Cyber threats like phishing, malware, and ransomware are delivered via web-based channels. SWG helps organizations detect and block them. SWG inspects HTTPS traffic – the security protocol that makes up over 90% of all web-based internet traffic. Look for a SWG that can automatically identify malicious or compromised SSL connections.
What is SWG? A secure web gateway (SWG) is a security solution that prevents unsecured internet traffic from entering an organization’s internal network. Employees accessing the Internet on their devices introduce security risks to the organization’s network. This is why it’s essential to have a secure web gateway that can filter BYOD web traffic and apply policies for users based on their roles. SWG solutions use HTTPS decryption to intercept and inspect all incoming traffic and web applications to prevent cyber criminals from impersonating trusted sites like Facebook or Google. This ensures that only trusted connections are allowed to pass through the SWG. SWGs scan for malware, viruses, and other threats in web files and application content. This functionality is essential to protect organizations from malicious attachments and prevent data exfiltration.
In addition, a SWG will monitor and log all activities in the network, including those that occur over the Internet. This enables administrators to understand how attackers are targeting the organization, which can help them create better security policies. An integrated SWG with a unified platform will offer greater visibility and control over the threat landscape while simplifying security teams’ management. This can reduce costs and improve performance by preventing security bloat and providing a single pane of glass for threat detection, response, and remediation. Choose a solution with dynamic capacity, elastic scalability, and high availability for uncompromised cyber resilience.
Modern SWG solutions use various technologies to monitor every small activity over a network. They provide a comprehensive picture of all web activity, integrating with zero-day anti-malware and other security systems to help detect threats at the network edge before they can reach endpoints. They also can decrypt traffic, including cloud-based traffic (excluding traffic that must remain encrypted for compliance reasons). This helps ensure no blind spots caused by encryption and protects against new attack techniques like malware downloads, meddler-in-the-middle attacks, and other malicious activities that traditional antivirus tools might miss. SWGs can be deployed in various ways, from on-premise hardware appliances to centralized cloud solutions. The location of the SWG is vital because it should be positioned in the network, either on the perimeter or at the edge, where it can easily access all the resources and information that employees need to do their jobs. As more employees work remotely, they need to be able to securely access the data and applications they need to do their jobs. SWGs can filter out websites that distract employees, such as adult content and gambling sites, and files that may contain malicious code or other threats. They can also monitor employee web activity to prevent “shadow IT” and ensure that workers only use the apps they need for their jobs.
In SWG, users shape their characters in a variety of ways. Roleplayers craft a character around the identity and role they want to portray, dabblers build skills for fun and convenience, and min/makers optimize their characters for specific purposes. The result is that no two players are alike, which makes SWG so compelling to play. With more organizations shifting their applications and data to the cloud, a SWG is a critical security tool for securing web traffic on a corporate network. Using a SWG, IT admins can secure access to SaaS apps, monitor employee behavior, and detect malicious threats, such as ransomware, that may be concealed by encrypted content. SWGs also allow administrators to customize policies to meet the unique needs of their organization. For example, an SWG can classify Internet sites into overarching domain categories for easy management and simplified enforcement of policies. This allows administrators to set access control measures based on domains rather than individual URLs.
Moreover, SWGs can integrate with adjacent security technologies in a single framework to improve visibility and simplify administration. This provides a seamless, integrated security stack that reduces the risk of compromised data or unauthorized access. In addition, SWGs can provide dynamic capacity, elastic scalability, and high availability to deliver uncompromised cyber resilience.
An SWG’s real-time web traffic monitoring helps ensure that an organization’s internet use complies with corporate policies. It blocks any website content that doesn’t match an enterprise’s security requirements, including adware, ransomware, and phishing attacks. An SWG can also block unauthorized downloads of applications, such as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) tools. Additionally, many SWG solutions have a data loss prevention filter that prevents sensitive information from leaving the network. This feature is beneficial if you have employees who work remotely. It can help your IT team prevent data breaches by preventing employees from accidentally uploading malware to their computers or transferring files containing sensitive information. In addition to securing employee activity, SWGs provide valuable reporting and visibility into what’s happening on your network. This helps you understand where your risks are so that you can create a more effective cybersecurity strategy. For instance, a SWG can show you which websites and online apps are the most popular for cybercriminals to impersonate, such as social media sites or email clients. Moreover, SWGs can track how often a particular threat appears on the Internet to identify trends and patterns so you can take proactive measures against them. Finally, SWGs can be customized to meet specific compliance regulations — an essential feature for businesses that must follow strict rules for accessing or transferring certain data types.