The proxy appliance is basically hardware you use to manage user web access.
More to the point, it's the type of device that handles the blocking or controlling of suspicious programs.
It's typically placed in between network users and the worldwide web; ergo, it's most popular application is serving as a central control hub over employee Internet use by corporations and enterprises.
It's the in-between gateway that serves as a termination point of sorts for online communications within a network and is capable of applying a multitude of rule-based limitations on Internet traffic, web content, and requests before they even end up to end users.
A proxy appliance setup needs only an IP address and a network connection in order to work.
The device is usually fitted parallel or behind the network firewall in order for it to cut off and capture web protocol traffic such as SOCKS, IM, FTP, HTTPS, and HTTP.
It's the proxy appliance that activates whenever a user first tries to launch an online application or even gain access to the worldwide web.
Prompting him to present his credentials in order to gauge how much leeway he'd be given.
This is done simultaneously with the company's existing authentication application (e.g., RADIUS, Windows domain, and Lightweight Directory Access Protocol).
Once the first logon is over with, the proxy appliance determines the user's credentials before applying transparent policy controls to all following online requests.
At this point, the policy controls and limitations are put into effect for all the things a user typically does on the worldwide web, from instant messaging, to accessing his email, to video conferencing, to playing online games, to downloading, to using torrents, to uploading files over the network, to updating his social media pages, to research, and to simple web surfing.
A set of triggers are used by the control to enforce security, such as content type, user agent, protocol, location, and time of day.
If any of the aforementioned comprehensive triggers are activated, so to speak, the proxy appliance will immediately execute any number of protective functions configured by the administrator of the network, which includes rewrite header, remove and replace, transform content, notify, deny, and allow.
These finely tuned limiters can be used over a company or even to a singular user regardless of where the user decides to log on; that's how ubiquitous and powerful the proxy appliance can be when it comes to keeping a user's potentially network-endangering actions in check at all times.
Once the policy has been applied to a request, web communication is delivered to the server; in turn, the server responds and sends the content back to the proxy appliance for additional protective measures.
Incidentally, because SecPoint Protector high end is a UTM Firewall (Unified Threat Management) Security appliance, it too can serve as a useful proxy appliance (among many other security functions) for your corporation's network and Internet connection.
Being a proxy appliance is one of the many talents that this Swiss-Army-knife-like device is capable of, in fact.