How Can Cloud-Edge Businesses Leverage SD-WAN For Improved Networks?

SD-WAN is a virtual, software-based WAN architecture that connects users to applications through the Internet. SD-WAN technology is already improving networks by efficiently connecting offices, locations, data centers, and cloud resources into a data fabric that connects the distributed enterprise. But it sits at the Cloud Edge – the intersection of networking, cloud, and security – where businesses also face increased security risks, inconsistent application, and increasing complexity. 

As branch offices open directly to cloud connections and run business-critical applications over the Internet, the traditional way of securing a WAN, where traffic is redirected to the corporate firewall, is inefficient and expensive. This is because traditional WAN platforms were primarily designed to connect branch offices directly to data centers. They lack the flexibility to manage simultaneous connections to multiple cloud platforms, automatically choosing the most efficient and cost-effective routes. 

Organizations need a scalable and flexible software-defined architecture to protect the WAN by simplifying distributed network management and reducing connectivity costs. Every WAN device must be software-defined and protected. Highly efficient and scalable SD-WAN protection that is easy to manage, deploy and maintain, enabling businesses to confidently use the cloud services of their choice. SD-WAN seamlessly connects devices and people to any cloud, delivering the best application experience while providing consistent and unified threat protection from the branch to the cloud. 

 SD-WAN Offers Four Layers of Security at the Edge  for Improved Network

The traditional way to manage data security at the edge of the cloud is to send all traffic back to the enterprise data center for inspection, analysis, and filtering before being sent to SaaS. applications. or public cloud services. In distributed enterprises, this option usually requires the use of expensive MPLS lines, which increases the scale and complexity of the security layers of the data center. As more traffic grows between distributed branches,  the cost, and complexity of managing multiple MPLS connections and data center security increases. 

The all-new SD-WAN security suite provides end-to-end protection that works at the edge, of the branch router, with centralized control for both network and security management. Built-in security features protect data transferred to and from secondary systems and cloud platforms. The security suite also protects the entire network access point connected enterprise from debilitating security attacks that can come from compromised Internet connections and applications. The SD-WAN security stack focuses on four key traffic profiles that are particularly important in the industry: 

 Compliance: Protecting sensitive data at rest and in transit; in the branch and the cloud. 

 Direct Internet Connection: Opening network ports for direct Internet connections greatly expands the potential attack surface from outside sources. 

 Direct Cloud Access: Providing direct access to cloud resources and SaaS applications bypasses the current centralized security (DMZ, firewalls, intrusion detection) built into the enterprise network and data center. 

 Guest Access: Allow guests to access your local Wi-Fi network from personal devices while keeping business traffic and sensitive network services completely separate from guest traffic. 

 Let’s see how SD-WAN reduces the threat surface of the improved network


 Every organization accepts, stores, and processes sensitive data sets such as personally identifiable information (PII) and payment card information (PCI). Application-aware firewalls ensure that sensitive data is accessible only to authorized applications and people. Improved SD-WAN Security adds an application-aware firewall embedded in the branch router that learns and controls which applications can access sensitive data types, such as PCI. The SD-WAN fabric then routes sensitive traffic via a secure VPN to enterprise data center applications or multi-cloud platforms. Allowing SD WAN Smart controllers to intelligently segment traffic according to security policies.

 Direct Internet Access 

 Before the advent of SD-WAN, organizations relied primarily on secure but expensive MPLS lines to connect offices to the data center where security functions reside. When organizations allow branch office applications and devices to connect directly to the Internet, they bypass the traditional centralized security zone. This leaves the branch open to all types of internet traffic and in the process increases the attack surface at the edge. 

 To combat these threats, the SD-WAN Security Suite offers a combination of embedded security features that include an application-aware firewall, intrusion detection and prevention, and the SD-WAN Umbrella DNS cloud security layer. Web Defense maintains a local cache of secure URLs that are regularly updated with the latest security threat reports. 

 Direct Cloud Access 

 Direct Cloud Access improves the quality of experience (QoE) for cloud and SaaS applications while adopting a similar risk profile for direct Internet access. SD-WAN Security uses a DNS security layer with intrusion detection to prevent the most aggressive denial-of-service, phishing, malware, and ransomware attacks that can penetrate Internet connections and ports used by SaaS and cloud applications. Additionally, these built-in security features leverage existing threat intelligence from the team, one of the world’s most advanced commercial threat intelligence organizations. 

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Guest Access 

Organizations focused on customer experience, such as retail stores, want to open a Wi-Fi branch for customers to provide them with interactive methods. However, allowing guests to access the branch’s Wi-Fi network can also expose company applications, information, and services. A security policy that segments guest access is the first step so that while Internet access is allowed, all other segments of the corporate network are denied. SD-WAN Security provides network filtering, intrusion detection, and prevention capabilities to prevent Internet infections from foreign devices across the network access point. In addition, segmentation limits the number of guest network employees, allowing all business information to flow.

It doesn’t matter whether it is a large or a small business. You may want to leverage SD-WAN advantages if you have several locations, network access points, and remotely located employees, who constantly rely on cloud services. According to research, SD-WAN will be worth almost $8.4 billion by 2025. All sizes of companies are increasingly looking to use this advanced technology as an alternative to traditional WANs.That’s why a new advanced SD-WAN security stack that includes features that address critical security challenges is essential for improved network security.

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