Web Gateways: 5 Big Security Challenges

Overreliance on Web gateways is putting data, users, customers, organizations, and repute in harm’s way.

Once on a time, organizations radically used Web gateways to forestall employees from wasting time surfing a Web — or worse, from visiting gambling, adult, and other unapproved websites.

A few decades later, Web gateways do many some-more than make regulatory correspondence and HR policies. Organizations rest on them to frustrate Internet-borne threats in 3 ways:

  • Advanced URL filtering, that uses categorization, repute analysis, and/or blacklists to control entrance to categories of antagonistic or questionable websites.
  • Anti-malware protection, that uses several capabilities (such as antivirus, sandboxing, modernized hazard protection, calm inspection, etc.), to ensure opposite infections caused by several kinds of malware (including rootkits, worms, Trojans, viruses, ransomware, spyware, adware, etc.).
  • Application control capabilities, that conduct and extent what users are authorised to do in specific applications. 

However, nonetheless Web gateways have been around for decades and continue to evolve, they aren’t bulletproof, and overreliance on them is putting data, users, customers, organizations, and repute in harm’s way. Here are 5 of a biggest Web gatway certainty challenges:

1. Filtering out antagonistic sites
Although URL categorization sounds appealing, this proceed is indeed really limited. To specify antagonistic sites with 100% accuracy, Web gateways need to know how to brand even a many modernized threats. Unfortunately, a attackers’ rate of creation total with visit zero-day exploits are withdrawal Web gateways behind a curve.

To make things worse, it’s also tough to keep adult when 571 new websites are combined each second, that generates a high volume of domains and increases a possibility that some will be missed by certainty controls. It’s formidable for filters to detect a antagonistic URLs that enemy use for 3 reasons: URLs might be triggered usually by a aim classification and sojourn cat-like during categorization, they’re short lived (less than 24 hours), and they use energetic domains that are harder to frustrate than immobile ones.

2. Protecting opposite uncategorized websites though compromising productivity
Employees need entrance to information to be productive. However, many organizations retard entrance to uncategorized sites since of certainty concerns, and in a routine they revoke finish user productivity. Not usually does this use impede finish users, though certainty teams are forced to understanding with an assault of support tickets for users who legitimately need to entrance information. As a result, certainty teams find themselves progressing a flourishing series of policies and rules. This is a vital Web certainty problem since 1% to 10% of URLs can’t be classified since of a miss of information.

3. Fighting infections from websites deliberate safe
The faith that infections start usually by websites that are categorized as questionable or antagonistic is false. Websense estimates that 85% of infections start by websites deliberate legitimate and safe. It’s apropos increasingly common for supposed protected websites to intentionally offer antagonistic content.

A good instance is “malvertizing,” that injects antagonistic ads into legitimate online promotion networks after served by publishers that don’t know that ads are malicious. These antagonistic ads might not even need any user communication to taint gullible victims. A new instance is a large-scale malvertising attacks that occurred in Jun and Jul this year opposite several Yahoo properties. To by-pass ad blockers’ ability to apart ensign and arrangement ads, some publishers are integrating ads into their ubiquitous content. Others, including GQ publisher Condé Nast, insist that users invalidate their ad blockers in sequence to entrance content. 

Then there’s a fact that many clearly protected websites use common calm government systems that are unprotected to zero-day exploits and can therefore be compromised by enemy to offer antagonistic content. In July, thousands of websites using WordPress and Joomla — that comment for about 60% of all website trade — served ransomware to all their visitors. And we might remember that behind in early 2015, Forbes.com was breached by Chinese hackers who served antagonistic formula around a “Thought of a Day” Flash widget.

4.    Identifying antagonistic files and gripping them out
Although some Web gateways confederate antivirus engines and other file-scanning services, antivirus scanners detect usually 20% to 30% of malware.

Leveraging sandboxes to detect malware requires time to run and investigate files. To equivocate inspiring user experience, Web gateways mostly pass files to users while sandboxes finish their research in a credentials — that radically means users are unprotected to attacks. Moreover, with a proliferation of sandbox semblance techniques and as malware is mostly target-specific, sandboxes are proof to be reduction effective.

5.    Neutralizing malware on putrescent machines
Web gateways usually investigate network traffic, not what users are indeed doing. As such, gateways have a tough time differentiating between legitimate and antagonistic traffic, and detecting and neutralizing malware on putrescent machines. In fact, some modernized threats can be active for weeks or even months though being detected.

Indeed, new research has found that 80% of Web gateways unsuccessful to retard antagonistic outbound traffic. Remote entrance Trojans are another instance of how Web gateways can’t detect and stop antagonistic traffic.

Looking Beyond Web Gateways
Web gateways yield profitable functions inside certainty architectures and broach simple certainty opposite threats outset from Internet browsing. But nonetheless they’ve softened extremely over a years, Web gateways are distant from perfect. Their detection-based proceed is failing, and as a outcome users are undone by draconian IT policies that retard entrance to critical websites. In a foreseeable future, Internet-borne threats will continue to evolve, and a attention contingency accommodate a plea with new Web certainty defenses that assistance gateways do a pursuit they were designed to do.

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Guy Guzner is CEO and co-founder of Fireglass, a provider of an siege record that allows users to click with certainty from any device by expelling malware and phishing from web and email with no endpoint agent. View Full Bio