Posted on Jun 11, 2024 by

What Is an SWG?

A Secure Web Gateway (SWG) is a network security solution designed to safeguard enterprise data and enforce security policies. It effectively filters web traffic to remove insecure content, thereby mitigating network threats and preventing data leakage. Additionally, it serves to block access to malicious websites, thereby aiding in compliance with relevant security standards.

How Does an SWG Work?

The secure web gateway stands as a barrier between users and the internet, filtering traffic and ensuring compliance with acceptable use and security protocols.

Key functionalities of SWGs comprise:

  • URL filtering

  • Antimalware and threat prevention

  • Application control capabilities

The SWG can oversee and control the flow of data between the network and the internet. SWG implementation can adopt different formats, such as:

  • Physical servers

  • Cloud-hosted virtual machines

  • Software applications

Secure web gateways operate by scrutinizing traffic originating from client devices seeking to connect to internet resources. Prior to any outbound web request leaving a client device, it is routed through the SWG. Acting as the intermediary, the SWG validates the user's identity and evaluates the request to ensure compliance with acceptable use policies. Only upon determining that the request is both suitable and secure does the SWG permit it to proceed. Similarly, incoming data undergoes meticulous scrutiny before reaching its intended recipients.

SWGs essentially act as protective shields for users against online threats while upholding acceptable use policies. They function as vital checkpoints for data, preserving internet access, thwarting malicious web traffic and malware, and fortifying organizations against potential data breaches.


How a secure web gateway works

Why Is SWG Important?

The traditional reliance solely on data centers for accessing data and applications is obsolete. Merely safeguarding data centers is inadequate for contemporary security demands. There's an immediate necessity to regulate online conduct to address these evolving requirements. For instance:

  • Managing employees' online behavior presents challenges, which maybe escalate security risks. The complex composition of traffic, with entertainment often dominating, complicates securing traffic for critical services.

  • Visiting non-work-related websites during business hours will lead to reduced work efficiency.

  • The company is exposed to the legal risk of employees viewing, posting or distributing illegal content that affects the company's image.

  • The company may be at risk of employees leaking secrets to the Internet, which can compromise the integrity of the enterprise network.

  • Real-name authentication and Internet access must be required in certain specialized industries.

  • Some businesses or organizations enforce security baseline requirements that require the storage of audit logs.

  • There are also specific guidelines for managing online and published content aimed at mitigating cybersecurity threats posed by illegal speech, websites and other content.

The Benefits of SWG

  • Manage online conduct and improve workforce productivity

Detailed audits and databases containing extensive signatures can manage employees' online conduct and establish a more secure office environment by enforcing strict access permissions and prohibiting illegal or non-work-related behavior.

  • Intelligent bandwidth management for improved utilization

Priority is given to key services to ensure their continuous and stable operation, while peer-to-peer (P2P) behavior is limited to prevent disruptions. Additionally, efficiently boosts overall bandwidth utilization through automatic allocation of idle bandwidth resources and personalized user traffic packages.

  • Enhanced resource access and security features

The SWG provides high-performance NAT to ensure resource access for both intranet and Internet users. Additionally, it provides a range of multi-egress uplink selection mechanisms aimed at integrating service requirements and improving service and data reliability. Furthermore, the SWG enhances security by providing border protection to effectively filter out unauthorized access.

  • Local storage for clear network activity insights

Auditability is ensured through the local storage of browsed information, which is organized in a clear and comprehensible format. This enables administrators to gain a clear understanding of the activities occurring within their company's network.

  • Versatile real-name authentication, enhanced network security

Various flexible real-name authentication methods can filter out unauthorized anonymous users, reducing the risk of users stealing critical data from the network.

  • Enhanced application and internet access with real-time user profiling

Application access is accelerated, and Internet access is enhanced through various measures. Network account statistics are collected, and online behavior is tracked in real time. This data is then utilized to create user profiles for the purpose of more precisely targeted marketing.

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Nov 20, 2023
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