5 Key Features to Look for in a Reliable Secure Web Gateway Solution

Secure Web Gateway

A secure web gateway monitors web traffic and applies policies to protect the organization and users from cyberattacks. It also prevents data loss by ensuring all incoming and outgoing files are safe before they reach the organization’s systems and networks.

Sophisticated Threat Detection

A secure web gateway (SWG) is a network security tool between internal users and the internet, performing functions such as URL filtering and visibility, malicious content inspection, granular application control, and more. All outbound web traffic is routed through the SWG, which allows it to enforce policies around who, what, where, and when a user accesses the internet. This can prevent unauthorized users from downloading and distributing sensitive corporate data, such as social security numbers, credit card details, medical information, or intellectual property.

A top-rated SWG such as from Versa Networks will monitor and inspect outbound web traffic to detect any unauthorized patterns or phrases that match known data breaches, such as those that include the terms “social security number,” “credit card details,” or “intellectual property.” This can prevent malware from calling home or downloading payloads while blocking unauthorized data from the network. 

Enhanced Visibility into the Organization’s Network

With cyberattacks increasing in volume and sophistication, a reliable SWG solution is essential to a layered security approach. It helps organizations enforce acceptable usage policies and minimizes network security risks by controlling, inspecting, and logging business internet traffic.

A typical SWG proxies all web traffic, monitoring each packet in real time for content compliance with organization policy. It uses a database of allowlists and blocklists to filter incoming and outgoing traffic, preventing users from connecting to inappropriate sites. Most SWGs also include a data leak prevention (DLP) solution that monitors all data moving in and out of the enterprise, restricting or blocking pre-approved data traffic only.

A robust SWG solution can help protect against the growing threat of “crimeware as a service” and other malware that bypasses endpoint protection. It also supports the security needs of remote workforces by requiring them to use a secure gateway before they can access the organization’s data and applications from work-from-anywhere devices. 

Sophisticated Application Control

A Secure web gateway is a network security tool that acts like a gate that controls entry into an organization’s data and applications. All Internet traffic passes through this gateway, inspecting each request to ensure it complies with an organization’s security policies. This prevents cyberattacks and data breaches when users click on malicious links or download malware-infected files from unsecured websites.

A robust SWG solution provides multiple features to thwart these threats. For example, it should include URL filtering, a technique that compares each incoming web request against lists of known bad websites and blocks access. It should also provide sandboxing functionality, which runs suspicious code in a controlled environment to check whether it’s malware.

A reliable SWG should also offer remote browser isolation (RBI), which protects users when disconnected from their VPN. This feature routes web traffic to a virtual container where the website is run in read-only mode to prevent credential theft, malware injection, and other attacks that use exploit kits. 

Sophisticated P2P Coverage

A Secure web gateway is a firewall and security filter that monitors real-time Internet traffic to ensure it aligns with the organization’s security policies. A good SWG protects users from malware encountered via user-initiated Web and application access, reduces the risk of data breaches, and helps to maintain compliance standards such as PCI and GDPR.

Firewalls operate at the packet level, checking each incoming and outgoing packet for malicious content or suspect URLs and blocking or allowing each. SWGs operate at the application level and inspect web page content to remove malware, suspicious elements, or other threats, preventing them from reaching endpoints to steal sensitive information, launch attacks, or infect devices.

A reliable SWG solution combines URL filtering, web application control, antimalware and threat detection, data loss prevention, and SSL inspection to provide a comprehensive web security platform that is easy to deploy, integrate, and manage. The result is a cost-effective and scalable solution designed to meet your business’s growth plans while helping simplify your environment, accelerate cloud migration, and reduce deployment and integration tasks for limited IT staff.

Sophisticated Endpoint Protection

A secure web gateway solution (SWG) sits between the Internet and an organization’s internal network. It looks at all incoming and outgoing Internet traffic to ensure it complies with an organization’s acceptable use policies, blocking any traffic that does not. SWGs can also inspect SSL-encrypted Web traffic to ensure it is not used to conceal malware or sensitive data from unauthorized users. In addition, some SWG solutions can perform data loss prevention (DLP).

This feature is very similar to content filtering in reverse: it checks outbound traffic for patterns and phrases that match social security numbers, credit card information, medical records, and intellectual property. It then redacts or blocks this outbound data to prevent breaches and ensure that confidential and sensitive information stays within the company.

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