What is Secure Web Gateway (SWG)?

The internet is fraught with danger thanks to an army of cybercriminals. They use various techniques such as malware, phishing, viruses, and ransomware to disrupt businesses and people.

Most cyber criminals use these techniques in hopes of achieving financial gains. Some threats are a nuisance, while others do significant damage that results in losses in productivity, capital assets, confidential data, and an organization’s reputation.

Prevent Cyberattacks with SWG Cybersecurity

Protecting users and corporate networks from web-based cyber threats isn’t a simple one-technology answer.  It involves a variety of devices and services.  Cybersecurity can be provided by multiple devices that work in-line or by one complex device that provides multiple services.  A secure web gateway. or SWG, is an example of a multi-service device. Depending on the vendor and their definition, SWG cybersecurity can provide a myriad of cybersecurity functions.

Inspect and halt internet communication containing malware and viruses

URL filtering, which blocks certain websites known to be malicious

Enforce corporate and regulatory policy compliance.

Integrate controls used for instant messaging like IM and Skype

Provide DLP (Data Loss Protection), which intercepts outgoing communication containing sensitive information such as security credentials, credit card data, or controlled documents such as confidential engineering drawings.

Download our latest eBook. This new approach to networking comprises a set of truly integrated, cloud-managed security services delivered on-prem or in the cloud with centrally managed security. Learn how to:

  • Reduce complexity and operational overhead
  • Deliver ease of use/transparency for users
  • Enhance security with zero-trust network access

Single Pass Architecture is the Best Approach

Single-pass architecture delivers all the security operations of a secure web gateway, firewall, and more. With this approach, cybersecurity technologies are weaved together, thread by thread, into one process. There is also no latency between processes since they are unified.


With a single-pass architecture, all cybersecurity processes are performed, in real-time, as a single step. Process cores, controls, sensors, and resources act in unison.

  • All the controls and sensors are consolidated
  • All the resources are included in shared resource libraries
  • All the process cores are arranged and interweaved for real-time performance

A single-pass architecture requires sophisticated orchestration of technologies and is not available as an ‘out-of-the-box’ solution. They are offered by a select group of service providers.

Open Systems SWG Cybersecurity

Depending on your business needs, a ‘Swiss Army Knife’ approach using a secure web gateway may or may not provide the cybersecurity posture you require. For performance-sensitive and distributed networks, a more comprehensive SASE cybersecurity service may be preferred.

Contact our customer advocates and learn about our single-pass SWG cybersecurity architecture and SASE services.

SWG Cybersecurity FAQ

What is SWG cybersecurity?

A SWG, or Secure Web Gateway, performs a number of various functions that all help to protect a company. Some SWG cybersecurity functions include:

– Review all network communication and prohibit any malware or viruses from entering the network

– Filter URLs and block malicious websites

– Implement and enforce company network policies

– Prepare DLP (Data Loss Protection) procedures, which control what sensitive information leaves the network based on company policies to prevent data breaches.

What does SWG stand for?

In cybersecurity, SWG stands for Secure Web Gateway.

What is the purpose of a SWG in cybersecurity?

The purpose of SWG in cybersecurity is to control and protect network access by adhering to company network policy. Additionally, a SWG helps block any malicious sites or users from entering or leaving the company network, especially with sensitive data. The internet has made data much more vulnerable, which is why SWG cybersecurity helps protect the company network and data.

What’s the difference between SWG and CASB in cybersecurity?

CASB, or cloud access security broker, and SWG are very similar. They both replace firewalls and are built for data protection. However, there are a few distinctions between the two. One is that CASB is always cloud based, while SWG, although often cloud based, is not strictly so. Another is that a CASB focuses on protecting all data, while a SWG mostly focuses on corporate and employee private data. Also, a CASB protects data stored in cloud environments, while SWG filters who and what enters the network in the first place. For example, a SWG will block unknown users from accessing the company network, but a CASB will be better at blocking employees from misusing data.