and easy without on-premise appliances and additional proxy servers.

Protect your business and clients from the threat floods by filtering web traffic consistently and eliminating malware. It is easy to deploy and allows you to manage the solution across multiple locations. 

Avast directs all the devices automatically to the nearest data centers for ultra-fast connections. It acts as a vigilant security guard by reporting, processing, and observing many requests every day. The moment it detects an unauthorized address, it instantly starts inspecting threats.

It can categorize threats according to the risk factor into dozens of options so that you can get constant updates of the entire security network. Avast introduces CloudCare for you so that you can use cybersecurity services with ease. It can monitor all the threats from a single dashboard and resolve issues remotely from any device with the free support tool.

Kaspersky

Secure your organization’s network from unwanted web attacks with Kaspersky Security. While everyone depends on the internet for their work and prefers working remotely, It helps you secure your applications, data, and network so everyone can work safely, from on-premiese to remote.

Kaspersky offers protection against almost all web threats, such as ransomware, miners, phishing, and malware. It helps reduce risks and boost your productivity by managing internet usage. Kaspersky also provides multi-layered threat protection that combines machine learning and analysis with global threat intelligence to blocklist threats and prevent attacks.

Kaspersky can reduce the risk of phishing through deep learning and reputational data across the globe. It restricts certain sites and categories and blocks the access to traffic from some applications in order to reduce the risk of user distraction. You will also get an all-in-one or standalone, ready-to-use appliance for hassle-free and quick deployment. 

Moreover, it blocks some content transmission to eliminate the risks of infection and maintain data security. Whether you are an enterprise, telecommunications, retail, government, gas, oil, or energy company, Kaspersky is ready to serve you well.

Conclusion 👩‍🏫

Secure web gateway (SWG) is an advanced security tool for modern businesses to protect against cyberattacks. You can use a good SWG solution from the above list to ensure your network, data, and systems are safe. 

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