Essential SWG Security Features to Protect Your Network


SWG Security Features

With work-from-anywhere and rapid SaaS adoption, enterprises must look beyond the firewall for protection. That’s why SWG solutions have a critical role to play. Look for an SWG that offers multiple forms of protection, including Zero Trust-based advanced threat protection, sandboxing, and CASB functionality. These security features can help to reduce the risk of web-borne threats, data loss, and shadow IT.

SSL/TLS Decryption

SSL/TLS decryption routes incoming internet traffic for inspection and data from your network to the web. This helps prevent blind spots caused by encryption and ensures that only legitimate business data flows across your corporate network. It also helps ensure that any malware threats detected cannot enter the network and infect user devices. A good SWG security solution uses sandboxing to test files and programs in an isolated environment and run them to see if they exhibit suspicious behavior. This enables the SWG to protect against emerging threats that bypass signature-based detection systems. A SWG that enables sandboxing sends any suspicious content to your DLP system for further investigation. In addition to blocking malicious content, an SWG can set access controls for specific users or groups of users. This allows the organization to restrict access to certain websites or applications based on their need and ensure that employees can use the tools necessary for productivity. A great SWG solution offers a range of reporting and analytics that provide visibility into web traffic patterns, security threats, and policy violations. These tools can help you identify high-risk users or groups of users and provide them with additional cybersecurity training. It can also track what types of web content they visit and help you prevent sensitive information from being leaked outside the organization.

URL Filtering

A SWG with URL filtering ensures employees can’t access web objects that violate your web security policy. It compares the requested URL against a database of blocked and allowed websites or categories for web content such as gambling, social media, or known phishing sites. This process uses dynamic category definitions and reputation scores to determine what actions to take on a given request (permit, warn, block). The most effective granular policies allow you to customize and enforce the proper security settings for your business needs. This means some teams get unrestricted access to LinkedIn while others only use it during work hours. With the rise of data breaches, hacking attempts, and people selling personal information for monetary gain, it’s more important than ever to have various types of protection. A Secure Web Gateway monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic and identifies potential risks. It checks user requests against corporate policies, detects malware, decodes SSL/TLS traffic, regulates the use of web applications, and keeps an eye on data leaving the company to ensure cybercriminals are not stealing it.

Malware Detection

A threat detection filter is vital to prevent malware that can infect a network, steal personal information, and wreak havoc on an organization. A SWG solution uses real-time traffic inspection to detect potential threats and malicious code embedded in web content, including images, videos, documents, etc. This enables administrators to create security policies based on their risk tolerance. With data breaches becoming increasingly common, an advanced SWG solution is imperative to protect sensitive information and keep the workforce productive and safe. An SWG solution continuously monitors web-based threats, phishing emails, and other cyberattacks to enforce a business’s security policy.

SWG solutions with a poxy function can also monitor complete sessions carefully to find threats, violations, and harmful agents that might be hidden in encrypted content, such as SSL/TLS, that bypass firewalls or other monitoring tools. This type of protection allows for a complete picture of a business’s online activity and prevents blind spots that other point solutions, such as DLP or CASB, alone would otherwise miss. A robust SWG solution also offers granular policies to allow or block access to specific resources based on security requirements. This helps to eliminate the attack surface and stop lateral movement, reduce the threat of compromised cloud hosts, and prevent data loss from unauthorized devices on your network. When integrated with a zero-trust architecture, SWG solutions are even more potent in securing connections to applications and resources outside the corporate firewall.

Real-Time Traffic Inspection

An essential function of a SWG solution is to inspect and block traffic from illegitimate websites or applications, whether inside or leaving the organization’s network. This allows organizations to prevent sensitive, confidential, or unauthorized data from being stolen and leaked outside the organization, reducing the risk of a potential data breach. SWG solutions use a combination of signature-based and behavior-based detection to identify malware threats. This helps them protect against phishing attacks, social engineering, and other common cyber threats. They also help to block illegitimate applications and websites based on policies set by the organization. As employees increasingly work on their own devices and utilize cloud-based resources, a SWG can help to secure these areas of the network by terminating every connection inline, inspecting all internet traffic, and applying a user-centric security and access policy. A next-gen SWG solution can decode thousands of apps and cloud services alongside web traffic to understand content and context for contextual security and access control defenses. SWGs with a DLP system integrated with them can automatically scan, monitor, and analyze data uploaded via the internet to prevent any information from leaving the network or being sent out unencrypted. This feature enables organizations to prevent a data breach caused by an employee’s mistake, such as uploading confidential information like credit card numbers or personal details onto a public website.

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