What is SWG?

A Guide to Secure Web Gateway (SWG) protection

What Is A Secure Web Gateway?

In today’s world of remote work, more companies are allowing employees to do their job from just about anywhere—using open Wi-Fi connections from coffee shops, restaurants, airports, RV parks, and other unusual and eclectic locations.

And when they’re starting their workday on their laptops, mobile phones, or other devices, the one thing that employees are going to need is a secure connection to your company’s applications and resources.

This “work from anywhere” aspect of the modern workforce has brought a number of internet security issues to the forefront that CISOs and security managers battle every day. Clever online thieves are lurking on the internet waiting for one of your employees to make a wrong move – using phishing attacks to deploy malware (like ransomware) as well as attempt to gain credentials and other sensitive information. So armed, attackers are able gain access to your networks, servers, and your most crucial company data and information.

Today’s internet usage patterns are very different from the days when companies required employees to work an enclosed office environment at a specific location. Many of the pre-COVID traditional firewall and web gateway rules do not effectively block threats. Instead, they just become a bottleneck for your users’ internet traffic. Which is why a Secure Web Gateway (SWG) is adeptly designed to protect your hybrid workforce from internet-based threats.

How does a Secure Web Gateway work?

SWG protects against cyber threats

SWG for Hybrid Cloud

How a Secure Web Gateway integrates with other security solutions

Banyan’s Security Service Edge (SSE) solution could be the perfect SWG solution for you

How does a Secure Web Gateway work?

A secure web gateway (or SWG, sometimes pronounced ‘swig’) is an extra protective solution designed to provide organizations and employees secure access to the internet.

SWG acts as an efficient proxy, or intermediate server, between users and the internet, inspecting all outgoing web traffic for security threats such as malware, phishing, and malicious websites.

Easy to implement into your organization and integrate with your existing security solutions, an SWG uses various technologies such as DNS and URL filtering, content filtering, anti-virus, and malware detection to block threats and protect networks from attacks.

SWG protects against cyber threats

Statistics show that half of all malicious spyware comes from employees visiting non-work-related websites – streaming, gambling, pornography, etc. So, the primary risk of cyber threats occurs when employees navigate to potentially dangerous sites or download dangerous files to their computer.

A Security Web Gateway was designed with employees in mind – as added protection against phishing, straying onto malicious web sites, or being exposed to ransomware. An SWG can also be used to enforce your organization’s Acceptable Use Policies (AUPs) that control which sites or domains employees can and cannot access.

Some SWGs also include a Data Loss Prevention (DLP) component that detects and prevents extraction of sensitive data such as files containing personally identifiable information, credit card numbers, invoices, and/or social security numbers.

If a threat is detected, a secure web gateway can block access to the malicious website or even remove the threat from the traffic completely.

SWG for Hybrid Cloud

Secure Web Gateway (SWG) solutions can be used for both on-premise and cloud deployments.

On-premises SWG deployments involve installing the solution on your own servers, within your own network. This provides you with full control over the solution and the ability to customize it to meet your specific needs. However, it also requires a significant investment in hardware, software, and personnel to maintain and manage the solution. Additionally, this solution requires that users who aren’t on your network, get on your network, typically with a legacy, full VPN tunnel.

Cloud-based SWG deployment involves using a cloud-based service provided by a vendor. This eliminates the need for you to invest in and maintain your own infrastructure, making it a more cost-effective option for many organizations. Additionally, cloud-based SWG solutions are typically easier to scale and can be more flexible than on-premises solutions. Some organizations may be concerned about the security of their data in the cloud, or bandwidth consumption while handling the traffic.

Ultimately, the choice between on-premises and cloud-based SWG deployment will depend on your organization’s specific needs, including budget, security requirements, and the complexity of your network.

How a Secure Web Gateway integrates with other security solutions

A Secure Web Gateway (SWG) typically integrates with other security solutions in a number of ways to provide a comprehensive security posture for an organization.

Firewall Integration

SWG often integrates with firewall solutions to provide an additional layer of protection for incoming web traffic. This integration can help prevent malicious traffic from entering the network, while also allowing legitimate traffic to pass through.

Endpoint Protection

SWG can integrate with endpoint protection solutions, such as antivirus software, to ensure that all endpoints are protected against malware and other threats. This can help prevent malware from spreading throughout the network and causing damage.

Identity and Access Management

SWG can integrate with identity and access management solutions to ensure that only authorized users are able to access the internet. This can help prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information and systems.

Data Loss Prevention

SWG can integrate with data loss prevention (DLP) solutions to prevent sensitive data from leaving the network through web traffic. This can help organizations meet regulatory requirements and protect against data breaches.

Cloud Security

SWG can integrate with cloud security solutions to provide security for cloud-based applications and services. This can help organizations ensure that their data is protected, even when it is stored in the cloud.

Network Security

SWG can integrate with network security solutions, such as intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDPS), to provide a comprehensive security posture for the organization.

Banyan’s Security Service Edge (SSE) solution could be the perfect SWG solution for you

Banyan’s Security Service Edge (SSE) solution could be the perfect SWG solution for you.

If you’re looking for a Secure Web Gateway created for the hybrid work environment, consider Banyan’s Security Service Edge solution.

In an SSE architecture, security functions such as firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and virtual private networks are integrated into a single, centrally managed platform.

Banyan’s device-centric approach means that most decisions are made on-device without having to send traffic to a cloud-based SWG to make policy and traffic decisions. This leads to easier deployments, improved performance, and a better user experience.

The Banyan Security Platform brings all of these components together within a zero trust framework to deliver users secure access to the applications and resources they need to do their jobs, regardless of location. Contact us for a demo.