The Function of Secure Web Gateway in Zero Trust Networks

41
Secure Web Gateway

Secure web gateways (SWG) in zero-trust networks ensure that incoming and outgoing internet traffic aligns with corporate security policies. It is done by inspecting traffic and filtering malicious packets before they can reach their intended target. An SWG is a hardware or software component that sits at the network perimeter or in the cloud and governs incoming and outgoing web traffic. It prevents malicious traffic, websites, and viruses from accessing an organization’s network.

Data Loss Prevention

The security talent shortage has impacted many organizations. It is essential to have an effective DLP solution in place that will protect data from leaks and breaches.

A secure web gateway (SWG) can help organizations reduce the risk of data loss and leaks by preventing sensitive information from being sent outside the network. Using DLP technology, SWGs can inspect outbound traffic for specific patterns and phrases that match social security numbers, credit card data, medical information, intellectual property, or other confidential business data. SWGs can also block websites based on their content. By comparing code in Internet traffic to known malware, SWG solutions can proactively detect, prevent and mitigate viruses and trojans that target sensitive corporate information.

As businesses migrate to the cloud and remote workforces increase, they must be more cautious about unauthorized access to data through the Internet. SWGs can help to ensure that sensitive corporate information is not sent across unsecured Wi-Fi connections or through unsecured cloud applications.

Secure web gateway also helps organizations to build a zero-trust architecture by enabling continuous authentication and authorization based on the principle of “never trust, always verify.” It means that users and devices must prove trustworthy before access to any resources. The conventional methodology of “trust but verify,” which puts enterprises at risk by automatically providing access to endpoints and devices inside the perimeter, has been significantly replaced by this strategy.

Identity and Access Management

A complete security system known as identity and access management (IAM) allows the centralized user access to hardware, software, IT resources, and IT services while managing user identities. It includes working and allowing access to these systems via various forms of authentication, including two-factor authentication (MFA) and multi-factor authentication.

Identity-based access control mechanisms allow individuals only to be granted authorization to specific business functions within a trusted boundary. These boundaries should be shaped to support business objectives and minimize risk, ensuring only authorized users can access the necessary applications and data. To enforce corporate regulations and security arrangements between a company’s employees and the Internet or the cloud, a secure web gateway (SWG) is a piece of cybersecurity hardware. It filters unsafe content from web traffic to stop cyber threats and data leaks.

SWGs can run on proxy servers representing a device on the Internet or be deployed as software-only appliances or virtual machines in the cloud. The latter is an excellent option for companies that want a more secure, software-based system while keeping their hardware home base away from their users.

An essential part of zero trust is a secure web gateway, which enables businesses to prevent dangerous or unauthorized online traffic from accessing crucial data and information. It also helps prevent phishing attacks and malware-infected websites from spreading across an organization’s network.

Security Policy Management

Security policy management enforces corporate acceptable use policies, prevents malware infections, and keeps users safe from web-based threats. Secure web gateway (SWG) can help organizations implement these policies by monitoring traffic, identifying suspicious connections and keywords, detecting hidden threats in encryption and allowing them to be sent to a DLP or CASB system for analysis.

SWGs can also help with data loss prevention (DLP), which monitors confidential information and blocks it from leaving the network. In addition, they can detect when employees share sensitive data outside the company and redact it to keep it from being exposed.

In contrast to traditional security, which followed the “trust but verifies” model that automatically trusted internal users and endpoints without ever requiring authentication or authorization, zero trust requires a rigorous identity verification policy that applies to all devices and user access. Employees must provide strict identity verification when logging on to the network or accessing applications.

Zero trust security allows organizations to reduce the volume of credential-related measures that must be implemented, thereby saving time and resources. It can help organizations meet compliance and organizational-specific requirements and decrease the impact of a breach on productivity and data.

Secure web gateways are critical in zero trust because they help organizations police user activity and limit network access to prevent cyberattacks. SWGs also monitor incoming web traffic for cyber threats and alert IT when they appear.

Web Filtering

Web filtering is critical to secure web gateway (SWG) security. It enables administrators to restrict Internet access to work-inappropriate websites and reduce data loss risks by enforcing acceptable use policies. Businesses often rely on the Internet to provide essential resources, including customer and employee information and internal communication. However, it can also lead to cyber threats and data leakage. For example, fraudulent websites can trick users into entering sensitive data, such as credit card numbers, and infect devices and networks with malware. These threats are becoming increasingly prevalent, mainly as organizations migrate to the cloud.

The key to preventing these attacks is the use of┬áDNS-based web filtering. It determines whether a user’s DNS request is to a legitimate or malicious website.

When it determines that a website is a threat, the SWG will block access to the site, displaying a warning message. It helps companies avoid phishing attacks and other online threats that can compromise the network. Web filtering is a crucial security tool for protecting employees and organizations from dangers in the cloud and on-premises. It enables administrators to set user- or group-specific rules that can be used to block, warn against, or allow websites. It can also protect business-critical data from leaks, preventing sensitive information from leaving the network.