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Forward Proxy

A Forward Proxy solution acts as a buffer between your corporate computer systems and the internet, allowing secure communication and protecting your sensitive resources and data privacy.

Forward Proxy Server Module

What is Forward Proxy?

A Forward Proxy acts as a vital facilitator between an organization's internal network and the World Wide Web. By passing queries from company devices to external servers and returning responses, Forward Proxy provides secure communication.

Its pivotal functions also extend to access control, allowing enterprises to filter and monitor internet traffic, prohibit dangerous information, and enforce acceptable use policies or regulations.

A Forward Proxy becomes a versatile tool for preserving sensitive data, ensuring privacy, and eliminating cybersecurity risks within the business environment by anonymizing user identities, optimizing bandwidth, and conducting SSL inspection.

Forward Proxy Workflow

    How Does Forward Proxy Work?

  • All user requests to the internet are seamlessly routed through the proxy server, which then returns the responses to the awaiting users.
  • Acting as a buffer, the Forward Proxy keeps the corporate data safe from malicious data exfiltration and malware.
  • The user or corporate devices get connected to the internet effortlessly through the proxy server, putting it at the center of all generated requests.
  • When requests enter the Forward Proxy, a set of rules set by the organizational admins filters the request as per the policy.
  • Admin-defined rules could range from:
    • Blocking access to personal email accounts,
    • Barring specific websites from inspecting user IP addresses,
    • Protecting sensitive information,
    • Restricting access to specified resources.

Forward Proxy Vs. Traditional Firewalls

In the dynamic corporate landscape, network security is pivotal and the choice between a forward proxy and a traditional firewall becomes critical. Each caters to specific organizational needs and challenges:

Aspect Forward Proxy Traditional Firewalls
Corporate Security Focuses on user privacy and policy enforcement within the internal network. Used for the purpose of broader access control across network boundaries.
Inspection Scope Inspects and secures web traffic to block online threats and unauthorized access. Inspects various types of network traffic beyond the confines of web communication.
Protocol-Level Expertise Works minutely at the application layer, specialized for handling web requests. Operates predominantly at the network and transport layers, but not on the application layer.

A Popular Forward Proxy Example: Blocking Personal
Email Accounts

In the corporate network, if the employees can access their personal email accounts using company-issued devices, then there lies a risk that they may knowingly or unknowingly leak sensitive data through their personal email. Hence, blocking personal email access at work is crucial for corporate enterprises.

Using the Forward Proxy solution, companies can configure policies to block access to all email domains other than the company domain. The solution acts as a buffer or gatekeeper that analyzes the client request (user access request) and takes appropriate action as per the policies. Admins can also configure custom policies to block access to certain email accounts as well.

Block Personal Outlook Access

Prevent users from accessing their personal Outlook accounts while at work, and prevent any data from being shared or moved between personal and corporate Outlook accounts.

Prevent Personal Hotmail Access

To ensure that no data is exchanged or transmitted between personal and corporate Hotmail accounts, restrict user access to personal Hotmail accounts while at work.

Forward Proxy Use-Cases

Forward Proxy: Shadow IT Detection and Monitoring

Shadow IT Detection and Monitoring

Navigating the cloud landscape involves a multitude of SaaS applications, and there lies a major challenge in detecting and monitoring user access to Unsanctioned Apps or Shadow IT. This can open up new vulnerabilities to potentially cause critical data breaches. A Forward Proxy solution can be used to discover Shadow IT and monitor user access to these apps by enforcing access governance.

Data Protection & Threat Prevention

Today, rapid data sharing through different SaaS apps is super easy. The risk of users uploading critical business data to unsafe locations is a major security challenge that most organizations face. To solve this, a Forward Proxy can be used to boast the scalability for meticulously inspecting all web traffic, thwarting the inadvertent exposure of sensitive information between different SaaS apps.

Forward Proxy: Data Protection
Forward Proxy: Corporate Privacy

Corporate Privacy

The internal structure of a corporate organization is a potential target for attackers seeking to invade the privacy of the company to gain access to critical data. But by channeling all web traffic through the Forward Proxy, companies can create a formidable barrier, restricting attackers and privacy invaders from gaining the visibility needed to map the corporate network intricacies and weaknesses.

A Guide to Choose a Forward Proxy Solution

  • Define Objectives: Clearly outline your goals, which can be enhancing security, optimizing bandwidth, or enforcing access controls.
  • Scalability & Security: Choose a scalable solution that provides robust security features like SSL inspection, content filtering, email blocking, etc.
  • Easy Capabilities: The Forward Proxy solution should have the capability to effortlessly integrate with your IT environment without any dependency.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Evaluate the total ownership cost and how the solution can save extra costs associated with IT liabilities.

Forward Proxy Solution
  • The miniOrange Forward Proxy solution is designed to scale as per the dynamic and changing requirements of different organizations.
  • It provides all the robust security features and can fortify the security of your enterprise with miniOrange Single Sign-On and CASB solutions.
  • With the ability to integrate with your existing IT infrastructure and use case, the solution can work with zero dependency on firewalls or other infrastructure.
  • Hence, it proves to be cost-effective as well because you don’t need to spend on modifying your firewalls or other IT systems. Check out the competitive pricing we offer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is CASB Forward Proxy?

The Cloud Access Security Broker or CASB Forward Proxy serves as an intermediary, allowing secure connections between internal users and the cloud while offering in-depth visibility and governance. The miniOrange CASB Forward Proxy helps organizations protect confidential information, maintain compliance, and reduce security concerns related to cloud computing.

How does Forward Proxy work with Single Sign-On?

Forward Proxy is widely used for adding Single Sign-On (SSO) for applications that do not support any standard SSO protocol like SAML, OAuth, or OpenID by default. miniOrange supports a huge list of such applications and supports all the standard SSO protocols like SAML, OAuth, JWT, WS-Fed, etc.

Forward Proxy vs. Reverse Proxy. What is the difference?

The main difference between a forward proxy and a reverse proxy is that a forward proxy allows computers isolated on a private network to access the internet, while a reverse proxy enables computers on the internet to access private networks. Although a reverse proxy and forward proxy both serve a common mission, they perform drastically different functions and serve decidedly different clients.

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