Whether you’re looking to deploy a secure web gateway (SWG) in your network or are thinking of enhancing your existing security solution, you should know the top features to look for. These features will help your organization protect employees, data, and infrastructure from threats.
The first feature to look for is SSL/TLS encryption. This will keep your network traffic encrypted to prevent malicious hackers from accessing your data and infecting your network.
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and TLS (Transport Layer Security) are cryptographic protocols that allow for encryption, authentication, and decryption of data exchanged between a web browser and a server. Only the intended recipient can see or read data transmitted between the two parties.
Encryption is essential to cybersecurity because it protects user information from being viewed by attackers or Internet service providers. This includes passwords, credit card information and personal details such as browsing habits. It also makes it difficult for malicious third parties to alter or alter the content of data transfers.
When users connect to a website, their browser initiates an “SSL handshake.” This involves the server and the user sharing an essential pair of public and private keys during the handshake process. These keys are then used for the encryption and decryption of data transferred between the user and the server during the SSL handshake.
During this process, the user selects which encryption methods they want to use and starts a secure session using those methods. This is done using cipher suites that come with various strengths.
Once the encryption is complete, the data is encrypted and transmitted over TCP/IP to the destination server. The receiving server then validates this. A message authentication code performs this validation, or MAC, included in the server’s TLS communications.
A secure web gateway from providers like Versa Networks can filter out websites that pose a security risk. This helps businesses to avoid data loss, security breaches, malware infestations, and other threats.
The security layer of a secure web gateway protects users from accessing malicious websites by using database listings and categories to identify suspicious sites. This can be done through URL filtering, which compares the user’s URL against a list of blocked or allowed sites.
This method can block specific web pages or domains that host high-risk or malicious content. On the other hand, DNS filtering takes a more blunt hammer approach, blocking whole parts or even whole websites.
Another advantage of URL filtering is that it allows administrators to create granular policies for specific users or groups. For example, you may allow all internal employees to access a news website that provides breaking industry information.
However, limit the time they spend reading articles about professional sports or other entertainment content that could be distracting during work hours. This way, you’ll be able to maintain productivity and minimize security risks.
A secure web gateway can also block peer-to-peer software and instant messaging, consuming more bandwidth and wasting time. This can prevent unauthorized data leakage and enables organizations to comply with privacy regulations such as the GDPA.
Data Loss Prevention (DLP)
Data loss prevention (DLP) is a cybersecurity solution that helps protect sensitive information from unwanted extraction. It helps organizations maintain compliance with privacy and security policies and ensures that unauthorized people cannot accidentally or maliciously share confidential and critical information.
DLP software products monitor, detect and block the use of sensitive data, including employee information, financial records, customer data and intellectual property. They also prevent external attacks by detecting and blocking data exfiltration, such as the unauthorized forwarding an email with sensitive corporate data to an outsider.
DLP analyzes content for specific rules or regular expression patterns common to a particular type of data to detect sensitive data. These rules can include 16-digit credit card numbers or 9-digit Social Security numbers and indicators such as the proximity of keywords that could indicate an expiration date.
When a violation is detected, DLP remediates by sending alerts, changing permissions, and even encrypting data. It also provides reports to help businesses meet compliance requirements and identify areas of weakness.
DLP is a crucial component of any data security program. It can prevent data leakage from both well-meaning and malicious insiders, as well as external attackers. This includes the unauthorized forwarding, copying, or destruction of sensitive information by employees, contractors, and vendors with access to corporate systems.
Malware is malicious software, including viruses, worms, Trojan horses, spyware, adware and more. A secure web gateway can help prevent malware infections by detecting and blocking malicious websites, applications and content.
Unlike firewalls, which function at the packet level and use rules to allow or deny traffic, a secure web gateway can look at the traffic at the application layer. This will enable it to look for unauthorized or malicious code concealed within the web traffic, such as vulnerabilities or data leakage, before enforcing policy and protecting network assets.
A secure web gateway can also use sandboxing to identify and isolate a suspicious file before it can cause damage to the system. This is done by placing the file into an environment that looks and acts like a network but does not contain sensitive information. This approach is called behavior-based malware detection and is often powered by machine learning algorithms.
Another way to detect and block malware is by using a signature-based detection method. This method uses known software components and their digital signatures to identify new malware. It can also be used to identify previously identified malware of the same type.
With more remote workers and cloud computing, organizations increasingly rely on Internet access for business processes. These changes have created many threats that can affect your network and users. This is why a secure web gateway is essential for any organization.