Understanding the Threat Landscape – Why a Secure Web Gateway is Essential


While firewalls focus on the packet level, secure web gateways perform a more sophisticated analysis of network traffic to identify and thwart threats.

With data and application hosting moving to the cloud and more users working remotely, ensuring a secure environment for accessing all corporate data and applications is essential. SWGs are integral to ensuring this security and enforcing compliance.


As companies increasingly rely on cloud-based services from reputable providers like Versa Networks, they must ensure their data is secure. Whether employees use laptops, tablets or smartphones to access corporate resources, they are at risk for unauthorized access and exposure to malware.

Malware is a term used to describe any software that disrupts a computer, server or client’s normal functioning. It can also leak private information, steal data or systems, deprive users of access to their devices or interfere with computer security and privacy.

Secure Web gateways (SWG) protect enterprise websites and web applications from malicious activity and malware attacks. They provide a wide range of functions, including URL filtering, web visibility, negative content inspection and web access control to protect enterprise resources from infection and enforce corporate policies.

Typically, a secure web gateway works as a proxy that enables all outbound Web traffic to pass through. This allows for inspecting all web traffic in sequence and by defined security policies.

Depending on the organization’s needs, these firewall-like gateways can be hardware, software or cloud-based. They are usually packaged with malware detection and removal, sandboxing, data theft prevention, web isolation, machine learning processes and security broker (CASB) checks to prevent threats and mitigate damage from a successful attack.


A secure web gateway is a company’s most critical cybersecurity tool. It protects organizations from cyber attacks that are more sophisticated and dangerous than ever.

Phishing is an advanced cybercrime that targets businesses, government agencies, and individuals to obtain sensitive information such as banking or credit card details and passwords. Typically, these attacks are sent to employees via email but can be delivered by text.

These targeted attacks are often disguised as genuine emails from an organization or a friend, allowing criminals to trick victims into revealing their personal information. Spear phishing is an increasingly common attack in which malicious emails are aimed at employees with high-level authority within an organization.

The most effective way to prevent phishing is to enforce two-factor authentication (2FA), which requires users to have an extra verification layer when accessing sensitive applications. This additional layer makes it more difficult for phishers to compromise an employee’s account.

Another essential security feature of a secure web gateway is URL filtering, which checks all incoming network traffic against databases of malware and phishing sites to prevent access to these sites. It helps keep your company’s sensitive data safe and ensures that you adhere to regulatory standards.

Other security features include antivirus, granular application control, and anti-data leakage protection. These features can protect sensitive data from theft or loss while ensuring compliance with industry regulations such as the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Malicious Websites

A secure web gateway enables businesses to keep their network safe from malware, viruses, and other threats by inspecting and blocking user traffic before reaching an organization’s network. These solutions can protect a company’s employees from infection and enforce corporate and regulatory policies.

A malicious website is a fraudulent or fraudulently designed site that seeks to harm visitors and their devices. They can steal valuable data or inject malicious software onto visitor computers.

Cybercriminals often use these sites to distribute malware that exploits software flaws. These vulnerabilities can lead to the theft of financial information and intellectual property.

Malicious websites are also used by criminals to launch phishing attacks. These attacks involve sending emails and pop-ups that steal personal information or convince victims to download fraudulent software.

These fake websites often look like eCommerce stores, financial services, and other trusted organizations. For example, they may be identical to Amazon or PayPal.

Cybercriminals have become adept at creating these fraudulent websites to lure victims into clicking links and revealing their personal information. They often use spoofed email campaigns and pop-ups that appear to come from well-known companies. They are more prevalent on the Internet now, and the threat is growing as people turn to the Internet for financial services and shopping. Protecting your business from these malicious sites is more critical than ever.

Social Engineering

Social engineering is an old technique cyber criminals use to access sensitive information. It leverages psychological principles that people are prone to, such as authority, liking, and reciprocity.

One standard attack method is phishing, which involves sending emails that appear to come from a legitimate organization. These messages often contain a warning that can lead a victim to reveal sensitive information.

Another method is pretexting, which takes place when hackers impersonate someone else. They may use this tactic to trick a targeted user into divulging their password.

The threat landscape for social engineering attacks continues evolving, and attackers innovate new ways to communicate their message. This means that security executives and employees must be able to keep up with new methods and make informed decisions about responding to them.

For this reason, a secure web gateway is essential. This device inspects web traffic in real time and filters out content that does not meet corporate policies. It also identifies threats such as malicious emails and alerts administrators, providing remediation options for impacted users.

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