What is a Next Generation Secure Web Gateway (NG SWG)?
A Next Generation Secure Web Gateway (NG SWG) is a new cloud-native solution for protecting enterprises from the growing volume of sophisticated cloud enabled threats and data risks. It is the logical evolution of the traditional secure web gateway, also known as a web proxy or web filter. Unlike a traditional secure web gateway, a Next Gen SWG deals in both cloud and web traffic, whereas the former only deals in web traffic and is blind to cloud-enabled threats and data risks for personal instances of managed apps, thousands of shadow IT apps and cloud services.
Over the past decade, many enterprises have allow listed specific cloud services such as Microsoft Office 365 to bypass inline firewall and proxy security defenses – enabling a “red carpet” entry for threats or data exfiltration. The inability to detect data transferring between company and personal cloud app instances or the use of rogue instances for threat cloud delivery adds to the list of blind spots for legacy defenses.
Next Gen SWG allows you to continue to operate without sacrificing control over company data movement in apps and cloud services, or stifling workflows with blanket bans on certain applications and activities. This is crucial considering the recent and massive shift from office work to remote work, as well as the migration from traditional on-premise architectures over to the cloud during the past few years.
How is a Next Generation Secure Web Gateway Different from a Legacy Web Proxy Solution?
As stated earlier, Next Gen SWG is the next evolution in traditional web proxy gateway solutions, but how exactly do they protect against the modern threat landscape and data risks?
Simply put, traditional web filtering and proxy solutions are no longer effective at safeguarding web and cloud app users or the enterprise from the following:
1. Increasing cloud apps and services, as well as cloud-enabled threats More than half of web traffic today (53%) is related to apps and cloud services, and more than two-thirds of malware (68%) is delivered from cloud apps versus the web*. Legacy web proxy gateways cannot decode apps and cloud services to detect these cloud delivered threats. All stages of the cyber kill chain are now cloud-enabled, including reconnaissance, weaponization, delivery, and call back communications.
Business units and users continue to freely adopt new apps and cloud services, growing 22% for the first six months of this year where the average company with 500-2000 users accesses 805 distinct apps. Legacy SWG solutions are mostly blind to these growing shadow IT apps and cloud services and less than 3% are managed by IT.
2. Rising data exposure and theft in a cloud-first world Over 90% of data created in the cloud happened in the last two years and more than 70% of users are mobile and work remotely. The ability to transfer data between company and personal instances of managed cloud apps, or to another personal cloud app instance, plus using webmail and sharing links is an easy task for any user today.
Legacy SWG solutions often lack DLP capabilities, especially for apps and cloud services, web browsers and forms, mobile apps and sync clients.
3. Growing number of remote workers accessing private and public apps and resources The digital transformation to cloud and mobile is inverting the legacy appliance-based security stack to the cloud to better protect an increasing base of remote workers. Legacy SWG appliances located in offices force traffic hair-pinning with VPNs to central data centers which is no longer sufficient and results in a poor user experience.
Secure access service edge (SASE) architecture unites multiple security defenses into one cloud platform, with one console, and one policy engine resulting in lower total cost of operations. Next Gen SWGs cover five lanes of user traffic to public resources including web, managed SaaS, shadow IT, public cloud services, and custom apps in public cloud services. Private apps and resources within SASE architecture use Zero trust network access (ZTNA) where implicit trust based on location or device is removed. In this new model, any user, any location, on any device is protected by a nearby cloud security services edge with minimal impact on performance.
What makes a Next Gen SWG truly “next generation” is the depth of control, monitoring, and protection for the five lanes of user traffic inspected. A Next Gen SWG goes beyond old “allow/block” policies of web proxies for one-lane of traffic and combines the capabilities of proxies, inline cloud access security brokers (CASB), and data loss prevention (DLP) platforms. This combination delivers a variety of advanced cloud visibility features and capabilities:
filtrado de contenido web con valoraciones dinámicas
Descifrado SSL/TLS con rendimiento y escala de nube
cloud access security broker (CASB) inline functionality to discover, decode and inspect apps and cloud services traffic
Protección avanzada frente a amenazas (ATP), entre otros, sandboxing y detección de anomalías basada en aprendizaje automático (machine-learning)
Información estratégica y contexto con abundantes metadatos para investigar, elaborar informes detallados, etc.
With the use of a Next Gen SWG, you can monitor behavior for web, apps and cloud services, set granular acceptable use policies, invoke adaptive policies based on app risk, user risk, activity, and data sensitivity, and provide real-time user coaching to safer alternatives and away from risky apps. Not only does this improve your security in the cloud, but it also improves user experiences by avoiding blanket bans on certain actions and devices. Granular controls and inline visibility of a Next Gen SWG helps contextualize user and data activity so adaptive policies can guide users while reducing risk and protecting data without interfering with legitimate work practices.
What are the Common Next Gen Secure Web Gateway Capabilities?
These are the six individual capabilities unique to a Next Generation Secure Web Gateway:
1. Monitors and assesses individual actions Logre visibilidad en línea de miles de aplicaciones y servicios en la nube gestionados y no gestionados, así como de tráfico web, y unifique las capacidades críticas de SWG, CASB y DLP en una misma plataforma.
2. Granular control over applications Get real-time, granular control of thousands of cloud apps including the shadow IT ones led by lines of business and users vs. IT. This enables you to stop the bad stuff from happening and safely enable the good.
3. Implementation of acceptable use policies Incorpore una combinación de filtrado web tradicional que abarca categorías de URL, categorías personalizadas y valoraciones de páginas dinámicas para nuevos sitios con una valoración exhaustiva del uso de las aplicaciones en la nube, los riesgos y las políticas de uso aceptable tanto para la nube como para la web.
4. Protection against threats Protect against web and cloud-delivered malware and advanced threats with advanced defense capabilities from cloud app instance awareness to detect rogue and personal instances used to deliver phishing and threats, to pre-execution analysis of scripts and macros, cloud and bare-metal sandboxing, and machine learning-based threat analysis and anomaly detection.
5. Protection of data everywhere Siga los datos a cualquier parte y protéjalos estén donde estén, garantizando además una inspección exacta y precisa con capacidades avanzadas que van desde coincidencias exactas hasta detección de huellas dactilares con coincidencias de similitud.
6. Covers direct-to-internet Eliminate costly back hauling and improve performance for remote offices and users with cloud edge-based network infrastructure, optimized for low latency and high capacity worldwide.
Organizations looking to adopt a Next Gen SWG should look for a single-platform, unified, cloud-native solution that:
1. Leverages true cloud architecture The solution must be built around cloud-native microservices with fully integrated capabilities, not cloud-hosted separate legacy solutions, for true cloud performance and scale. Also, using a carrier grade private network optimized for access leveraging peering relationships with global and local cloud service providers is essential for worldwide availability and performance. The resulting cloud service has a minimal performance impact on the user experience, and in some cases, an accelerated experience.
2. Decodes apps and cloud services La solución debe decodificar miles de aplicaciones y servicios en la nube, junto con tráfico web, para comprender el contenido y el contexto de los datos y las defensas de protección. El nuevo lenguaje consiste en API diseñadas en torno a JSON para aplicaciones, servicios en la nube y sitios web. Las defensas de NG SWG deben comprender al usuario, el dispositivo, la ubicación, la aplicación, el riesgo, la instancia, el contenido y la actividad para los controles de política contextual, además de recopilar abundantes metadatos para llevar a cabo análisis, investigaciones y aprendizaje automático.
3. Keeps pace with new attacks The solution can’t simply protect against known attacks, instead, it should be able to address a wide array of new and emerging threats, including cloud-enabled threats such as cloud phishing, cloud payload delivery, and callback communications. This requires the systematic advantage of decoding apps and cloud services for content and context for advanced threat and data protection defenses, plus machine learning.
Cloud-enabled threats leverage trusted domains with valid certificates either passing through legacy defenses or being allow-listed to bypass defenses. Users can maliciously or accidentally transfer data between company and personal instances, or be phished for access credentials in these legacy environments.
What’s the Role of NG SWG in a SASE Dominated Future?
With the massive shifts to the cloud over the course of the pandemic, SWG technology is morphing into something bigger than itself. Combined with other technologies such as data loss prevention (DLP) and Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB), the concept of a Next Gen Secure Web Gateway is a crucial component of what is known as Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) architecture.
SASE combines multiple security and networking technologies to provide comprehensive web and cloud security without the hiccups of traditional perimeter appliance-based security, such as latency and lack of context into data usage.
What this means is that a limited scope solution like a secure web gateway is no longer an option for companies. It’ll require a combined approach of multiple tools in which Next Gen SWGs are just a component of this security strategy.
Oriente su seguridad web hacia la nube, pensando en la nube
A medida que las organizaciones se van familiarizando con la adopción de los servicios en la nube, aumenta el número de aplicaciones de producción de misión crítica que se trasladan a la nube o que son reemplazadas por aplicaciones SaaS con una funcionalidad similar.
* As of 10 June, 2021, Netskope has an Overall Rating of 4.7 out of 5 in the Secure Web Gateways market, based on 69 reviews.
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