SWGs inspect inline internet traffic and block malware, viruses, phishing and other threats from entering the organization’s internal network. They also perform MITM inspection on SSL-encrypted traffic to prevent attackers from hiding behind encryption.
A good SWG can track online employee activity and help IT and security teams control data leakage from sanctioned applications by limiting file size uploads. This functionality helps to ensure that employees only use approved cloud apps for work.
Protect Your Network from Malware
As more and more work is done outside the office, it is important to ensure that employees have safe and secure internet access. A secure web gateway (SWG) helps to do just that by filtering out unsafe content from web traffic and ensuring that any downloaded files are safe. This helps to prevent cyber threats and data breaches from happening.
A SWG is similar to a proxy server because it acts as a firewall between the network and end users. It scans inline web traffic and protects the organization from malware, viruses, and phishing attacks by inspecting inbound and outgoing data. It also enforces corporate and regulatory policy compliance and provides data loss prevention (DLP) that intercepts any unauthorized data transfer and blocks it from leaving the network via web channels.
SWGs can be deployed as a SaaS gateway in hardware appliances or the cloud. Many organizations use both types of SWGs: a hardware appliance in the offices and a cloud-based one for remote workers. Regardless of your kind of SWG, keeping up with security updates and new features is critical to ensure your protections are always up to date.
The SWG also performs a MITM inspection of SSL/TLS encrypted data to look for any malicious information and prevents it from entering the network.
Enforce Your Internet Usage Policies
The layered defense against web-based threats requires multiple devices that work together. A secure web gateway (SWG) is one of those devices. It can be a hardware or software solution on the network perimeter, at endpoints, or in the cloud. A SWG monitors traffic going to and from the web, enforcing acceptable use policies for websites and cloud applications.
An SWG security uses multiple tools and techniques to detect potential threats, including URL filtering, antimalware protection, and content inspection. Depending on the vendor, some SWGs include data loss prevention that intercepts outgoing communication containing sensitive information like security credentials or controlled documents like engineering drawings.
An SWG can be integrated with your zero-day antimalware solution to provide detection and prevention, as well as with your security monitoring solutions like SIEM and NGFW to ensure that you’re notified of any issues as soon as they occur. Some SWGs also integrate with your threat intelligence feeds to provide a real-time look at emerging threats and attacks as they emerge on the web.
An SWG can also include a remote browser isolation (RBI) solution, preventing malicious code and data from being introduced into the organizational network by running all active principles in a disposable virtual container outside the normal endpoint browser. This allows employees to continue working on their favorite apps while reducing risk and protecting data without disrupting productivity.
Block Unsanctioned Web Apps
A secure web gateway (SWG) uses various technologies, including URL filtering, SSL inspection, antimalware protection, content inspection, and threat detection, to identify potential threats like malware and phishing. It also enforces organizational security policies like blocking websites or restricting access to specific apps based on roles and departments.
SWGs provide a layered defense against malware and phishing attacks, prevent the unauthorized transmission of sensitive data over the internet, and help meet regulatory compliance requirements such as GDPR and HIPAA. They can be deployed as on-premises hardware or software appliances or as cloud-based services.
Next Gen SWGs enable you to monitor behavior for apps and cloud services, define granular acceptable use policies, invoke adaptive procedures based on app risk, user risk, context and activity, coach users away from risky apps, and protect sensitive data with encryption or redaction. They also support real-time data loss prevention (DLP) to detect unauthorized outgoing data and stop it from leaving the organization’s network.
With this new feature, you can automatically tag apps and domains as unsanctioned in the Microsoft Defender ATP Indicators experience and block these apps on endpoint devices. This automatic blocking will override any organizational scoping you have set manually on indicators. These tags take up to two hours to propagate to all endpoint devices and block the corresponding apps in Microsoft Windows Defender SmartScreen.
Inspect Downloaded Files
Security is paramount for a successful business, with employees accessing websites and cloud applications to do their jobs. Traditional network infrastructures, however, are no longer effective for this task because they were designed to protect a perimeter-based network and cannot handle the demands of today’s cloud-based world. SWG solutions bridge this gap by protecting organizations from cyber threats and enforcing internet usage policies.
SWG solutions monitor web traffic to identify potential threats, like malware or phishing, and enforce organizational policies, such as blocking certain types of content. To identify these threats, they use various techniques, including URL filtering, antimalware and antivirus protection, SSL/TLS inspection, and content inspection. They can also incorporate user behavior analytics (UBA) to detect risky patterns of user activity and data loss prevention (DLP) to prevent sensitive information from leaving the network via the cloud.
While SWG solutions can be deployed as hardware appliances, most businesses opt for a cloud-based gateway solution. This offers a more flexible and cost-effective option for many organizations. It also eliminates the need to upgrade hardware as it becomes obsolete, reducing costs and downtime for the organization. Organizations with existing hardware investments can also opt for a hybrid solution combining on-premise and cloud-based SWG functionality. This allows them to leverage the best features of each deployment method without the technical debt associated with legacy firewall architectures.