PODCAST: ‘Web gateways’ provide vital slice of a layered approach to defending networks

By Byron V. Acohido

More employees are working remotely than ever before. According to a Gallup survey, 43 percent of the 15,000 surveyed Americans said they spent at least some time working remotely. That’s up 4 percent since 2012. In a survey of business leaders at the Global Leadership Summit, 34 percent said over half their work force would be working remotely by 2020.

It’s imperative that companies can protect their employees wherever they are. Whether they are in an airport, coffee shop, client office or at home, they need the same level of protection offered at their business offices. If an employee’s device is infected while using an insecure connection and then they bring their device back inside the corporate network, they are acting as a delivery method themselves.

Related article: The importance of employee awareness training

Previously, solutions achieved this by routing all remote traffic back through corporate servers. But as bandwidth requirements continue to skyrocket, the cost of backhauling this data to headquarters is unsustainable.

Cloud-based web gateways offer a more flexible solution for the future. Rather than routing remote traffic through corporate servers, the data is routed through the cloud to be scanned and then transferred straight back to the device.

I recently sat down with twin brothers Paul and Peter Martini at Black Hat 2017 in Las Vegas. Paul and Peter are CEO and President, respectively, of iBoss, a cloud-based web gateway service that aims to provide the global protection businesses need. Together, we discussed the nuts and bolts of web gateways, how companies currently use gateways and the need for a cloud-based solution. You can find the key takeaways below.

Paul Martini

Defining web gateways. Web gateways are a form of cybersecurity service that scan data going into and out of the network in order to prevent malware infection and data loss. They are used by virtually every Fortune 500 company to ensure that employees are meeting the company’s internet use policy.

Cloud-based uptake is slow. Some 85 percent of the market today uses web gateway appliances that sit at the main office. This means that, regardless of where employees are located in the world, their VPN will route traffic back to the main office first. This creates a clunky, expensive and insecure experience.

Why go cloud? By choosing a cloud solution, you eliminate the need for heavy pieces of web gateway appliances to be hosted in-house. There’s no need to worry about adding additional infrastructure or handling upgrades, either. Instead everything is handled in the cloud, through a service that can be expanded on demand. Using a cloud solution also eliminates the need for VPNs and the data backlog that currently exists. All the data is scanned in the cloud and matched to the relevant internet use policy.

Peter Martini

Policies that can be controlled using web gateways. Use policies tend to fall into one of three buckets. The first is core gateway functionality, which typically revolves around compliance. Cloud Access Security Brokering (CASB) functionality event logs prevent employees from uploading sensitive information to their personal cloud storage space. It also covers the use of social media and other often-prohibited websites. The second concerns the prevention of malware. Scanning helps to ensure that files and downloads are free from infection. The third is data loss. Is data leaving the network that shouldn’t be? A web gateway can scan for personally identifiable information and other identifiers to ensure sensitive information stays secure on the network.

More stories related to in-house cybersecurity for businesses:
Sophisticated email monitoring can help companies detect insider threats
SMBs need to fortify their ‘human firewall’ with cybersecurity training
Neutralizing insider threats is vital to good data security

This article originally appeared on ThirdCertainty.com

(Editor’s note: Last Watchdog has supplied consulting services to iBoss.)

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