Enterprises are gaining visibility, traffic segmentation, and better control of bandwidth through the use of software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN). Bolstering SD-WAN security is becoming a priority for enterprises, particularly if the SD- WAN solution was built without robust security features.
SD-WAN provides a reliable connection, offering high-speed performance and the necessary bandwidth to support cloud applications. While the approach to networking is new, the threats are similar to others aimed at infiltrating infrastructure. SD-WAN offers direct access to the internet, eliminating the need for branch data transmissions to come back through the data center, where security tools and features are enforced. As a result, branch locations can become a vulnerable point of entry for hackers.
Prioritizing SD-WAN security requires additional steps to be sure that policy is enforced across the network. To protect against network attacks at the branch level, there should be four areas addressed:
Direct Threats: Implement network security functions that can be deployed right at the edge for combatting external, direct threats against the network. Whether through virtual appliances, dedicated hardware, or a cloud services solution, enforcement must occur at the edge of the internet access. Look for features like next-generation firewalls (NGFWs), filtering, protection against distributed denial of service threats, encryption, intrusion prevention systems, and malware detection.
Authentication and Authorization: Your enterprise will need to authenticate and authorize devices and users, compliance requirements, and security policies. SD-WAN security needs to enforce capabilities for identifying access on a range of endpoints, including fleets of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, point-of-sale equipment, and mobile phones.
Visibility: Any solid security strategy must prioritize visibility. When it comes to SD-WAN security, the enterprise should include central visibility for internal traffic as well as inbound and outbound transmissions. There should also be visibility into how applications are being accessed and the ability to view the data, particularly in cases where Transport Layer Security is being used for encryption.
Orchestration: SD-WAN security requires a centralized orchestration and management feature allowing a single console for network teams. Using this functionality, administrators can apply policy, configurations, and upgrades across all locations at once, but they can also single out a particular location for adjustments or reconfiguration. Orchestration can be automated and offer analytics with insights related to any potential threats.
When SD-WAN security is prioritized, the implementation of the technology results in improved policy controls at connection points. While some more basic SD-WAN solutions may offer security features that have been tacked on post-development, ideally, enterprises should look for solutions with security baked into the tools and features. Is your enterprise concerned about supporting adequate SD-WAN security? Contact us at eXemplify, where we can guide you through the SD-WAN selection process to ensure you’re choosing a solution that delivers all the benefits of virtual networking without complicating your security policy.