Modern organizations have remote task forces working across various devices, public networks, and locations. SWG solutions help them secure web-based applications without slowing productivity or bandwidth consumption.
SWG solutions sit between your employees and the Internet, acting as a bouncer that filters out access to dangerous sites and networks. SWGs monitor web traffic 24/7 to detect and block potential threats that could be used to breach your organization’s network or steal your sensitive information. When evaluating potential vendors, consider how they collect and curate threat intelligence. Many SWGs utilize open-source lists of known malicious URLs, which can be updated frequently. Using curated lists that are commonly updated means fewer false positives for your security team. Also, look for SWGs that offer real-time traffic inspection and alerts to ensure your security tools are always working at their best. Newer comprehensive SWGs can provide CASB, DLP, and firewall features in one product to save you the cost of investing in multiple standalone solutions. This integrated, cloud-delivered approach enables you to secure your anywhere business with holistic and consistent protection across all your gateways. This is essential for companies that are constantly on the go. They can’t connect directly to their internal business network, so they need an SWG solution to protect them when working from home or outside the office.
Many SWG solutions work by filtering incoming web traffic and allowing only those sites that comply with security policies. This is an essential aspect of protecting a company’s data from cyberattacks. However, these solutions often cannot protect against URL injection attacks, which can redirect an unsuspecting user to malicious pages. In addition to detecting malware, SWGs are designed to monitor employee online activity. This can help companies assess their employees’ workload and make better decisions about hiring, task division, and promotions. It can also help prevent data loss by monitoring and encrypting outgoing data. Traditionally, SWGs were hardware appliances that sat at an Internet egress point. This created a “hairpin U-turn” in the enterprise WAN, which added significant processing and performance overhead for every remote user. A cloud SWG solves this issue by moving the SWG functionality to the network’s edge. This allows for complete visibility into the browsing context and precise web access control. It can also detect sensitive information in SaaS applications and enforce security policies to reduce shadow IT.
Many organizations rely on web-based applications for collaboration and business data storage. However, unsanctioned web apps can expose an organization to cyber threats. With a cloud SWG, your team can control the types of web apps used on your network and block those deemed risky. A cloud SWG also helps your team keep users safe when they’re out of the office. When employees disconnect from the corporate network, they may unknowingly visit sites with malware. With an SWG, your team can inspect files on aggregation sites and determine whether they threaten your network before allowing users to download them. Attackers design malicious pop-ups and fake websites to look similar to real ones to trick users into sharing their login information, downloading a file, or clicking on a link. An SWG can quickly identify and stop these threats from infecting your network. This is called Zero Trust security, and it’s a feature that all leading cloud SWG solutions offer.
Whether working remotely from headquarters, a branch office, a client site, or even their dining room table, employees must access applications at scale on any device. Cloud-delivered SWG solutions eliminate the need for organizations to manage on-premises appliances and provide a secure Internet breakout, so security policies follow users wherever they go. SWGs protect enterprise devices and networks from web-based threats by filtering, monitoring, and blocking incoming and outgoing data. They also monitor and log activities continuously. Depending on the deployment method, they can be software-based and run in the cloud as SaaS solutions or deployed as on-premise hardware systems that plug into an organization’s IT infrastructure. SWGs are commonly paired with CASB (Cloud Access Security Broker) solutions to give IT teams visibility into their cloud application and service usage. These centralized views help them decide which web applications and services to allow or block. They can also detect abnormal activity and suspicious or unauthorized behavior using URL filtering, content filtering, and SSL inspection. Choosing the right SWG solution for your business requires careful planning and strategic execution.
The ability to scale is essential to any business’s growth strategy. You must grow your business to increase revenue and meet your goals. This is why scalability is necessary when selecting the right SWG solutions for your business. Traditional SWG solutions are on-premise appliances located at an Internet egress point. This creates a hairpin U-turn in your enterprise WAN by forcing all web traffic to pass through the appliance before returning to the Internet. This creates a performance bottleneck for remote users, resulting in poor user experiences that slow productivity. A cloud-based SWG can eliminate this performance issue by providing secure Internet breakouts to each hidden user, regardless of their underlying infrastructure or connectivity method. This allows you to deliver security policies to your remote workforce that follow them wherever they log in—corporate headquarters, a branch office, a client site, or their dining room table. This scalability is critical to meeting the demands of today’s work-from-anywhere workforce. It also provides better visibility into employee web activity to identify potential threats and compliance violations.