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What is Secure Web Gateway (SWG)? Why You Need It and How To Implement Correctly

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A Secure Web Gateway (SWG) is a security solution that sits in front of your internet-facing applications and servers, acting as a shield against malicious traffic and attacks. It can also help to enforce web security policies and protect your company’s data.

Statistics reveal that most breaches originate from the web, so it’s important your organization chooses an SWG that will protect you against external threats.

Last year, the Ponemon Institute’s annual study revealed that organizations with an advanced web gateway experienced fewer security incidents, including phishing attacks and malware infections, than those without.

The study also showed that organizations with an advanced web gateway experienced fewer security incidents – including phishing attacks and malware infections – than those without.

It’s clear that a properly configured secure web gateway is an important part of any business’s defense strategy.

What is Secure Web Gateway

How To Choose The Right SWG For Your Business

When choosing a Secure Web Gateway (SWG) for your business, there are a few things you need to consider:

1. What are your business’s needs?

Each business is different and will have different requirements when it comes to security. Make sure you choose an SWG that has the features and functionality that you need.

2. How many users will be using the SWG?

The number of users who will be using the SWG will affect the type of SWG you need. If you have a large number of users, you’ll need an SWG that is scalable and can handle a high volume of traffic.

3. How much are you willing to spend?

Secure web gateways don’t come cheap, and neither do secure web gateways with all the features you’re looking for. Make sure you set a budget before you start shopping around.

4. What are your security policies?

Do you want to block certain websites? Restrict access to social media sites during work hours? Be sure to choose an SWG that will give you the level of visibility and control that you need.

5. What type of internet traffic do you want to block?

Some secure web gateways offer advanced threat protection, such as blocking encrypted web traffic (SSL/TLS). Others go for a lighter touch and only block unencrypted web traffic. The right approach for your organisation will depend on your requirements, budget, and user base.

6. What is your geographic location?

Some secure web gateways are geo-aware, meaning that they can restrict access to sites based on the user’s geographical location. This will no doubt be useful for businesses operating in some regions where it may not be safe to navigate certain websites or access certain types of content.

The importance of choosing an enterprise-grade solution

An enterprise-grade SWG is designed for businesses with high-security requirements. It offers features and functionality that are not available in consumer-grade solutions, such as scalability, advanced threat protection, and geo-awareness. It’s also built to handle a high volume of traffic, making it ideal for businesses with large user bases.

So why should you choose an enterprise-grade SWG? Here are just a few reasons:

Helps To Protect Your Business From Advanced Threats

An enterprise-grade SWG can help to protect your business against advanced threats, including ransomware. It offers tools that help to identify and block malware before it infects your systems while stopping other types of malicious requests before they even get to the network. Scanning features allow SWGs to scan unencrypted web traffic for malware, phishing, and other types of attacks.

1. More visibility over user activity

An enterprise-grade SWG can help you to manage access to resources by giving you visibility over what your employees are doing online. You can see which websites they visit, for how long, and when, giving you the chance to see if they are spending too much time on social media or other non-work-related websites. You can even block access to certain sites, so your employees will be less distracted when working.

2. Better security policies

An SWG gives you the ability to set granular content filtering policies for each user group in order to create a safer working environment. You can do this by blocking access to high-risk websites, setting up web usage policies that apply during work hours only, and more.

3. Control app access

An enterprise-grade SWG gives you greater visibility over apps users are accessing through their web browsers, allowing you to track which ones they use most often and have the greatest impact on bandwidth consumption. You can then choose to block certain apps that are not related to work or have a negative impact on performance.

4. Malicious content protection

An enterprise-grade secure web gateway provides advanced threat protection, including support for HTTPS inspection, SSL decryption, and DLP policies. This means you’ll get the most complete security on your web traffic.

5. Geo-aware security

A geo-aware secure web gateway can restrict access to websites based on the geographical location of the user, helping protect your business from sensitive data leaks and other types of malicious activity that you do not want occurring outside of work hours or in specific countries. This means that visiting certain websites will be blocked, even if the user has a valid business need to access them.

6. A single platform for protecting your entire network

Enterprise-grade secure web gateways are built to provide security across all layers of the network, making it easier for you to protect your business against various types of attacks. This means that your network is kept safe from the core outwards, starting in the data center and working its way through to the endpoint.

7. Threat analysis and reporting

Using an enterprise-grade secure web gateway means you’ll have the chance to analyze threats in real-time, giving you the opportunity to block them and take immediate action. You’ll also be able to create reports that keep you up-to-date on everything happening across your network, allowing you to see possible threats before they even become an issue.

This means that the SWG will be able to block threats before they even reach the internal network.

8. A more comprehensive web security solution

Enterprise-grade SWGs are built to offer a more comprehensive web security solution, offering protection against all types of malicious activity. This includes advanced malware and exploits protection, DLP policies, application control, geo-awareness, HTTPS inspection, SSL decryption, and more.

9. Ease of use

Enterprise-grade secure web gateways are built to be easy for you to use, allowing endpoint security managers and other interested parties to configure policies without the help of qualified security staff. This will make it easier for you to ensure your network and users are always protected against the latest types of threats while saving time and money.

Enterprise-grade SWGs will help to protect your business against the latest threats and keep your entire network safe from start to finish by offering all of the above benefits.

Why Do You Need A Partner To Help Set Up And Manage Your SWG

When it comes to installing and managing a Secure Web Gateway (SWG), many businesses find that they need the help of a partner. This is because an SWG is a complex security solution that requires expert knowledge and experience to set up and manage correctly. By working with a partner, you can benefit from:

1. Expert advice and guidance

When it comes to choosing the right SWG for your business, setting it up correctly, and managing it on an ongoing basis, you need the help of an expert. A partner will be able to provide you with advice and guidance on all of these matters, ensuring you make the best decision for your company’s security.

2. The latest technology

A partner will be able to help you access the latest technology from leading vendors, including malware protection and threat intelligence. This means you can benefit from an SWG that is fully up-to-date with the latest security developments.

3. The right training

Working with a partner also provides you with access to SWG training sessions, helping your staff learn how to configure the solution effectively and understand how it works. If you choose to purchase an SWG without professional help, you might find that your staff is unable to set it up correctly, leaving the network vulnerable.

4. Reduction in security threats

This means that by working with a partner, you can ensure that your business is protected against the latest types of attack. It also gives you the opportunity to have the security features in your SWG adjusted or fine-tuned in line with emerging threats, ensuring that it always offers the best possible protection for your network.

6. Why managing an enterprise-grade secure web gateway is different

Enterprise-grade Secure Web Gateways (SWGs) are more complex than standard web gateways, and in most cases, they will need to be managed by a qualified security professional. This is because:

7. An SWG is highly configurable

An enterprise-grade SWG is built to offer an extensive level of protection for your network and applications, allowing you to configure your security policies to meet the specific requirements of your business. This means that you need someone with expert knowledge and experience to manage it, so they can take advantage of all these configuration options.

8. Increased uptime is expected

SWGs are built for businesses that require an extremely high level of availability. They’re designed to be easy to use and configure, but they do require an expert level of support whenever there is a configuration change or update.

9. A highly secure web gateway demands a high-quality service

If you decide to purchase an enterprise-grade SWG, you’re choosing security that is available 24/7/365 and that offers around-the-clock care and support. This is because only the highest-quality services provide enterprise-level security, which will still be available when you need it most.

Final Words

When it comes to protecting your business from online threats, a Secure Web Gateway (SWG) is essential. By partnering with an expert provider, you can benefit from access to the latest technology, training, and support, as well as protection against the latest threats. An SWG is a complex security solution that requires expert knowledge and experience to set up and manage correctly – which is why many businesses find it helpful to work with a partner.

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Waqas is a cybersecurity journalist and writer who has a knack for writing technology and online privacy-focused articles. He strives to help achieve a secure online environment and is skilled in writing topics related to cybersecurity, AI, DevOps, Cloud security, and a lot more. As seen in: Computer.org, Nordic APIs, Infosecinstitute.com, Tripwire.com, and VentureBeat.

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