Cybersecurity Features of Secure Web Gateways

By Krasimir Hristov

As cybercrime costs soar, companies rely on secure web gateways (SWGs) to protect their data. SWGs can either be cloud-based services or physical appliances that reside at the network edge and monitor incoming and outgoing traffic to protect sensitive information from cyberattack.

SWG solutions monitor URLs, file downloads and more in real-time to detect and stop threats before they have an adverse impact on productivity. Here are key features you should look out for when choosing an effective SWG solution:

Real-time traffic inspection

Real-time traffic inspection (RTTI) is a technology used by secure web gateways to analyze internet traffic and detect security risks. RTTI analyzes both incoming and outgoing web traffic for any malicious code, dubious URLs, unauthorized data transfers or suspicious activity such as login attempts that attempt to gain entry to sensitive information as well as outside attacks that threaten networks and users from internal threats involving unauthorized access and external attacks. It provides essential security protections against internal threats including unapproved access of sensitive information as well as external attacks by scanning all web traffic for malicious code or suspicious URLs or unauthorised data transfers – essential parts of any security strategy designed to safeguard networks against threats including both from attacks from internal threats such as unauthorisation attempts that gain entry or accessing sensitive data as well as outside attacks from threats involving internal threats that involve unauthorisation to sensitive information or attacks from external threats from outside sources involving unauthorisation access of sensitive data access as part of an overall security strategy designed to secure networks against potential internal threats from internal threats involving unauthorisation for accessing sensitive data as well as external attacks by attackers who gain entry.

This feature can be configured to block, confirm or permit certain categories of URLs – providing security administrators with an opportunity to review statistics details and adjust policies as necessary. Furthermore, web isolation runs risky sites in a read-only environment to protect users from accidentally downloading malware or revealing personal data.

Some SWGs provide SSL decryption and inspection, enabling them to detect and block threats by inspecting HTTPS traffic encrypted with SSL, such as those used by malware and phishing attacks to cover their tracks. Some also offer caching capabilities for frequently visited websites to reduce bandwidth consumption while improving performance.

SWGs can detect malicious code in outgoing web traffic by comparing it against a list of known threats. Furthermore, SWGs can analyze patterns that match social security numbers, credit card data, medical records or any other sensitive data and block sites that match them – helping protect an organization from having its intellectual property stolen or confidential data accidentally released to the public.

SWGs have increasingly become part of an advanced security architecture, including Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) and Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN). SWGs form part of an ecosystem comprising cloud access security brokers and cybersecurity threat intelligence providers that help organizations comply with industry regulations like PCI-DSS and GDPR while also offering organizations advanced security features.

The best SWGs feature an intuitive user interface that enables security administrators to monitor and address security threats in real time. They can be deployed as either on-premise solutions or delivered as services; the latter option being popular among companies with remote workers due to reduced hardware maintenance requirements and easier remote administration.

URL filtering

URL Filtering is an integral component of a secure web gateway (SWG), blocking access to websites and applications deemed inappropriate for business use, protecting organizations from malware infections, data leakage, phishing attacks, as well as helping companies improve employee productivity by decreasing time spent engaging in nonwork-related activities on their company network.

URL filters use user request details against a database of blocked websites that is frequently updated in real-time to reflect emerging threats and vulnerabilities. A security working group (SWG) may include policies with tailored access for specific groups within an organization – for example, HR may need unrestricted access to LinkedIn while IT might not.

SWGs play an invaluable role in cybercrime prevention by inspecting encrypted traffic. Cybercriminals commonly employ encryption as a tactic to bypass traditional security and deliver malware or exfiltrate sensitive information; using an SWG equipped with HTTPS inspection capabilities, decrypted traffic can be decrypted to quickly scan for threats and protect its users.

Some SWGs utilize both local and cloud databases to optimize performance and coverage, with local lookups of frequently visited URLs reducing latency while cloud lookups offer wider coverage. To accommodate firms’ unique traffic patterns, some SWGs store on-device caches of recently visited URL categories so as to bypass having to query a master database each time new sites are requested.

An SWG should offer advanced threat detection, inspection of all encrypted traffic, behavior-based analysis and more in a comprehensive solution. A strong SWG is an integral component of Zero Trust security architecture; it prevents cloud apps from accessing internal systems by blocking them outright or stopping malware lateral movement between cloud providers and systems within your organization; additionally it can stop users using multiple passwords across systems thereby making it easier for security teams to detect and mitigate breaches before they cause significant damage and even help stop ransomware attacks by restricting access to known malicious sites

Malware detection

Secure web gateways utilize malware detection technology to safeguard users against visiting sites with hidden threats that could compromise a network or reveal personal information. They can also block access to files and sites known to host phishing attacks, botnets, ransomware and other forms of cyber-crime; additionally they detect any forms of infection via web browsing which use infected endpoint devices as infection vectors; these gateways can also protect against cyber-attacks that hide malware code within legitimate websites and impersonate business services and protect against potential phishing attacks which use web browsing as infection vectors – helping keep threats in check and protect networks and individuals alike from their cyber-crime protection capabilities!

Cybercriminals are always finding new ways to breach security defenses and evade detection. One such tactic involves creating fake websites that look legitimate but actually contain harmful links in order to fool employees into clicking them and accessing sensitive data that could compromise an organization, disrupt operations and damage their reputation – this makes a secure web gateway an essential asset in protecting sensitive data while safeguarding its reputation. To reduce risks related to this phenomenon, organizations should utilize one.

Secure web gateways (SWGs) are cloud-based or appliance services designed to monitor and protect network traffic from potential internet threats. SWGs work at the application layer to inspect URLs, file downloads and other web elements before inspecting both incoming and outgoing traffic in real-time for threats such as cyber attacks and regulatory mandates. They also offer granular control over networks, applications and data to ensure compliance.

SWGs are an essential asset to companies that employ remote workers as they provide protection from multiple threats that arise from employee negligence – which account for 90% of data breaches. Threats such as malicious emails, USB drives, drive-by downloads or even unauthorzied software on endpoint devices should all be detected quickly by SWGs and eliminated immediately.

SWGs use threat intelligence feeds and can scan and block malicious websites and content based on an internal threat database, scan for malicious URLs and file downloads, sandboxing to detect hidden threats and support compliance with PCI-DSS or the General Data Protection Regulation in Europe; some also feature DLP for filtering unauthorized data leakage as well as DLP filters that prevent unauthorized data leakage.

Application control

Many organizations employ secure gateways as part of their cybersecurity ecosystem to combat cyber threats. These devices add an additional layer of defense, guarding against malicious code, malware, spam and other common Internet-based threats such as hacking. Furthermore, secure web gateways enable greater connectivity to enterprise settings – something which becomes especially crucial as more employees work remotely from home, on public Wi-Fi networks or open network services exposing data unencrypted to hackers.

Secure web gateways serve a critical function, protecting sensitive information such as credit card numbers or personal details from non-compliant applications that access it. They do this using granular policies to regulate application usage across the network ensuring a balanced and safe user experience while helping businesses optimize bandwidth utilization, resource utilization and network performance.

Secure gateways not only filter harmful content but also monitor web traffic for malware or any suspicious activity, such as browsing any unfamiliar pages that contain suspicious codes that the gateway analyzes; any time any are found it will flag them and prevent you from visiting them – an invaluable feature which keeps cyber criminals at bay by stopping them posing as legitimate sites such as social networking or shopping websites and taking your information through fraudulent means.

Secure web gateways will screen outgoing data for phrases, patterns, or any identifiers of sensitive information to prevent leakage of confidential data. They also detect file uploads and instant messaging chats to protect confidential data from being divulged and block unauthorized applications that threaten network integrity and lead to data breaches and regulatory compliance violations.

SWGs not only prevent malicious activity, but they can also assist business processes by restricting cloud-based apps to increase productivity and prioritize certain forms of traffic for better performance in dynamic and complex environments. They can even be combined with PAM software so only eligible users have admin privileges on your systems.