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Achieving a security edge with SD-WAN

Wed 27 Mar 2019 | Brett Lambing

Secure SD-WAN reduces an enterprise’s attack surface by segmenting the network so that security policies can be enforced on a per-application basis

Today’s increasingly digital and distributed enterprises face a big connectivity challenge. Mobility, big data, social media, cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT) are transforming business models and, in the process, massively extending the traditional enterprise perimeter.

As a result, many organisations find themselves face-to-face with a new conundrum—finding a cost-effective, easy and fast secure way to implement new digital services and connect remote sites, without compromising security.

Unfortunately, while traditional virtual private networks (VPNs) have served companies well in the past, in today’s hyper-digitalised age they’re proving inflexible, time consuming and expensive to scale. All of which risks throttling the ability of the enterprise network to deliver the fast-paced innovation and agility that business users need.

The trouble with VPNs in the digital age

Firstly, connecting new applications and locations is difficult to do. Especially as each location will have multiple devices, all with different configurations and various security requirements. Tackling the task typically requires a dedicated army of highly knowledgeable IT staff to deploy, manage, troubleshoot and support each new location.

It’s a similar story when it comes to adapting a VPN for changing network needs. These traditional infrastructures are highly inflexible and require labour-intensive efforts to support changing network conditions, especially when it comes to remote locations. What’s more, the introduction of multiple touch points for manual security configurations opens up the network to security risks.

Finally, the cost of supporting the variety of point product solutions that are required for VPNs is high. That’s a problem for organisations that are undergoing rapid expansion or digitalisation transformations, as implementing new VPNs adds up to escalating capex on hardware, public IP addresses, and software.

With limited IT staff and tight budgets, organisations need to find a better way to extend data centre-grade security to remote sites, deploy “plug and play” connectivity, and enhance the capabilities and reach of their network.

The answer is to make the move to a secure software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN).

Enable more agility and security

Combining security and simplicity into a single integrated solution, secure SD-WAN reduces an enterprise’s attack surface by segmenting the network so that security policies can be enforced on a per-application basis. Which means that any potential breach will be limited to a single application. But that’s not all.

The centralised virtual overlay approach utilised by secure SD-WAN eliminates the need for multiple manual configurations that all too often open up the network to security risks. It’s als easy to extend this multi-layered security approach from the data centre to the network edge, without any need for highly skilled IT professionals to be present at each branch.

When it comes to agility, secure SD-WAN delivers the zero-touch deployment that’s critical for rolling out network services on-demand. Making it possible to enable new cloud applications, such as POS and loyalty, quickly and without unnecessary effort.\

Enable more agility and security

Combining security and simplicity into a single integrated solution, secure SD-WAN reduces an enterprise’s attack surface by segmenting the network so that security policies can be enforced on a per-application basis.

Which means that any potential breach will be limited to a single application. But that’s not all.

“Many organisations find themselves face-to-face with a new conundrum—finding a cost-effective, easy and fast secure way to implement new digital services and connect remote sites, without compromising security”

The centralised virtual overlay approach utilised by secure SD-WAN eliminates the need for multiple manual configurations that all too often open up the network to security risks. It’s als easy to extend this multi-layered security approach from the data centre to the network edge, without any need for highly skilled IT professionals to be present at each branch.

When it comes to agility, secure SD-WAN delivers the zero-touch deployment that’s critical for rolling out network services on-demand. Making it possible to enable new cloud applications, such as POS and loyalty, quickly and without unnecessary effort.

Eliminate complexity and scale with ease

Secure SD-WAN simplifies network set up with automatic provisioning and configuration via a central controller that significantly reduces manual overheads. Now distributed enterprises can be operational in minutes, not months—connecting people, places and things with ease. Remote locations can also receive network updates and changes automatically.

Designed with scalability in mind, policy changes, software updates and new branch deployments can be enabled quickly and simply—without compromising network performance. Which is why multi-unit retailers and restaurants like Shell, Kirklands, Captain D’s, and Cold Stone Creamery have all incorporated secure SD-WAN into their networks to handle everything from secure payments and loyalty programmes to public WiFi.

Finally, today’s secure SD-WAN solutions are proving a highly cost-effective alternative to VPNs. Indeed, the virtualisation technology can reduce the cost of WAN infrastructure hardware, software and support by up to 79 percent by integrating functionality such as WiFi, wireless back-up, firewall and intrusion detection/prevention into a single solution.

Making the move to secure SD-WAN

Delivering the scalable connectivity that today’s distributed enterprises need, alongside the visibility and control of the entire network that makes the on-going management of services a stress-free endeavour, secure SD-WANs eliminate cost and complexity while increasing network flexibility.

For organisations considering making the move to secure SD-WAN, a good first step is to develop a data connectivity and security programme for remote locations before piloting a solution. This approach minimises the risk of disrupting existing architectures, after which roll-out can take place incrementally on a branch-by-branch basis.

Experts featured:

Brett Lambing

Vice President of Global Sales Engineering
Cybera

Tags:

cyber security networking SD-WAN
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