Many of you may have heard of the term “proxy server,” but may not remember what role it actually plays.
Malware, unauthorized access, and other security threats basically occur through the Internet.
To prevent cyber-attacks, it is important to improve the security of proxy servers.
Types of Proxy Servers
Proxy servers include
- Forward proxies
- Cache servers
- Transparent proxies
- Reverse proxies
- There are four types of proxy servers.
Each is explained one by one.
A forward proxy is a software installed between a company’s internal network and the Internet.
For security purposes, it connects to the Internet on behalf of the internal network terminal, where a direct connection to the Internet would increase the risk of information leakage.
It enhances security by filtering secure communications with the Internet and sites that may contain malicious programs.
They are also used to improve response speed through the use of caches.
Caching is a technology that speeds up data processing by storing frequently used data.
For example, if a site is accessed many times, sometimes IDs and passwords are stored.
Caching is the process of storing such things that you always input.
A cache server is a server that stores a duplicate copy of a website’s content, such as images, and delivers that duplicate content when a user accesses the site.
A transparent proxy is a method that allows web access through the proxy server described above even if the browser is not configured to the proxy.
A reverse proxy is an intermediary between the client and server and relays the server’s response.
It is useful for security measures such as unauthorized access, server load balancing, and system configuration improvement.
Advantages of Using a Proxy Server
By using a proxy server, you can:
- Communication logs can be kept.
- Can check for viruses
- Restrict access to unwanted sites
- Anonymously connect to the Internet.
- and other advantages.
Communication logs can be kept
The biggest advantage is that a record is kept on the proxy.
This data, such as which sites were accessed and when is recorded and can be used to identify unauthorized access.
Viruses can be checked
Proxy servers can check for viruses on the proxy.
The advantage of this is that there is no need to check each and every user’s terminal.
This can prevent information leaks due to viruses such as Trojan horses.
Access to unwanted sites can be restricted
One of the advantages of using a proxy server is the restriction of access to websites (URL filtering).
You can implement various preventive measures, such as preventing inappropriate websites from being opened during normal business operations or preventing people who maliciously try to leak information outside the company from accessing information-sharing websites.
Anonymous access to the Internet
By using a proxy server, you can connect to the Internet anonymously.
By making the accessing terminal anonymous, it is difficult for it to be the target of unauthorized access in the first place, thus reducing the risk.
Reduce the load on your line
Proxy servers also have the advantage of not putting pressure on the line.
In addition, the “load balancing” function can be used to distribute access to multiple servers to avoid concentrating access to a particular site and can also be expected to reduce load and improve stable communication speeds.
Faster display speeds for multiple connections to the same site
Proxy servers have the ability to store data as a cache when connecting to the Internet.
If a site has data stored in the proxy server, it can be displayed at high speed without having to load the data.
Can be used for browsing websites in other countries
Some websites prohibit access from overseas, and there are cases where it is difficult to access information sites in other countries from Japan or to access Japanese sites from overseas.
In this case, you can use a proxy server in that country to browse.
However, the same thing can be done with a VPN (Virtual Private Network) instead of through a proxy server.
Cautions when using a proxy server
On the contrary, when using a proxy server
- There is a possibility of being forwarded to an unauthorized Website.
- There is a possibility that a third party can look into your connection history.
- There is a possibility of communication being intercepted.
- There are these risks.
The following is an explanation of each of these risks one by one.
There is a possibility of being forwarded to an unauthorized Website
A proxy server receives a request for access to a website and accesses the other party’s site.
At this time, there is a risk of being forwarded to an unintended site by an unauthorized method.
In addition, if you use a proxy server that is open to the public, there is a possibility that information such as IDs and passwords may be stolen.
It is advisable to investigate in advance and confirm that the proxy server is a reliable one.
There is a possibility that a third party can look into your connection history
Since a proxy server manages access requests from the terminals using it, there is a possibility that the “connection history,” which shows which terminals have connected, can be snooped on.
Communication may be intercepted
Proxy servers relay all connections to a website.
This means that data including sensitive information such as IDs and passwords used to log in to the site is also relayed, so there is a possibility that the communication can be intercepted.
Security measures when using a proxy server
We have explained the disadvantages of proxy servers.
Next, we will discuss the security measures that need to be taken when actually using a proxy server, which are
Refrain from using publicly available proxy servers
- Correctly configure the IP address of the proxy server to be used
- Enable authentication
Avoid using public proxy servers
As mentioned above, there are public proxy servers available for free.
Because they are free to use, they may seem convenient, but some of them are designed to extract information.
If you are exchanging important information, it is safer to avoid using a public proxy server.
The IP address of the proxy server to be used should be set correctly
The proxy server you use will go through another proxy server if the correct IP address is not entered.
If an unintended proxy server is passed through, there is a risk of information leakage.