Going Beyond the Secure Web Gateway

12/10/2019 10:50:21
A secure Web gateway (SWG) is a solution that filters unwanted software/malware from user-initiated Web/Internet traffic and enforces corporate and regulatory policy compliance.  Organizations seeking out a SWG are usually hoping for on-premises network security, consistent security & compliance policies for all users and devices and protection for application and Web users.

At its most basic level, an SWG provides:
•    URL filtering
•    Malicious-code detection & filtering
•    Application control

Note: an SWG will not balance your budget, day-trade, hunt cyber criminals, make you an Instagram influencer or get you a date. It acts as a connectivity security guard – a well-paid one.

Why are these particular functionalities (as simplistic as they seem) important? IBM’s 2018 Data Breach Study found that globally, the cost of a data breach averages at $3.68M. The root causes of these data breaches are:
•    Weak or stolen credentials
•    Application Vulnerabilities
•    Malware
•    Malicious Insiders
•    Insider error

We could have endless discussions of the benefits of SWG deployment (and have) – but Evelyn Anderson said it best when she wrote, “With all the new regulations established to protect personal data, the selling point of the project should be focused on the risk of doing nothing.”  You aren’t adopting the all-singing all-dancing 100% fool-proof good-Skynet security solution of the century – but can you justify NOT having the security it offers? No. Not really. Not anymore.

All SWGs are not created equal.

Do your research with a realistic goal in mind. Those of us in the APAC region face different challenges than those in the Americas, just like Fortune 500 companies face different challenges than SMB’s and financial institutions face different challenges than Universities.  The web traffic control functions and threat protection capabilities are very different between vendors. All vendors offer the basics of application control, URL filtering and ports & protocols control – but some stops there, while Sangfor goes on to provide SSL Traffic Inspection. Only Sangfor offers Search Engine Keyword Controls.

Where Sangfor really shines is in threat protection, offering malware protection and sandboxing while other vendors stop short at malware protection.
There is no hard and fast rule for a SWG. Be realistic with your expectations. Chose the SWG that best serves your industry, needs and location, and understand that while the basics are always there – to go beyond normal SWG capabilities could potentially mean the difference between safety and disaster. Communicate these expectations, benefits and pitfalls clearly – and get the buy-in you need to make the project a success.

For example, PT Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) is a state-owned bank with 1000 branches, 10 million customers and over 18,500 staff.  They chose Sangfor IAM as their solution because they needed easier reporting, application control, bandwidth management, better user identification and better risk awareness.

The University of Nottingham, Malaysia, with a community of around 5,000 students from over 85 different countries, chose Sangfor IAM to help manage bandwidth, enhance internet performance for students and visiting lecturers, and application and URL filtering.

The Regal Kowloon Hotel in Hong Kong decided to implement Sangfor IAM to optimize access and speed for guests, control billing and budget, and better manage traffic.

Why Sangfor?
Founded in 2000 and a publicly traded company as of 2018 (SANGFOR STOCK CODE: 300454 (CH)), Sangfor Technologies is the global leading vendor of IT infrastructure solutions specializing in Network Security and Cloud Computing. Visit us at www.sangfor.com to learn more about your Sangfor IAM options, benefits and functions, and make your IT simpler, more secure and more valuable.

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