Cyber security is an ever-increasing concern for IT teams, particularly for chief security officers. At the center of those worries is the wide area network (WAN), which offers many entry points for hackers to gain access to systems and databases. Threats continue to grow in both frequency and complexity, causing IT teams to look for new ways to boost WAN security.
A traditional WAN is made up of isolated and disparate links that can make creating consistent security enforcement challenging. Vulnerabilities often appear when certain security products or tools are not used at all WAN connection points. If a team is to support a comprehensive, secure configuration, that security must be applied to each individual link. This approach is both time-consuming and expensive, and also introduces the possibility of human error.
The key strategy being employed currently is the adoption of a software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) solution. It provides comprehensive security through centrally-applied policy and improves functionality with improved visibility.
A single WAN security approach allows for consistent application of policy and reduces complexity across the network. It also all but eliminates the potential for errors that can happen when individual links are being secured. Through SD-WAN, operations and security personnel can show documented consistency across the WAN.
Four Ways to Ensure Better WAN Security Through SD-WAN
There are four basic security capabilities you should look for when choosing an SD-WAN solution:
Effective Encryption: Encryption for data being transferred is standard, but when your WAN is more siloed, it can be difficult to implement encryption. Look for integrated, broad encryption across the SD-WAN solution.
Compliance with PCI DSS: You need a network that offers Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance. Even if you don’t expect to have direct use of payment cards, PCI still offers a reliable way to have documented protection. When your network complies with this standard, it has certain protections, including process and documentation audits, access control audits, and extensive testing to support security policies. Compliance also supports two-factor authentication and signals that you prioritize security.
Next-generation firewall: A next-generation firewall (NGFW) ensures that your WAN is protected at key access points and at key traffic flow points. Look for an SD-WAN solution that provides the ability to insert either a virtual or physical NGFW for better protection at particular points on your network and better WAN security.
Support for Unified Threat Management: Enterprise IT is moving to a unified security approach, so even if your team isn’t there yet, it’s a good idea to look for an SD-WAN solution that offers support for this path. Prioritizing WAN security involves a shift to SD-WAN for many enterprises. If you are interested in exploring the ways SD-WAN can not only improve security but also reduce networking costs and optimize your network, contact us at eXemplify.