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Zero Gateway – The modern approach to APN and proxy services

By Emma 3rd March 2021

Latency, privacy concerns and connection failure are a thing of the past thanks to Zero Gateway  

Fifteen years ago, organizations widely embraced gateway based services for their cloud and web filtering capabilities. Mobile devices became faster and more advanced serving as critical communication tools for employees. However, technology has evolved tenfold since the early noughties revealing holes in the gateway architecture. Fast forward to present-day, Corrata has pioneered a different approach: Zero Gateway.

Let’s examine the potential issues associated with traditional gateway based services and explore the alternative solution for businesses. 

 

What is a Gateway? 

A gateway is an extra connectivity step between a device and the internet. Many organizations use gateways (often referred to as proxies or APN’s) to implement internet usage policies for their employees. This means that every device reroutes through a gateway before connecting to the internet. 

For example, one policy might be configured to block any traffic trying to reach a malware site. Another policy might limit the use of high bandwidth applications when roaming in high cost locations.

Due to their design, gateway services can pose a number of potential problems for the user:

 

Gateway Problems

 1. Latency 

The first issue with APN based solutions is latency. Consider this potential scenario; a gateway is located on one side of the United States and an employee is on the other. In this situation, all of the user’s internet traffic is now traversing back and forth the country to connect to a single webpage creating a time delay. Factor in the incredibly fast speeds of 5G networks and this latency will be more noticeable. 

 

2.  Privacy Concerns 

With typical gateways, employers have visibility of what sites or apps their employees are visiting. This level of surveillance raises privacy concerns and creates an overall atmosphere of distrust and animosity.  Businesses must also ensure that they stay on the right side of privacy regulations such as Europe’s GDPR and California’s CCPA.

  

3. Connection Failure 

One of the biggest problems with a gateway service is that if it goes offline, an entire mobile fleet could potentially be left without internet connection. While the devices might look like they are still online, they are now connected to a ‘zombie network.’

gateway failure

As we all know, internet failure is majorly disruptive in any profession. But, imagine you’re a first responder racing to an emergency scene relying on GPS route mapping to get there as quick as possible. Suddenly your internet connection cuts out mid journey. This could potentially be a life or death situation. 

 

Alternative Approach – Zero Gateway 

The reality is that cloud gateways are no longer necessary. The modern day smartphone is extremely powerful with high processing and connectivity speeds. 

With that in mind, we have specifically designed Corrata to avoid the problems associated with traditional web filtering services. Rather than use a gateway, Corrata’s mobile security solution lives in an app on the device acting as a mobile firewall. Condensing the usage policy onto the device allows traffic to pass to and from its destination directly. This ensures a seamless user experience with no latency and high throughput. 

Zero Gateway does not record employee internet activity – your threat data is transmitted to the cloud to preserve user privacy and comply with privacy regulations. 

 

Corrata's zero gateway solution

Fail Open 

In the event that for some reason Corrata fails, we have designed our software so that it fails open. This means that even if our service goes offline, the device can still access the internet. This is critical for any employee who relies on their mobile device; from office personnel and field employees to medical staff and first responders. 

zero gateway problems

 

If you are considering a web filtering solution it is important to understand whether it uses a gateway or not. 

You can learn more about Corrata’s zero gateway approach here.