Easy Read Time: 5 Minutes

Malware protection refers to the security protection of the network or computer with a second vital layer of protection. In the current era, the world has become the global village and in this global village, hackers have developed their community in which they are constantly creating new and advanced malware and viruses for the computers on the network. They launch their malware spyware software in organizations in many ways.

To protect the organizational sensitive and confidential data from this malware, several security tools ensure the security of the organization in which are integrated by protecting the organizational data from being high-jacked or other malware attacks. As there are many tools for data protection from malware attacks however, in this research article we will discuss the tool called Zscaler. It provides advanced malware protection from malware attacks.

Zscaler (Background)

Zscaler provides internet and web security, firewalls, SSL inspection, vulnerability management, antivirus, and mobile and internet of things environment, etc. Zscaler is a cloud-based information security platform. Internet traffic from fixed locations like franchises, factories, organizations, etc. is routed through Zscaler’s presence points; as Zscaler acts as the proxy or firewall to ensure the security and authenticity of the traffic, and then that traffic is transferred to the public internet. All the traffic is transferred through Zscaler software and it ensures that the traffic is protected and malware-free and it ensures its security policies. Zscaler has more than 1,000 presence points and the traffic can be delivered through more than 100 Global Data Centers. To protect its customers Zscaler gathers global threat data and provides reports of the user activity. Its reporting interface is informative yet simple.

Zscaler–Secure Web Gateways

Secure Web Gateways is a cloud-based security service for the network. SWG provides internet security and ensures that the traffic on the web is secure and it provides the same security to all the users connected to the network. Zscaler Web Security is a secure web gateway that provides security to its customers as a cloud-based service. In any business, ZWS protects the data of the business from being high jacked and other online threats.

ZWS can protect an organization from the following threats coming from the web.

  • Malware
  • Advanced Threats
  • Phishing
  • Malicious URLs
  • Botnets
  • Browser Exploits

To protect the data of an organization, ZWS uses services like firewalls, web filtering, and anti-spam functions. Zscaler can work with minimal software installed on a user’s system. Admins have access to see and analyze the real-time reporting and the centralized way of the reporting dashboard of ZWS helps them to see if all of their users are protected from threats.

ZWS Features

As a secure web gateway, the ZWS service of Zscaler offers following features:

  • DNS Security with Real-Time Monitoring
  • To protect the system from malicious files, it provides cloud sandboxing. It is an optional
  • Provides administrative control to filter URLs and DNS along with bandwidth control
  • Provides Smart Cloud Intelligence with SLL visibility
  • Custom flexibility; provides the option to visit the site in which a user is sure to be safe even if ZWS pointed out that as “Not Secure”. This feature is called “Continue Anyway”
  • It reduces latency
  • ZWS has the option of one-click integration of Office 365 [2].

Zscaler is one of the first and leading companies that provide web security as a cloud-based service. It is the best option for mid to large-sized businesses as a web filtering service. It provides full protection to the businesses from web threats and it also monitors how the employees of that organization use the web. As ZWS is a fully cloud-based service, it saves hardware installation time and the configuration process is quite easy. One of the coolest features of ZWS is the “Continue Anyway Feature”, it allows users by giving them the option to surf the sites that are marked as “Not Secure” from Zscaler but the user knows that the site is safe; it helps employees to visit the site for their work without disturbing their work [2].

Zscaler Internet Access (ZIA)

As a cloud-based service, Zscaler Internet Access is the secure internet and web gateway. A layer of protection is applied to the traffic coming from the source locations to the public internet. A tunnel is placed and configured to the nearest Zscaler data center for static source locations such as offices, corporations, etc. and then all the traffic is filtered from the Zscaler software. For non-static source locations, the traffic is transferred through a PAC file or Zscaler App. Zscaler Internet Access act as a security guard between the user and the internet and ensures the protection of the traffic. Web and Internet threats are protected by ZIA and it even inspects within Secure Sockets Layer.

Zscaler Private Access (ZPA)

The Global Zscaler Cloud Infrastructure enables the application access independent of network access and it ensures organizations the security of the network while providing them access to internal applications and services.

ZPA provides granular access to application software by decoupling applications from the physical network. This particular service of Zscaler is cloud-based thus it doesn’t need any hardware or the need for an update of the hardware; this cloud-based service ensures faster service to businesses and other organizations. No need for hardware installation saves time for corporations and enterprises [1]. Security Preview is a tool for network security testing, and it was released by Zscaler back in 2014. It was designed to automate the tests for analyzing the security of an organization from the client’s device perspective.

Traffic Forwarding Methods

A unified threat management system is used by ZPA. It inspects the traffic for malicious activities, malware attacks and applies other filters after the inspection it forwards the traffic to the public internet. For traffic forwarding, ZPA offers multiple methods such as VPN, GRE tunnels, IPsec, and proxy, etc.

Advanced Persistent Threats (APT)

Zscaler Advanced Persistent Threats (APT) protects against known threats and applies to sandbox analysis techniques. Sandboxing technique means that instead of just passing clean files and blocking malicious files, it quarantines the suspicious or malicious files for further inspection.

Next-Generation Firewall (NGF)

Next-Generation Firewall service of Zscaler provides visibility and control over the network traffic. Just like ZPA, NGF is a cloud-based service/application that does not require any hardware installation or update of the current hardware. This is one of the reasons that it can be configured in offices, stores, factories, and organizations easily and quickly.

Along with the control over the network traffic, Zscaler NGF also provides control over network ports and protocols.

Cloud Application Security (CAS)

Cloud Security Applications expanded their security by providing access management, visibility, control over SaaS, and cloud computing applications based on the defined policy. To provide Shadow-IT applications and other additional securities, Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) vendors also plugged into Scalar’s platform.

Mobile Security

Through the global cloud of Zscaler security, it routes the mobile traffic; as a result, along with real-time analysis, it protects mobile devices in (Bring Your Device) BYOD environment. ZMS includes visibility to mobile application traffic, web-based threats protection, and the enforcement of the policy on mobile devices.

Zscaler Shift

For carrier-grade security and compliance, Zscaler Shift is used as a cloud-based service. The difference between ZS and ZIA is the speed of configuration. ZS can be configured much faster than ZIA and it can be configured by just setting up the DNS (Domain Name Service) to point towards Shift. From that point, Shift routes all suspicious traffic and forward it to the Zscaler cloud security platform for in-depth analysis. Then the inspection takes place; it filters the content, secures the traffic threats, Safe Search, and SSL inspection [1]. Along with the above-discussed protection, the Zscaler Advanced Threat Protection inspects and blocks the active malicious content such as browser exploits, and malicious JavaScript, etc.

Conclusion

Zscaler provides different security and internet traffic protection tools that ensure the safety of network traffic coming to the public internet and it inspects the traffic from malware attacks and other malicious activities. To prevent your system from malware attacks advanced protection from Zscaler is a must. It ensures data safety and inspects any vulnerability in the system.

References

https://www.zscaler.com/solutions/web-security

https://www.zscaler.com/resources/data-sheets/swg-web-security.pdf

https://www.expertinsights.com/compare/zscaler-web-security-vs-symantec-secure-web-gateway

https://www.wsj.com/articles/zscaler-hires-cfo-with-ipo-experience-1486729801

https://www.crn.com/news/security/240161386/zscalers-cloud-security-platform-has-eye-on-advanced-persistent-threats.htm

https://help.zscaler.com/zia/choosing-traffic-forwarding-methods