Many companies have embraced a work from home setup since the start of the pandemic to ensure business continuity. But this meant employees were using personal devices and connections that are less secure than typical office IT infrastructures. This could expose them to malware, phishing attacks, and account takeover fraud.
In fact, according to a Malwarebytes study, 28% of companies admitted using personal devices for work-related tasks more than company-issued devices. What’s more, 20% said that they suffered a security breach because of a remote worker.
To protect your business better from cyberattacks, you need a secure web gateway.
What is a secure web gateway (SWG)?
An SWG is a network security solution that inspects web requests against company policies to block access to malicious websites and applications.
Many organizations are adopting SWGs because these offer a more advanced set of capabilities than traditional proxy solutions. With the latter, your connection might not always be secured. While some proxy providers use a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) to encrypt data, cybercriminals can use SSL stripping to decrypt such connections, allowing them to steal confidential data.
How does SWG work?
Let’s say you want to view a certain video clip. Once you click on its link, your device will generate an HTTP request. The request goes to the SWG, which examines the request to ensure that it’s not directed to a malicious or banned website. The SWG then forwards the request to the proper server. Once the HTTP request receives the video clip, the SWG scans it once more, then displays the content.
What are the features of an SWG?
An SWG uses essential cybersecurity technologies such as:
1. URL filtering
URL filtering controls access to websites based in URL to prevent employees from accessing inappropriate or malicious content. Access is typically granted based on URL category, groups, users, or machines. URL filtering also allows IT administrators to identify the websites that employees normally access and when these are accessed.
2. Data loss prevention (DLP)
DLP protects your organization from the loss of sensitive information by monitoring the movement of data according to industry compliance standards and regulations. For instance, DLP can identify and censor personally identifiable information in emails to protect your data from being stolen or used for fraud.
3. Application control
Application control enables IT administrators to create policies based on users to identify, limit, or block the usage of web applications. This feature ensures that the data being shared across applications are secured within the organization.
4. Antivirus and anti-malware
An antivirus program is designed to identify, prevent, detect, and remove malicious software such as viruses, Trojan horses, spyware, ransomware, and more. It uses real-time virus signatures to prevent cyberthreats from damaging your system.
Anti-malware software, on the other hand, focuses on more complicated threats like zero-day attacks and proactively removes any suspicious activities. The two programs complement each other to ensure maximum protection for your systems.
The challenge with secure web gateway
One of the most common issues with SWGs is that they are typically implemented as a standalone solution rather than integrated with other security solutions in the organization. This can reduce the effectiveness of a company’s data breach response plan.
A secure access service edge (SASE) can solve this problem. SASE combines network security services and networking into a cloud-based solution. It allows businesses to manage multiple cloud-based security services such as cloud access security brokers, SWGs, data loss and threat prevention, Firewall-as-a-Service, zero-trust network access, and domain name system security in a centralized platform.
What’s more, SASE can reduce costs and complexity of deploying security at scale and provide seamless user data access. It can also improve your security through consistent policies and give you complete visibility over your entire IT infrastructure.
With cyberthreats becoming more sophisticated, your business needs the best protection. Safebit Solutions offers robust cybersecurity services that not only proactively monitor your network for threats, but also block web pages that may compromise the security of your sensitive data. To learn more about cybersecurity solutions your organization must have, download our FREE eBook today.