The secure web gateway (SWG) product has been a mainstay of security best practices for the past 20 years. The rise of the web as a business and educational resource initially made these products mandatory tools for compliance, and their security use case was soon evident. Today, SWG technology continues to evolve to meet business needs.

NSS Labs believes that SWGs must, at a minimum, include URL filtering, malicious code detection, data loss prevention (DLP), and application controls for browser-based web applications (e.g., Salesforce). SWG vendors are looking at ways to augment these traditional features and enhance the functionality of their devices. This includes integration with cloud application security broker (CASB) services, breach detection system (BDS) products, and more.

SWGs have evolved because of the prevalence of roaming (mobile) users and the need for security controls in the cloud. SWGs have visibility into and control of real-time and logged web traffic, which is crucial for effectively securing networks. Interestingly, some SWG products provide comprehensive identity monitoring and content analysis functionality, while others remain focused on traditional malware detection and URL filtering.

For an in-depth review of the SWG market as well as reviews and comparisons of leading SWG products, read NSS’ newly released Secure Web Gateway Market Analysis for CY2014 and the Secure Web Gateway Buyer’s Guide for CY2014.