What is a Secure Web Gateway, and How Does It Work?

A secure web gateway, often known as an SWG, is a sort of network security solution that stops harmful traffic from accessing an organization’s internal network. It assists with business cloud security operations, preventing users and employees from visiting harmful websites and preventing the introduction of viruses and malware. The SWG serves as a checkpoint between the organization’s private network and the traffic on the public internet. It is often located at the network perimeter or in the cloud, and it monitors both types of traffic.

Secure Web Gateway

How exactly do safe web gateways function?

An SWG is often a software- or hardware-based solution that is installed on endpoint devices or on devices that are located on the network perimeter. A solution that is hosted in the cloud is another option. In either scenario, every bit of traffic has to go via the gateway first, where it can be analyzed. The gateway is responsible for monitoring the flow of traffic in both ways, from the end user to the web as well as back to the end user from the web. As a result, it guards against insider risks that are related to the exfiltration of private information as well as external attacks that originate from the web.

Why should you utilize a protected web gateway?

In the past, most business procedures were carried out inside the confines of the company’s private network. However, because of a growing dependence on remote workforces and cloud computing, businesses are required to utilize the Internet in addition to or instead of their existing internal private networks. It also applies to online businesses that conduct trade, financial transactions, and personal info exchange online for their presence. For instance, it’s important to have different payment options as an e-commerce owner but it is equally important to encrypt each method to ensure customer safety. 

In addition, the sheer volume and diversity of dangers that can be found on the Internet, which range from phishing scams to websites infested with malware, have made SWGs an absolute need for many businesses.

How exactly do secure web gateways make sure that security rules are followed?

A security policy is a regulation that all of an organization’s data and network traffic must adhere to inside that organization. To put this policy into effect, you would need to ban websites that do not utilize HTTPS. This policy may be implemented in several different ways, one of which is by the use of a secure web gateway, which can filter out any network traffic that is not HTTPS.

To ensure compliance with security rules, SWGs can carry out a variety of operations:

URL Filtering

A website’s URL is the string of text that shows at the top of a browser window whenever that browser loads a webpage. Therefore, URL filtering is a method for controlling which websites a user is permitted to load.

The usage of a blocklist, or a list of known malicious websites that are prohibited from access, is usually when it comes to URL filtering. If a user tries to load a website that is included on the blocklist, the SWG will prevent the request from being processed, and the website will not load on the user’s device.

Anti-Malware Scanning

It means they look at the data that is being sent via the network to determine whether or not it matches the coding that is used by known malicious software. Sandboxing is another method that some gateways employ to check for malware. This method involves executing possibly harmful programs in a confined space to see how it operates. The gateway will shut it off if it finds any malicious software.

Inspection of Web Traffic in Real-Time 

A secure web gateway will perform an inspection of web traffic in real time, comparing the contents of the website to the company’s rules and guaranteeing that any material that is deemed unsuitable or that goes against the policies will be prohibited. The vast majority of solutions for secure web gateways provide administrators with the capability of enforcing standard security policy templates directly off the shelf, in addition to the option to define rules that are tailored to their particular business model or compliance needs.

Protection for Workers on Cloud

There is a growing need for security solutions that can protect any location, at any time, and using any device. This is because scattered workforces are becoming more common. Surfing users can authenticate themselves without any problems and have the same safety rules applied to their devices as they would if they were working in the office thanks to the usage of a secure web gateway. The result is a complete piece of mind that all internet traffic is safe regardless of where they are working.

Access Restrictions Based on Time and Content

If you need to limit access to the internet during certain periods of the day, your secure web gateway may be customized to meet the needs of your acceptable usage policy and compliance standards. Users may be given time limitations or timetables that are designed to guarantee optimal productivity, or they can be restricted to only being able to visit websites that are pertinent to the tasks that they play in the company.

Data Leak Prevention

As its name indicates, data leak prevention safeguards your company’s information by preventing it from being disclosed to an unauthorized third party or taken by that party. When combined with data leak prevention apps, a web security gateway can be an extremely effective line of defense against both internal and external threats. This can be accomplished by identifying common business terms such as payment card industry number patterns and phrases as well as personal data.

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Raj Singh
Raj Singh is a highly experienced digital marketer, SEO consultant, and content writer with over 8 years of experience in the industry.
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