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An Overview of Secure Web Gateway Wikipedia

What is the secure web gateway Wikipedia? Secure Web gateway solutions protect Web-surfing PCs from infection and enforce company policies. A secure Web gateway is a solution that filters unwanted. What more? Learn more information in this article. 

Definition Of Secure Web Gateway Wikipedia

The secure web gateway (SWG) is the first line of defense in a network against malware, spam, and intrusion. It typically consists of a proxy server that manages all traffic entering and exiting the network. 

An SWG can be in hardware, software, or a combination of both. The most common configurations are as listed:

  • appliance with packets routed through the appliance
  • an application running on a dedicated device or virtual machine
  • software application running on a dedicated device or virtual machine.

Depending on the size of the organization, an SWG can be a stand-alone unit or an integral part of the server farm. It is also possible to implement a web gateway as a virtual appliance or web application, which then resides on existing servers in the network.

Background and History of Secure Web Gateway

The first secure web gateways were in the late 1990s. The first secure web gateway was by Arne Olav Alvestrand, who was working at CERN at that time and was looking. 

It is for a solution to protect employees’ PCs from getting infected with viruses while they surf the Internet using the CERN network. 

The first secure web gateway used packet filtering technology to route traffic between untrusted and trusted networks. Search results from an external search engine such as Google were to the users and other traffic was blocked. 

In a matter of years, the secure web gateway evolved into a solution that combined proxy server and intrusion prevention system (IPS) technology. 


The main function of a secure web gateway is to protect the organization’s internal resources and users from external threats

Today, a secure web gateway contains the following features:

  • manages all incoming and outgoing HTTP (and HTTPS) traffic on any TCP port. 
  • block unwanted Web sites at the URL level and the domain name level. 
  • scan and filter outbound traffic based on destination IP address, destination port number, source IP address, and content type. 
  • filter outbound traffic based on URL content. 
  • block certain protocols and applications such as IRC, FTP, instant messaging, and peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing. 
  • implement Layer 7 protocol inspection. 
  • implement malware scanning. 
  • log all traffic passing through the secure web gateway. 
  • provide customizable reporting options.


Manage Complexity

Many components go into building a secure web gateway and it can quickly become a complex solution. 

There are multiple protocols, complex applications, and different types of content that must be the secure web gateway. It can be overwhelming to choose the right technologies, integrations, and features. 

Manage Cost

The cost of implementing a secure web gateway can be high depending on the size of the organization. The features and configuration of the secure web gateway must be decided carefully. 

It is easy to over-configure or under-configure a secure web gateway and adds unnecessary costs. 


Thus, it is important to understand the benefits and limitations of this technology and the organization’s requirements before building a secure web gateway.

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