7 Ways Gateway Security Platforms Protect Your Network

7 Ways Gateway Security Platforms Protect Your Network

Security solutions are designed to detect malicious activity and prevent hackers from accessing sensitive data. These include SIEM, IPSs (network-based or host-based), and DLP. A secure web gateway monitors, inspects and blocks suspicious traffic before it enters or leaves an organization’s network. It can also detect and block exploits of known vulnerabilities.


Organizations need more streamlined and powerful security as work-from-home and remote access become the norm. A gateway security platform with broad third-party integration gives you a single pane of glass to detect threats and respond quickly across your entire attack surface, including edge locations, IoT devices, and unmanaged devices. SWGs with DLP functionality can check outgoing data for patterns and phrases to ensure sensitive information is not leaving the company network. This prevents breaches even when employees are using their devices for business purposes. SWGs can also be integrated with a zero-trust architecture to protect internal and external resource access, utilizing the principles of “never trust, always verify.” Combining SWG with ZTNA and CASB delivers more robust security that’s difficult for malware to bypass.

Threat Prevention

As the workplace shifts to remote work, employees have greater access to web-based threats that can put the company at risk. Gateway security solutions can protect employees by filtering incoming and outgoing web traffic. A Secure Web Gateway (SWG) is a hardware device or software solution that inspects all web traffic between users and the Internet. This includes several features, such as URL filtering, content filtering, malware detection, and SSL/TLS inspection. Gateways can also include a feature called data loss prevention (DLP). This checks outgoing traffic to ensure it doesn’t contain sensitive information that can be stolen, such as social security numbers, credit card data, medical information, and intellectual property. This is done by checking outgoing files for specific patterns and phrases that match up to these types of information.

Access Control

As workforces become more remote, networks more distributed, and employees increasingly use the software as a service solution, gateway security platforms play an essential role in protecting organizations, data, and devices. In a typical configuration, secure web gateways inspect any web traffic and ensure it aligns with security policies before it gets to end users. They also perform URL filtering, which prevents users from browsing inappropriate websites and ensures that only legitimate web content is available on the network. Some gateway security platforms also offer data loss prevention, which scans outgoing content for sensitive information and redacts it if necessary to prevent data leaks. This can be performed both on the device and in the cloud, where a unified platform can provide visibility and precise control over web access while enforcing security policies.

Data Loss Prevention

The data flowing out of a network can be checked and controlled by secure web gateway solutions that use URL filtering, sandboxing, malware detection, and anti-malware protection. This can prevent sensitive and confidential information or unauthorized software from being maliciously or inadvertently leaked outside the organization’s network. SWGs can also limit internet file uploads to a pre-set size, preventing data exfiltration that could harm a company’s reputation or cause financial loss. With more and more employees working remotely, secure gateways can ensure policies are enforced on any device — even without a corporate hardware network connection. This is accomplished with remote browser isolation, which runs web-based code in a virtual container and does not reach the organizational network. This also prevents rogue applications from tampering with sensitive data and files.

Encrypted Traffic Evaluation

As more business applications move to the cloud, secure web gateways (SWG) are becoming more critical. These solutions function at the application level, analyzing traffic to detect malicious issues that firewalls may miss. SWGs perform URL filtering, web visibility, and malware content inspection to determine whether data flowing in or out of the network matches corporate-acceptable use policies. They can also decrypt SSL-encrypted traffic for analysis. SWGs can also prevent unauthorized data from leaving the organization by enforcing remote browser isolation (RBI), which runs all active code from internet traffic in a disposable container outside the organizational network. This helps organizations prevent data breaches from cybercriminals using malware in files uploaded to the web or downloaded from the Internet. They can also limit the size of internet file uploads to ensure data does not exceed corporate policies.


Secure web gateways evaluate incoming and outgoing data by performing inline evaluations of encrypted traffic. They look at the nature of the data and use a database of website categories to check if the site is known to be malicious or has a bad reputation. They also can scan for malware by executing potentially harmful code in a controlled environment and analyzing its behavior. They also use URL filtering to block users from accessing websites that are not safe. They can also prevent sensitive intellectual property and financial information from leaving the network by blocking uploads to websites that are not sanctioned. They can do this by monitoring outgoing data or checking for patterns of social security numbers, credit card numbers, and medical information to block the transfer of that information.


As more employees work remotely, secure gateways are critical to any network security strategy. These solutions monitor incoming and outgoing internet traffic to ensure data follow company policies. Depending on the answer, it may be a software application or a physical appliance. Positioned at the edge of your network, a gateway analyzes website traffic and determines whether to allow or block access to specific sites. Some gateways also offer data loss prevention to prevent sensitive information from leaving the organization based on set policy rules. This protects against data breaches and regulatory compliance issues. Increasingly, these platforms are integrating with other security technologies to simplify management and improve user experience.

Written by Joshua Galyon

Joshua is a senior editor at Snooth, covering most anything of interest in the world of science and technology. Having written on everything from the science of space exploration to advances in gene therapy, he has a real soft spot for big, complicated pieces that make for excellent weekend reads.

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