A secure web gateway is used to monitor data that is entering or leaving a network and can prevent malicious traffic from gaining access to private infrastructure. In most cases, a secure web gateway is deployed as a security measure to protect against threats that originate from the public Internet and is implemented through a hardware/software gateway device/application at the outer boundaries of a network.

Common features of a secure web gateway include URL filtering, application-level control, data leakage prevention, and virus/malware code detection. But as with many technical network components, there is some variation across core features. Here are the four main components of a secure web gateway that IT should focus on when securing a network:

1) Real-Time Traffic Inspection

A good web gateway inspects network web traffic in real-time and analyzes it against corporate policies to ensure that the content traversing the network adheres to company policies; at the same time, the gateway should block inappropriate or dangerous network traffic.

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To implement this feature quickly and easily, administrators should look for solutions that provide off-the-shelf security policy templates and the ability to tailor additional policies to the needs of the business (compliance) and end-users.

2) Protection for Remote Workers

As more workers move off the corporate campus and work remotely, there is an increasing need for security solutions that can deliver end-to-end protection anywhere, anytime, and for any device. Fortunately, a secure web gateway can be designed to seamlessly authenticate roaming users and apply the same security policies to remote devices; this means that those devices can operate as if they were directly connected to the network at the office—regardless of physical location. The result is a smooth end-user experience and IT peace of mind that all traffic is secure.

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3) Policy-Based Access

Policy is something that we’re very familiar with, as our Mobility VPN includes industry-leading flexibility, but policy is an important part of a secure web gateway as well. From restricting web access by time-of-day to preventing inappropriate site content, this technology can be granularly configured to meet compliance requirements and other acceptable use rules while ensuring maximum productivity.

4) Data Leakage Prevention

Data leakage is “the unauthorized transfer of classified information from a computer or datacenter to the outside world.” So when sensitive data or irregular user activity is detected, data leakage prevention can take action (using access controls, encryption, tokenization or data masking) to ensure that the data is protected and the activity is blocked.

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