Intelligent CISO Issue 40 | Page 33


Six key characteristics of a modern Secure Web Gateway

Key security solutions like Secure Web Gateways ( SWGs ) are crucial for organisations to overcome the challenges associated with today ’ s workforce . Anurag Kahol , Founder and CTO at Bitglass , discusses the benefits of using Secure Web Gateways and the factors that should be considered when selecting a modern SWG solution . he second quarter of


2021 marks a full year of remote work for many organisations , highlighting how the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated transformation globally and changed the future of work – likely permanently . According to a recent survey , 81 % of employees want to continue remote work even after the pandemic , with many reporting improved productivity while working from home .
However , to thrive in a distributed work environment , organisations will need to ensure that security is modernised to appropriately support today ’ s operational realities . That means making certain that security solutions like Secure Web Gateways ( SWGs ) can overcome the challenges created by today ’ s workforces .
SWGs explained
From protecting users against webbased security threats to enforcing company secure and acceptable use policies , SWGs have played a critical role in enterprise security for almost two decades now . During this time , SWGs evolved beyond their first use case , URL filtering , to take on other more advanced capabilities as the environment in which SWGs are used has evolved .
Instead of a primarily stationary user base working within fixed perimeters tied to data-centre hosted resources , today ’ s modern workforce is both mobile and widely distributed and uses varied technologies and devices .
Unfortunately , legacy SWG solutions are no longer able to adapt easily to today ’ s cloud-centric work patterns and norms .
When selecting a modern SWG solution , here are six important questions you should be asking yourself :
1 . Is this the right architecture for our needs ?
When evaluating which SWG will be most capable of supporting the realities of cloud-centric remote work , architecture is the most important thing to think about . Today ’ s workforce expects highly available solutions with low latency , regardless of location . This is particularly essential for employees using residential Internet .
Anurag Kahol , Founder and CTO at Bitglass
Any solution that adds additional latency through on-premises appliances , traffic backhauling to cloud proxies , or additional network hops are not scalable in modern business environments . To be effective , a modern SWG should be installed at the Edge , directly on end-users ’ devices . This ensures both enhanced security performance and a better user experience and will support a trio of top benefits : user productivity , Business Continuity and security .
2 . Am I going to get real-time threat protection ?
The Internet is full of malicious threats that can compromise enterprise security . While standard SWGs may feature URL filtering to block unsafe or unproductive destinations , this capability alone is not enough to completely defend against malware as users can easily become infected in trusted destinations ; for example , opening an infected email sent to a personal Yahoo account or downloading an infected file from a partner ’ s Dropbox .
With the majority of the workforce now operating beyond the protection of corporate firewalls and new cyberattacks being reported on a daily basis , SWGs need to block access to malicious sites and prevent downloads of malicious content in real time .
Rather than relying solely on signaturebased detections that miss zero-day threats , implement SWGs that instead use www . intelligentciso . com