Magazine Store






How Does SD-WAN Security Guard...


How Does SD-WAN Security Guard Your Enterprise’s Data?

SD-WAN security guard
The Silicon Review
13 September, 2023

According to research, 95% of businesses have adopted Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) technology or plan to do so in the next two years.

If you’re like the majority of these companies, you might have skipped on the most important step — securing the SD-WAN technology itself.

When unprotected, SD-WAN can create multiple blind spots in your security.

SD-WAN allows data to flow freely from the branch of a company to the public internet. Also, every branch location that uses it for better connectivity has unique security needs — making uniform protection across an organization difficult.

The greatest challenge for companies that want to reap all the benefits of SD-WAN technology is data protection. This is where effective SD-WAN security comes in.

How does specialized SD-WAN security help businesses safeguard their most important files and sensitive documents?

Increasing the Visibility of Your Network

It’s difficult to defend what you can’t see. It’s also impossible to fight against security threats you aren’t aware are compromising your network. Enterprises need to have complete visibility into their entire network at all times to catch any security flaws and threats early.

With SD-WAN, the visibility gets murky. Because traffic always seeks the best possible route. The fastest path can often bypass the security tools that otherwise monitor and inspect the traffic.

SD-WAN security relies on Artificial Intelligence (AI) to constantly inspect and analyze it to overcome this.

It works 24/7 and over a longer period of time. The monitoring gives security teams enough information to look at the security posture holistically. Then, they can use these insights to pinpoint anomalies within the network and see whether there was unauthorized access to data.

Reporting on traffic within the network is depicted in a centralized report. This enables the teams to see whether the data is at risk and helps them react to the issue at hand before it escalates into a costly data breach.

Scaling Security While Keeping Effective Management

With multiple branches to manage and continuous new additions to the infrastructure, it can be challenging for protective solutions to keep up with the growing company.

One important aspect of scaling security is making sure that it can be continually managed — improved as it grows and as businesses are targeted with more cyber attacks.

Traditional security solutions focus on detecting threats and responding to them when they reach the network. SW-WAN security is more oriented towards the prevention of cyber threats.

While most of the threats will be detected and blocked right away with automation, more advanced threats can still bypass security solutions. Such sophisticated attacks are likely to put the data at risk.

This is where the centralized management of SD-WAN comes in handy. Teams can see and manage critical vulnerabilities within the company regardless of which branch they affect.

This means businesses can add new branches and progressively expand their infrastructure. They know that they will benefit from both the great performance of SD-WAN and that the security will cover any new additions to the network.

Enforcing Security Policies at All Times

Considering that traffic passes through versatile brand locations, it’s challenging to enforce security policies on every part of the network at all times. Versatile branch locations seek different types of security.

SD-WAN security establishes the policies that a business can apply uniformly across its multiple branch locations.

Depending on the company's unique context, policies will determine which security measures have to be applied, which traffic can pass through, and what is considered the regular behavior pattern within the company.

SD-WAN security won’t change the fact that different branch locations still have varied security requirements.

What it will do is create standardized guides. These core principles and measures that have to be applied across different environments of the company make security (and data protection) less complex.

As a result, both incoming and shared data will be consistently guarded. Depending on the company, this might mean compliance will be met throughout all branches. Or that suspicious behavior that could result in a data breach will be stopped in its tracks.

Protecting the Network Against Common Cyber Attacks

SD-WAN security combines several powerful tools that protect the systems that store large volumes of data. They immediately block signs of threats or malicious traffic and keep the bad actors far away from important data.

For instance, most security solutions that are designed for SD-WAN will include The Next Generation Firewall (NGFW) that is equipped with:

  • URL filtering — to block access to malicious phishing websites or limit access to the part of the website that contains sensitive data
  • Antivirus software — that scans the email attachments and files you have for data-stealing malware
  • Identity management — to ensure that only the right (authorized) individuals get access to data
  • Application control — to prevent data from being leaked, accessed, or shared using an application that is not safe

NGFW is only one tool of many integrated into SD-WAN security. It’s tasked with inspecting traffic at all times and preventing major cyber-attacks that usually result in a data compromise.

Running in the background at all times is integral for preventing the threats before they escalate into incidents.

Retaining Great Network Performance and Robust Security

SD-WAN security makes sure that an enterprise doesn’t have to choose between better network performance or strong security.

Businesses use SD-WAN to improve the speed of their network and create a better experience for everyone who uses it every day.

However, that shouldn’t come at the cost of security.

The part many businesses neglect is adding SD-WAN security equipped for the challenges of their new and better-performing infrastructure.

It should increase the visibility of a network, cover the ever-growing networks, administer protective policies, and help the teams to continuously manage the network.

This is important for enterprises that want to protect the most valuable assets they keep within their networks — personal data and confidential company databases.