Top 10 SWG solutions in 2022

(Image credit: Future)

Today, companies no longer rely solely on corporate data centers and employees aren’t bound strictly to the office.

With data breaches and malware attacks looming behind every corner, it’s never been more imperative for businesses to implement more advanced security solutions to tackle these issues. 

One of those solutions is a secure web gateway (SWG).

In short, an SWG filters out harmful content and malware to stop cyberattacks and block unauthorized personnel. It can prevent users from accessing unsecured websites that could expose the internal network to malicious web traffic.

To minimize the chances of a cybersecurity fiasco, here are the best SWG solutions you can implement:

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Perimeter 81 is one of TechRadar's choices for the best SWG providers

Perimeter 81 is one of TechRadar's choices for the best SWG providers

Protect your employees and network from web-based attacks with a Secure Web Gateway. Filter out malicious threats. Monitor all employee activity. Streamline compliance. Secure your entire workforce, whether on-prem or remote with Perimeter 81. Deploy in minutes. Start now.

1. Perimeter 81

As one of the leading experts in cloud and network security, it’s not surprising Perimeter 81 also offers a robust SWG solution as part of its comprehensive platform.

It provides companies with a top-notch, always-on protection system that lets them track web activities, define bypass rules, and filter out malicious sites. Perimeter 81’s web-filtering capabilities help define limitations across the entire network, but it also extends to the personal devices of your employees.

On top of that, the solution is easy to set up and manage. 

The Essentials pricing plan, which also includes security features such as a web-based cloud management platform, costs $8 per user per month with SWG available as an add-on.

2. Cisco Umbrella

Similar to the previous entry on this list, Cisco Umbrella offers multiple security features in a single console. Their SWG provides users with full proxy capabilities that help maximize performance and reduce cybersecurity risks by logging, analyzing, and controlling network traffic.

It blocks requests to unwanted destinations before a connection is established, thus minimizing threats over any port well before they reach the network. 

The SWG is included in the DNS Security Essentials package, which costs $2.25 per user per month.

3. ZScaler Web Security

This cloud-based SWG has all the features you’ll need for security, including URL filtering, DNS filtering, anti-spam, antivirus, and data protection features, among other things.

Perhaps the biggest selling point for ZScaler is the fact it can effortlessly analyze SSL traffic, as well as provide you with bandwidth control capabilities that let you prioritize applications over useless traffic.

This is available in the ZScaler Business edition that is priced on an annual, per-user, subscriptions basis. However, you’ll have to contact ZScaler directly to receive a custom quote.

4. Forcepoint Web Security

Forcepoint Web Security has all the necessary capabilities of an SWG like the aforementioned URL filtering, but it also has a plethora of advanced features hiding under the hood.

One of those is Forcepoint’s Advanced Classification Engine, which detects threats by utilizing machine learning with over 10k analytics and behavioral baselines. 

However, this solution also has one of the best malware protection protocols around. Advanced malware detection uses cloud sandboxing to minimize the disruption that malware outbreaks might do to your network.

As with ZScaler, you’ll need to contact the company to get an idea of their pricing.

5. McAfee

The well-known antivirus company has also expanded its suite of products to offer cloud-based security features. Its Next-Gen Secure Web Gateway securely connects your employees with any application, from any device.

This solution has threat-prevention features that protect against cyberattacks that circumvent URL filtering and antivirus signatures.

Along with reputation and category-based filtering, McAfee can also detect zero-day malware with extensive coverage of web traffic as well as SSL.

Pricing info is available upon contacting McAfee for a quote. You can also request a free custom demo.

6. Barracuda Web Security Gateway

Barracuda’s SWG offering not only helps you remotely filter out unwanted internet content but also covers all sorts of online security risks. For instance, Advanced Threat Protection analyzes incoming files against a cryptographic hash database to help block any files recognized as unsafe.

Barracuda is a great option if you need flexibility as it offers different configurations that cover all bases including cloud, hybrid cloud, as well as on-premise configurations.

There is a free trial, so you can test if this product will suit you before asking for a quote.

7. Symantec Secure Gateway

The cloud-based SWG consists of features such as sophisticated threat protection, data loss prevention, cloud-access security brokers, and email security to boot.

Through Symantec Global Intelligence Network’s machine learning and image quality protocols that feature real-time threat intelligence, you can analyze encrypted messages and authenticate users while also preventing any cyberattacks before they occur.

To obtain pricing information, you’ll need to contact the vendor.

8. Check Point

The company’s Harmony Connect Internet Access offers protection for remote workers through a lightweight client. 

It does a lot of things like blocking phishing sites in real-time, and similar to McAfee, it stops zero-day malware through sandboxing. It also safeguards against browser exploits through virtual patching.

This solution also offers real-time threat intelligence that ensures all the websites your employees visit and all the files they download are analyzed. Suspicious files and websites are then vetted, which helps stop most attacks before they reach users.

You can get a pricing quote if you contact Check Point directly.

9. FortiProxy

The SWG solution provided by Fortinet has a lot of tricks up its sleeve, such as DNS and web-filtering, application restrictions, antivirus, and data leak protection.

FortiProxy also features traffic caching and shaping for the ICAP server protocol, as well as remote access through a VPN.

Additionally, because this solution integrates with Fortinet’s Security Fabric, it also supports zero-trust web surfing, along with sandboxing and central reporting.

There is no pricing information available but you can demo the product for free.

10. Censornet Web Security

Powered by AI, Censornet Web Security can automatically filter out inappropriate photos. Additionally, you can choose to restrict online content using different parameters like URL, keyword, or categories.

However, that’s not the only thing this software can do.

It also offers advanced threat intelligence to stop more sophisticated attacks. Combined with the ability to process encrypted SSL information and a fast response time, Censornet is a good choice if you want to kickstart the security of your company.

As with most SWGs on the list, you’ll have to contact the vendor to get an idea of the price.

Advanced security for the modern age

The rapid advancement of cyberattack methods, along with a fundamental shift towards the cloud in the modern workforce, make it all the more important to ensure that security solutions follow suit.

Unfortunately, legacy solutions can’t keep up with the demands of the increasingly cloud-based world, so the sooner you update your security, the better. An SWG can and should be that first step towards protecting your network and your employees on all devices.

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.