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Secure Web Gateway of the Future: Simple, Scalable

If you’re like most businesses, you’ve already got a secure web gateway (SWG) deployed. In fact, 84% of businesses rely on their secure web gateway to protect their organization from malware infections, enforce corporate and regulatory policies, filter content, and more.

As organizations move to the cloud, traditional appliance-based SWGs have been strained with more traffic, more strain, and less-than-effective security results. Traditional on-premises web gateways are unable to scale, and they can leave your users, devices, and data open to attack. Maybe that’s why a recent survey by ESG found that fewer than one in ten people are very satisfied with their existing secure web gateway solution.

Is it time for an upgrade? We think so.

New needs drive new challenges which forces us to question our old ways of doing things. Is there a better, more effective way to secure our users, our workplaces, and our devices? Organizations both large and small want to secure their users wherever they access the internet while providing a streamlined user experience. In today’s cloud-obsessed world, we can all agree that an SWG must protect us from threats and malware, enforce acceptable use policies, log web traffic, filter content, and enable investigations — all without impeding performance. Now that’s a tall order — but we know it can be done. And we believe at Cisco it can be done better.

Change is here.

With 60% of cybersecurity experts predicting that the majority of their organization’s apps will be SaaS-based by 2021, and that 67% of all proxies will move to the cloud, all signs point to a change. The shift is already happening. Gaps in traditional SWG performance have opened the door for a cloud-delivered, scalable, and simple solution that can provide more complete visibility and more consistent protection for security teams. When talking with existing customers and prospects, one theme seems to resonate. The need to secure all internet activity, the need to accept traffic from all locations (including remote workers and roaming employees) and the ability to integrate with critical networking functions like software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN) are key. The ability to unify security and networking functionality in a solution that is simple to manage, deploy, and configure ranks high on the “must have” list.

The “must have” list

Core functionality is expected. The ability to deliver full URL logging and reporting, support multiple traffic redirection methods, and provide tenant controls are just table stakes. Another no-brainer is multi-level content control. The rest of the list does not include any shockers: AV/malware scanning, full and selective decryption, file sandboxing, and application visibility and control. The difference is taking this core SWG functionality and marrying it with a modern architecture. If you can do that and integrate it with your existing network to improve performance, reduce management tasks, and eliminate capital expenditures, then you have a true game changer!

The SWG of the future

Cisco Umbrella is a cloud security service that unifies multiple security functions, including an SWG for today’s needs that provides robust, integrated protection. Umbrella also includes market-leading DNS-layer security, a cloud-delivered firewall, CASB functionality, threat intelligence, and more. What makes our SWG so much better than those others?

  • Easy to deploy across all locations and users, on and off-network
  • Reduced complexity and simplified tunnel management with Anycast technology for automated failover
  • Unmatched threat intelligence that sees attacks, before they reach your network and endpoints

Ask the tough questions

Thinking about how to deploy a secure access service edge (SASE) service? A cloud-delivered SWG is a great place to start. Explore the benefits of a modern, cloud-delivered secure web gateway, and find out what SWG components and functions are necessary for today’s network and security architecture.


Author Rachel Ackerly is marketing programs manager for Cisco Systems’ Umbrella platform. Read more Cisco Systems guest blogs here.

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