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What Is A Secure Web Gateway?

A secure web gateway, also known as SWG, is essentially a security solution.

It ensures that internet traffic that is unsecured cannot enter the internal network of a business.

A SWG is often used by businesses in order to protect their employees as well as their users. The secure web gateway definition is that it’s a security solution that protects employees and users from malicious entities on the internet.

It works by preventing people from accessing malicious websites. It can also provide protection against internet viruses, malware and even other malicious threats. With SWG, businesses can also ensure regulatory compliance is followed.

A secure web gateway needs to at least have URL filtering capabilities, should be able to detect malicious codes as well as filter then. It should also provide application controls for applications in the cloud, for example Microsoft 365.

Without a SWG in place, businesses can become vulnerable to cyber threats. In this article you’ll learn what is a secure web gateway, as well as why it’s important. This article can help you learn about cybersecurity solutions that can be important for your business.

Is A Secure Web Gateway A Firewall?

Both firewalls as well as secure web gateways perform similar tasks, so it’s not uncommon to confuse them. However, they are very different. The responsibility of a firewall is to review what’s coming in through the incoming packets. It then compares what it finds against signatures of threats that are known. This is only done at the network level.

An SWG on the other hand, operates on the level of the application. It can be used to either block or allow keywords or connections. This is according to the web use policy of the business.

Why Is A Secure Web Gateway Important?

People don’t just access data as well as applications only through the data centre of the business. Employees today can work remotely as well. All they need to do is access relevant applications from their smartphones or their laptops, or other personal devices. The apps these employees will be accessing are located in the Cloud, instead of on a company data centre. Do you want to know what a secure web gateway is? And why is it important?

Businesses that still rely on traditional infrastructure in order to secure internet traffic, find themselves backhauling it due to MPLS links that are expensive. They need to create a legacy SWG that is located in the data centre. As a result, internet traffic flow is slowed down, which ends up frustrating the employees. This way, they are less productive as well.

It’s also not possible for such legacy solutions to meet the modern cybersecurity needs. The world has moved on to a digital landscape that is based on the Cloud. Cybercriminals are aware of this, which is why they are creating new kinds of security threats. They are developing code that is malicious, as well as new methods of attack, at a rapid pace.

There are high costs associated with updating legacy hardware. This is why many businesses choose to not upgrade their hardware, leaving themselves vulnerable to attacks. You should also consider keeping up with security solutions news, as this can help you to implement the best security practices in your business. 

Is A Secure Web Gateway A Proxy?

There are important differences between web gateways as well as proxies. Both a gateway and a proxy server are both responsible for routing traffic from a certain network to the web.

However, a proxy server will filter the collections which it allows, while a gateway doesn’t.

This is why a SWG can be likened to a door that links to the internet. A proxy server on the other hand is more like a wall that has bard in it. This keeps the network that is inside safe from exposure to the internet.

The Features Of Secure Web Gateways

An important question regarding SWGs is what kind of security features you can expect. This can better help you understand what a secure web gateway is. They include:

1. URL Filtering

Web security gateways are a security solution that controls which websites are accessed, depending on what URL they have. It essentially prohibits employees from accessing content that is either malicious or inappropriate.

Internet traffic can either be blocked or provided with access, depending on what URL category it has: groups, users or machines.

2. Application Control

With the help of application controls, administrators gain the ability to create web security policies that are granular. Users will need to identify, limit the usage, or block widgets or web applications that may be malicious.

This feature helps in ensuring that the data that is being shared between applications is secure as well as private.

3. Data Loss Prevention

This web security gateway feature helps ensure that information that is critical or sensitive does not leave the network of the organisation. It can also protect businesses against unintentionally losing information that is valuable or sensitive.

Data movements are also monitored. Industry compliance standards and regulations are also met.

4. Antivirus

An antivirus prevents, detects, as well as removes software like: bugs, Trojan, adware and more. Virus signatures are used in real-time in order to stop threats proactively. Online security services can also be better managed.

The web security gateway will also monitor the business’ network in order to ensure that attacks are resolved and incidents are responded to.

5. HTTPS Inspection

Web security gateways can also scan as well as secure SSL encrypted traffic, should it pass through the gateway. SWGs that make use of https inspection end up decrypting the traffic using the public key of the sender. They inspect and protect the content, then re-encrypt it before it’s sent back to the sender.


If you wanted to know what a secure web gateway is, then this article should have provided you with all the information you needed. If you want to implement a secure web gateway in your business, then get in touch with BlueFort Security. You can either do that through the Evolve IT support services page.

You can call BlueFort Security at 01252 917000, send an email to or get in touch via the contact form.

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