A forward proxy acts as an intermediate between devices and the open Internet. Every web browsing request is passed through a proxy server, which inspects it and enforces permissible use and corporate security regulations. The proxy does the same actions for any responses if the traffic is approved and forwards it to its destination on the client’s behalf.
For businesses, a forward proxy can check a request’s content upon receipt to see if it complies with company regulations. For instance, a business may prohibit traffic if a domain is known to be hostile or unsuitable for work. If the request is granted, the proxy sends it on the user’s behalf to the server.
What is a forward proxy used for?
Here are a few significant use cases for businesses adopting a forward proxy.
End-users can access software programs online thanks to the cloud-based software delivery framework called Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). SaaS systems are designed to make sharing quick and simple, so it’s common for users to transfer crucial business data to the wrong places.
The easiest option to stop users from uploading sensitive data to unsafe cloud destinations is to utilize a forward proxy because it operates inline, has the scale to inspect all traffic, and can conceal IP addresses.
SaaS programs can also be a vehicle for spreading malware and a desirable route for data exfiltration. Rapid sharing capabilities can be used to apply malicious data inside and outside organizations. A forward proxy allows advanced threat protection (ATP) solutions to work inline and catch threats as they travel, preventing infected data from being transferred to cloud services.
What is the difference between a forward and reverse proxy?
Multiple clients can route traffic to an external network using a forward proxy server. For instance, a company might have a proxy that directs and filters employee Internet traffic to the general public. In contrast, a reverse proxy manages traffic routing on behalf of numerous servers.
Reverse proxies are conduits between clients, users, and application servers. It handles all traffic routing and access policy administration and safeguards the server’s identity by regulating the request.
What is the difference between a forward proxy and a VPN?
Your IP address is masked by both a VPN and a proxy server. But unlike a proxy server, a VPN encrypts the data you send and receive. Accessing a website or app through a proxy server would be unnecessary if you are already utilizing a VPN.
A VPN is comparable to a proxy, but instead of only functioning with specific websites or apps, it supports every website or app you use.
When you visit a website after connecting to a VPN, your IP address is concealed and substituted with the IP address of your VPN provider, similar to how a proxy works. Your identity is protected in this way. This protection, however, won’t be affected by your web browsing activities, such as sending emails or downloading files, unlike proxies.