A cloud proxy is proxy that is based in the cloud instead of in a hardware appliance residing in a corporate data center. A proxy server acts as a gateway between you and the internet, and verifies and forwards incoming client requests to other servers for further communication.
Internet traffic flows through the cloud proxy on its way to an internet address. The request then comes back through that same proxy server, and then the proxy server forwards the data received from the website to you. It acts as an intermediary, separating end users from the websites they browse. Proxy servers provide varying levels of functionality, security, and privacy depending on your use case, needs, or company policy. And, compared to other forms of inspection, proxy is generally viewed as the most secure way to inspect inline traffic.
Despite the prolific use of proxies, IT leaders still have a heavy bit of skepticism when it comes to their applicability for end-user security. But, this not without some good reasons:
The great news is that proxies are still very much the right solution for enterprises. But to make them deliver as intended, some walls have to come crashing down. Specifically, proxies must:
In more simple terms, it means that organizations desire to provide clean, safe, and compliant internet access to all corporate users, regardless of their physical location or network, with a great user experience, all at a price point that will have the CFO and CEO giving the CIO and CISO kudos for years to come. The solution is a cloud- based proxy—one that can address all the requirements mentioned above. the reality is that this will only fully succeed when we can demonstrate not only simple, but also complex, cloud-based application support.
The cloud proxy must know who the user is, where they are going, whether or not such access is permissible by company policies, and whether or not the traffic is clean and safe for consumption. At least for true web traffic, it doesn’t get simpler than this. And that’s as it should be. Because at the end of the day, all organizations really want is a clean internet experience, which is what a cloud proxy should provide. A cloud proxy should be fully capable of addressing the depth of security issues within those sessions.
Zscaler has taken a serious look at what has been missing from the proxy story and built an entire platform around making it a success.
Still using appliance-based proxies? Are they protecting you as well as you think? Try our Internet Threat Exposure Analysis to find out how well your company is protected against ransomware and other threats. The test is safe, free, and informative.