SWG solutions monitor incoming and outgoing web traffic to prevent advanced attacks such as phishing, ransomware, drive-by downloads, supply chain attacks, and more. They can also protect data-in-motion by enforcing acceptable use policies and safeguarding data at rest.
TechRadar Pro’s experts have reviewed the best SWG solutions to help you choose the right one for your business.
There’s no doubt that a secure web gateway is one of the most critical pieces of security infrastructure within your organization. In the past, a physical piece of hardware could do the job just fine. Still, in today’s increasingly remote work environments, you need something more powerful to ensure employees can access your internal networks while staying protected from cyber threats.
SWGs monitor all internet traffic for malware, web application risks, etc. They then use a database of safelists and denylists to filter data, ensuring only approved information is passed along. Alternatively, they can use sandboxing to test suspicious code and content by running it in a controlled environment to see if it behaves like known malware, then block it if it does.
Some SWG solutions offer device-level data loss prevention capabilities, preventing uploading sensitive information to unapproved P2P applications or cloud data storage tools. These are great for helping your employees stay productive while reducing the risk of a significant data breach.
As you evaluate different SWG options, it’s critical to think beyond just the product itself. Consider how the solution fits your overall security strategy and will help you address your organization’s unique needs now and in the future. For example, a cloud-delivered SWG can simplify your infrastructure, accelerate your cloud migration, and deliver a secure connectivity experience for remote workers.
Scalability is vital in choosing the right SWG solutions for your business. With it, your system will be able to keep up with growing processing demands, and users will experience unacceptable delays. Then, when the time comes to scale, businesses will pay double and triple what they could’ve saved by investing in a scalable solution at an earlier stage.
When engineers take on increased data responsibilities, they need to be prepared for the workload through training, adjustment of playbooks, and planning of timelines.
SWG solutions that can be scalable are vital because they provide flexibility when it comes to changing security needs. These solutions can increase capacity during peak traffic times and decrease during off-peak times to save on costs. It allows businesses to customize their security solutions to their specific needs.
Some solutions also provide a variety of other functionalities that can help increase productivity, including URL filtering, application control, SSL inspection, and anti-malware protection. To ensure optimal safety, select an SWG with advanced features and ensure it can integrate with other security solutions, such as firewalls. It can reduce complexity and the need for IT support.
In addition to allowing security policies to be aligned with business goals, an SWG can detect and block unsanctioned or risky web apps. These apps can include file-sharing and collaboration tools and cloud data storage tools, and they expose devices to cyber threats by facilitating the upload of confidential information to unauthorized destinations.
Many of these solutions have SSL inspection capabilities to monitor and decrypt web traffic. They can also detect and categorize various applications, offering granular control and visibility. These features can help boost employee productivity and reduce the potential for network vulnerabilities, such as malware infections and bandwidth overuse.
When evaluating SWGs, it’s essential to consider how they will work with other enterprise security infrastructures. SWGs deployed as standalone point products can create a disjointed, uncoordinated security stack requiring ad hoc management. Conversely, when SWGs are natively integrated with adjacent security technologies such as CASB and zero trust network access (ZTNA), they can provide a holistic defense against modern threats.
With the rise of the remote workforce and the shift to cloud-based applications, a secure gateway is crucial for strengthening organizations’ digital foundations. The right SWG solution will be scalable, meet the security needs of different departments, and support a range of endpoints to ensure that business productivity remains uninterrupted.
As more companies move away from the traditional office hardware model, selecting a SWG solution that can scale with your remote and hybrid working needs is crucial. Look for a platform that doesn’t force all traffic back on-premises to be filtered and allows for a cloud-based deployment that’s an operating expense rather than a capital purchase.
A good SWG platform can monitor all web activity, including unsanctioned applications and malicious URLs. It should also be able to detect shadow IT and enforce data protection policies. Many solutions include application control features that can block or limit access to specific types of apps and even track the usage of these tools.
The best SWG solutions will also offer real-time traffic inspection and detect threats in seconds. To ensure the security of the organization’s data, utilizing SWG platforms can be immensely helpful. Outbound emails are scanned for sensitive information, protecting against data breaches and theft. They can then block the transfer of this data to unauthorized servers.
It’s also essential to choose an SWG with SSL/TLS decryption capabilities, which allows it to analyze encrypted web traffic and prevent malware threats from escaping detection. Most modern malware uses SSL/TLS to hide on your network and cause damage or steal sensitive data.