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SD-WAN Security: A Beginner’s Guide (Infographic)

When rolling out an SD-WAN solution, security should be your top priority. Check out this guide to learn more about how SD-WAN security works.

What is SD-WAN & How Does It Work?

Software-defined wide area networking (often shortened to SD-WAN) allows organisations to manage their WAN from a centralised location through specialised software. Open Systems define SD-WAN as “A computing infrastructure entirely under the control of software with no operator or human intervention. It operates independently of any hardware-specific dependencies and is programmatically extensible.”

What Are the Benefits of SD-WAN Solutions?

In bringing together the best parts of software-defined networking and hardware-based networking, this technology greatly simplifies network management and provides more flexibility to the network. The use of SD-WAN also facilitates VPNs in addition to other third-party services – for example firewalls and WAN optimisation controllers.

Why Are So Many Organisations Turning to SD-WAN?

In this age of Digital Transformation, an increasing number of organisations are turning to SD-WAN to meet their connectivity needs. SD-WAN enables IT and business managers to deploy internet connectivity easily, rapidly and securely. It’s also a highly cost-effective option for organisations that wish to extend WANs to satellite offices and remote branches. One major advantage is that it can support numerous connection types such as LTE or MPLS. Many organisations are also drawn to its user-friendly interface for managing WAN.

The Rise of SD-WAN

More and more organisations are making the switch to SD-WAN. As such, it has become a hugely popular choice and the market is growing at an impressive rate, with its total value expected to exceed $1 billion within the next few years.

Why Is SD-WAN Security Important? 

“With SD-WAN, mission-critical traffic and assets can be partitioned and protected against vulnerabilities in other parts of the enterprise.” – IDC

The deployment of a secure SD-WAN solution can help resolve common cybersecurity problems and improve the the defensive posture of the organisation in question. Some examples of critical security capabilities include firewalls, traffic monitoring, and encryption. These offer greater protection for organisations that leverage public networks for sensitive workloads.

How Can You Ensure Your SD-WAN is Secure?
1. Find Solutions with an Integrated Next Generation Firewall (NGFW)

Gartner defines NGFWs as a “deep-packet inspection firewall that moves beyond port/protocol inspection and blocking to add application-level inspection, intrusion prevention, and bringing intelligence from outside the firewall.” Choosing an SD-WAN solution with an in-built next gen firewall (NGFW) will help to ensure that the entire network is consistently monitored and protected.

2. Encrypt SD-WAN Traffic

Many SD-WAN solutions allow organisations to encrypt traffic in order to protect data in transit. This is important as increased usage of applications and connections means that businesses are far more at risk of attack. This means that data encryption is now a must-have feature for organisations that handle sensitive data and workloads.

3. Integrate It with The Existing Architecture

Regardless which security strategy you go for, you should make sure that it will seamlessly integrate with your organisation’s existing security architecture. This simplifies the deployment process greatly and also centralise management control.

4. Inspect Encrypted Traffic

Currently, nearly three-quarters of network traffic is now SSL-encrypted. However, even though it is likely that SSL traffic will continue to grow, many organisations still lack adequate SSL inspection technology as part of their SD-WAN solutions. This capability will allow for the inspection of encrypted network traffic and ensure that any malware placed inside encrypted tunnels can be identified and eliminated.

Discover More About SD-WAN Security

If you are keen to find out more about SD-WAN security, then why not browse through the infographic below from Paradyn. This useful guide explores key topics related to SD-WAN security including a short explanation of SD-WAN, an outline of SD-WAN’s security benefits, some general security tips, a list of mistakes to avoid, and expert insights from industry leaders.

Take a look at the infographic explainer guide below to discover everything you need to know about SD-WAN security today.

Orla Forrest
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Orla Forrest

Orla Forrest works as a marketing executive with Paradyn, providers of a complete range of telephony solutions for businesses in Ireland. She has been with the company since 2011 and frequently creates content related to IT topics such as VoIP, web security and managed services.

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