Secure Web Gateway
Secure Web gateway solutions protect Web-surfing PCs from infection and enforce company policies. A secure Web gateway is a solution that filters unwanted software/malware from user-initiated Web/Internet traffic and enforces corporate and regulatory policy compliance.
These gateways must, at a minimum, include URL filtering, malicious-code detection and filtering, and application controls for popular Web-based applications, such as instant messaging (IM) and Skype. Native or integrated data leak prevention is also increasingly included. Data leak prevention features are also essential. Let's take a look at some of these features in more detail:
Real-Time Traffic Inspection. A secure web gateway inspects web traffic in real-time, analyzing content against corporate policies and ensuring any content that is inappropriate or which contravenes company policy is blocked. The majority of secure web gateways allow administrators to enforce common security policy templates straight off the shelf and also configure policies that are suited to their business model or compliance requirements.
Protection for Off-Grid Workers. As workforces become more distributed, there is a need for security solutions to offer protection on an anywhere, anytime and any device basis. A secure web gateway allows roaming users to authenticate seamlessly and to have the same security policies applies to their devices as they would if they were in the office. The result is a protected connection no matter where they are working and total peace of mind that all internet traffic is secure.
Time and Content-Based Access. Whether you need to restrict access to the internet at specific times, or you wish to control access to particular web content, your secure web gateway can be configured to suit your acceptable use policy and compliance requirements. Individual users can be allocated time quotas or schedules that ensure maximum productivity or only permitted access to websites that are relevant to their job roles.
Data Leak Prevention. As its name suggests, data leak prevention stops your corporate data from being leaked to or stolen by a third party. From detecting common business terms such as payment card industry (PCI) number patterns and phrases or personally identifiable information, a web security gateway coupled with data leak prevention software can be a very robust line of defense from both internal and external threats.
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Secure web gateway market
There are a variety of secure web gateway vendors operating - among them Symantec, iboss, F5, Check Point Software, zScaler, Barracuda, Forcepoint, McAfee and Cisco. Most of these companies are now emphasizing cloud web gateway. Although many still carry, maintain and market their on-premises versions, the competitive battleground has largely shifted to the cloud.
According to Gartner, Symantec and Cisco are the market leaders in terms of revenue. Their efforts in this space give an indication of where the market is heading. Symantec favors proxy-based SWG appliances and services. Cisco, on the other hand, has concentrated on a hybrid of DNS and proxy capabilities. Both have acquired CASB technology and have been integrating it with their secure web gateway services. Cisco has also added DNS-based inspection into its package. This allows it to use DNS for most inspection traffic to raise performance. More involved content inspection of potentially risky websites can be done using HTTP/HTTPS proxying.
Cloud based secure web gateway offerings have been growing at around 30 percent per year for the last several years, according to Gartner. When coupled with growing integration with other security features, on-premises standalone secure web gateways are slowly giving way to larger cloud-based suites that incorporate gateway security.