5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Secure Web Gateway

A secure web gateway (SWG) inspects all internet traffic against corporate business policies and blocks malicious sites. It also protects against phishing attacks and malware infections on workstations.

SWGs can be installed as software components or hardware devices at the network edge or endpoints. They are also available as a cloud-based solution.

Preventing Malware Attacks

Malware has become a common threat to organizations and is often spread by online phishing scams. These fake websites or pop-ups look like legitimate sites but trick users into sharing login information, transferring money, or downloading files.

A secure web gateway (SWG) is a network security device that prevents malicious traffic from entering or leaving the organization. They can be software, hardware or virtual appliances and sit either on the network perimeter or in the cloud.

SWGs inspect incoming data and only pass it on to users if it does not violate established security policies. This works by comparing the content of the data to an internal list of known malware threats.

This enables SWGs to block malware that would otherwise evade detection by firewalls and other stream-based solutions. They also detect malware by decrypting HTTPS traffic and scanning it for threats.

One of the most important reasons your business needs a secure web gateway is to protect against malware attacks. In addition to preventing these threats, SWGs help you manage your business policy through customizable user groups and category-based URL and DNS filtering.

Preventing Data Exfiltration

Data exfiltration occurs when sensitive information is moved from an organization to an unauthorized third party. This can be accidental or deliberate and cause significant damage to your business.

A secure web gateway can prevent unauthorized data exfiltration and safeguard your sensitive data from hackers and other malicious actors. It also helps you protect your network from threats originating on the web, including malware and phishing attacks.

Besides preventing data loss, secure web gateways can help keep employees safe. They can enforce acceptable use policies on the internet, and website access, including the types of sites employees, are allowed to visit.

In addition, secure web gateways can help you prevent employees from sharing confidential data through P2P file-sharing applications. They can also block access to shady sites and websites that may contain malicious content and detect suspicious outbound traffic from your network.

Many secure web gateways also incorporate data loss prevention (DLP) functionality, allowing you to scan outbound traffic for specific patterns and phrases that match social security numbers, credit card information, medical information and intellectual property. In some cases, DLP functionality natively resides in the secure web gateway, while others use integration partners to perform data checks.

Keeping Employees Safe

As more employees are working remotely, companies must be able to keep their data secure. When employees use unsecured Wi-Fi settings, their data can be transmitted unencrypted and vulnerable to attacks.

SWGs help prevent these issues by regulating internet traffic. This can be done via a software solution, cloud-based service or a physical appliance positioned at the edge of an organization’s network.

For example, SWGs can block specific URLs that violate security policy or are deemed dangerous by security experts. They can also monitor and identify applications that employees use on the network.

In addition, SWGs can perform encrypted traffic analysis. This can be a great feature since it helps protect against malicious cyberattacks that tamper with web content in transit.

Aside from preventing malware, SWGs can help ensure your employees stay safe by enforcing acceptable use policies and compliance requirements. This can include blocking access to certain websites or limiting the number of social media applications allowed on your company network. This can help to increase productivity and protect your data.

Preventing Data Loss

Preventing data loss is one of the top reasons your business needs a secure web gateway. Data loss can cause severe damage to your company and cause it to fail.

Secure web gateways can prevent employees from sending sensitive information outside the network. They can also prevent data loss by monitoring employees’ use of websites and applications and enforcing data leak prevention policies.

In addition, many secure web gateways offer SSL inspection capabilities, allowing you to granularly control encrypted traffic for cyberattacks, threats, compliance and policy violations. This feature enables you to prevent the spread of malware by providing the security you need without impacting network performance.

A secure web gateway combines URL filtering, SSL inspection, advanced threat defense and legacy malware protection in a single device to help businesses protect users from malicious web content. They are typically deployed as cloud-based services or on-premises appliances.

Preventing Fraud

Secure web gateways (SWG) prevent unauthorized internet traffic from entering an organization’s internal network. They protect against unsecured websites, viruses, malware and other threats and ensure compliance with company policies to protect sensitive information.

In addition to keeping users safe, SWGs also protect organizations from fraud. These tools use malware detection and URL filtering to block websites, software and data likely to cause damage or compromise an organization’s security.

They also prevent employees from downloading or accessing phishing websites designed to steal personal and financial data or download malware that infects the network. Cybercriminals have learned how to create these fake sites to look just like legitimate ones and entice users to input their login information, share credit card numbers or download malicious content.

SWGs are essential to any security stack and can help you meet your business and security goals. They are available in various deployment models, including on-premise, edge and cloud. Choose the suitable deployment model for your organization’s needs and select a solution that fits your budget.

Andrew Faulkner

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