Top 8 Secure Web Gateways (SWG)

Cisco UmbrellaPrisma Access by Palo Alto NetworksZscaler Internet AccessTitanHQ WebTitanPerimeter 81Check Point Harmony BrowseSkyhigh SecurityFortinet FortiGate SWG
  1. leader badge
    The primary advantage of Cisco Umbrella is its ability to safeguard our users no matter where they are working from - whether it's in the office or remotely, as per the new work model that has emerged globally. This integrated security solution has simplified our lives by combining all the necessary security measures in one product. Additionally, deploying the product is all it takes to protect all our users.
  2. leader badge
    Prisma integrates well with Cortex XDR and Cortex Data Lake. My company has been also using Prisma Access in-house for nearly a year, and it integrates seamlessly.
  3. Buyer's Guide
    Secure Web Gateways (SWG)
    June 2023
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco, Palo Alto Networks, Zscaler and others in Secure Web Gateways (SWG). Updated: June 2023.
    710,326 professionals have used our research since 2012.
  4. leader badge
    One feature that is valuable to me from an implementation point of view is that it's very easy to implement.The solution is stable.
  5. Among the valuable features of WebTitan are the ability to white-label it, which is important for us, the fact that it is fully a cloud platform... and the ability to integrate with Active Directory
  6. Providing access and security allows our company employees to work from home and remotely. It is a scalable solution.
  7. The software is easy to install and deploy across any business environment and it is becoming a game changer for us.It provides end-to-end encryption for the communication between the user's device and the remote browser, which helps to protect against eavesdropping and other forms of man-in-the-middle attacks.
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    Use our free recommendation engine to learn which Secure Web Gateways (SWG) solutions are best for your needs.
    710,326 professionals have used our research since 2012.
  9. The solution performs well. I personally don't have any issues with the performance or the stability of the solution.
  10. The most valuable feature of Fortinet FortiGate SWG is its stability.The interface is user-friendly, so it's easy to add policies and block traffic.

Secure Web Gateways (SWG) Articles

Netanya Carmi - PeerSpot reviewer
Netanya Carmi
Content Manager at PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
PeerSpot’s popular crowdsourced user review platform helps technology decision-makers worldwide to better collaborate with peers and other independent technical experts to provide advice, share knowledge and expertise without vendor bias.Our users have ranked numerous popular solutions according ...
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Shibu Babuchandran - PeerSpot reviewer
Shibu Babuchandran
Regional Manager/ Service Delivery Manager at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
What Is SASE? Secure Access Service Edge, or SASE (pronounced “sassy”), is an emerging cybersecurity concept that Gartner first described in the August 2019 report. SASE is the convergence of wide-area networking or WAN, and network security services like CASB, FWaaS and Zero Trust, into a si...
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Secure Web Gateways (SWG) Topics

Why is a secure web gateway important?

Most security teams will employ a layered security strategy to protect a network. The increase in cybersecurity attacks and distributed workforces combine to form a high-risk security landscape for any organization. Workers using unsecured devices with unsecured connections expand the attack surface. On the other hand, “Crimeware-as-a-Service” makes cyberattacks available to almost anyone, thus increasing the number of attacks exponentially.

Secure web gateways (SWGs) act like filters, blocking malicious traffic, malware, and viruses from entering the organization’s network. These solutions control inbound and outbound traffic by sitting at the network perimeter and enforcing security policies. A secure web gateway (also known as web security gateway) can protect the organization’s network and users from data breaches regardless of location, operating system, or application.

One of the key benefits of a secure gateway is that it protects users from fake websites. Criminals are more sophisticated than ever when it comes to embedding threat vectors into seemingly legitimate websites. By blocking access to suspicious sites, SWGs protect the users.

How does a secure web gateway work?

A secure web gateway (SWG) consists of a software or a hardware device installed at the edge of the network. The solution can also sit at user endpoints. The gateway monitors and filters all traffic coming or going from users to the network. It checks for viruses, malicious injection, and malware, and monitors all attempts to connect.

Secure gateways filter malicious traffic by checking website addresses against a whitelist of approved sites. If a user wants to access a site that is not on the list, access is blocked. The secure gateway keeps a database of approved websites and rules for filtering.

At the same time, a secure gateway checks the data coming out from the network, and will block data coming from restricted sources. This means that sensitive data cannot leave the network.

Most secure gateways also work at the application level, restricting uploads to SaaS (software-as-a-service) applications.

Is a firewall a secure web gateway?

A secure web gateway (SWG) is any hardware or software that monitors and controls network traffic to protect against security threats. Secure gateways and firewalls, especially next-generation firewalls, both monitor and protect networks, detecting malicious activity.

Secure web gateways differ from firewalls in that firewalls look at the traffic packet by packet, allowing or blocking each one. Most firewalls don’t look at the entire file. Gateways, on the contrary, get the complete request from the client before deciding whether or not to allow access. Secure web gateways are a step beyond firewalls, extending the protection from the network level to the application level.

Features of Secure Web Gateways

There are many kinds of secure web gateways (SWGs) - some in the form of hardware devices and others offered as software solutions. Each solution provides distinct features. Still, there are controls and functions that are common to all:

  • Traffic analysis and encryption: The gateway checks all traffic - incoming or outgoing - including encrypted traffic. It compares all traffic against threat lists and reputation sources, and analyzes it to check whether it represents any threat to the network.
  • Social media protection: A secure gateway scans and filters all information coming from and going to social media.
  • Multi-protocol support: To be effective, a web secure gateway must support the most common internet protocols, like HTTPS, and including legacy options like HTTP and FTP.
  • Data-loss prevention: Filtering the access point is not enough. Web gateways also help prevent data loss by scanning documents and data packets to identify sensitive data.
  • Integration with security monitoring and zero-day anti-malware solutions: A secure web gateway alone is not enough protection against advanced threats. Integration with security monitoring systems such as security information and event management (SIEM) enhances the coverage of a web gateway. Additionally, since gateways work with known threat lists, it is important to integrate the gateway with anti-malware solutions that can detect unknown (zero-day) threats.

According to IT Central Station (soon to be Peerspot) users, the most prominent feature of web security gateway software is obviously the degree of security offered. This means that a good option will include solid malware and other threat detection to catch harmful entities masked in http format, without flagging normal applications as harmful. Solid web security gateway software will also feature rigorous data loss prevention for leak-proof data-sharing channels, as well as protection against other external threats. Additionally, deployment needs should be addressed properly by the software. Users also agree that web security gateways should include update support provided by the manufacturer.

3 Key Benefits of Secure Web Gateways

Secure web gateways (SWGs) act like a first line of defense in a layered defense security approach by filtering all traffic incoming and outgoing through the network.

Why install a secure web gateway?

1. Detects and prevents cyberattacks.

    A secure web gateway prevents users within the organization from accessing malicious or risky websites and applications, therefore preventing them from providing credentials on fake or criminal websites.

    In addition, by only approving whitelisted sites, the SWG enforces company security policies. This enables organizations with remote workers to stay protected while connecting from anywhere.

    Gateways also eliminate the SSL blind spot. Unlike other solutions, a secure gateway checks encrypted traffic. Even next-generation firewalls only cover 81% of SSL traffic. With half of the web encrypted, failing to check SSL traffic can leave a lot of traffic open to attacks or policy violations.

    2. Gives the organization visibility over network traffic.

    The gateway monitors and logs all incoming and outgoing traffic. By keeping track of what is happening on premises or in the cloud, a gateway can give you the visibility you need to understand how your network is used. Secure web gateways support compliance efforts by offering granular control over application usage. The web gateway not only controls traffic but categorizes it, enhancing policy enforcement.

    3. Optimizes cost of ownership.

    Many secure web gateway solutions are easy to implement and maintain. The integration of existing infrastructure and other solutions in the ecosystem reduces the tech-sprawl, reducing costs. When the solution is easy to manage, it extends consistent protection while minimizing management costs and time.

    Buyer's Guide
    Secure Web Gateways (SWG)
    June 2023
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco, Palo Alto Networks, Zscaler and others in Secure Web Gateways (SWG). Updated: June 2023.
    710,326 professionals have used our research since 2012.