Gartner Research

Assessing Secure Web Gateway Technologies

Published: 07 June 2016

ID: G00292803

Analyst(s): Patrick Hevesi


Secure web gateways continue to be a critical part of enterprise security solutions that help IT security professionals protect the corporate user from malicious sites and content. This assessment discusses the evolution of SWG solutions as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the technology.

Table Of Contents


  • Deployment Modes and Topologies
    • Components and Use Cases
    • Gateway Enforcement Points and Hosting Options
    • Deployment Topologies
    • Cloud-Based Web Filtering and Mobile User Support
    • Endpoint-Based Functionality
  • Real-Time Content Inspection Engines and Malware Handling
    • URL Filtering and Reputation Systems
    • Signature Detection
    • Advanced Threat Protection
    • Vulnerability Shielding
    • Network Traffic Analysis (Outbound Detection)
    • Content Analysis
    • Policy-Based Controls
    • Risk Scoring and Use of Multiple Techniques
    • Security Research Teams
  • Application Control
  • Protection, Inspection and Privacy
  • Integration Points
    • Authentication and Identity
    • Remediation
    • Anti-spam and Email Security
    • Data Loss Prevention
  • Management and Reporting
    • Operational Control
    • Policy Management
    • Reporting
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses


  • Deploy SWGs as Part of a Multilayered Protection Approach
  • Consult Legal, HR and Other Groups Concerning AUPs, Data Privacy and Reporting Requirements
  • Determine the Correct Architecture
  • Evaluate Solutions Against Realistic Scenarios
  • "Soft Block" Uncategorized Websites to Help Educate Users

The Details

  • Secure Web Gateway Vendors
    • Blue Coat
    • Cisco
    • Forcepoint (Formerly Websense)
    • Intel Security (McAfee)
    • Zscaler

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