SD-WAN Security - Who's Doing What

January 25, 2018

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC

SD-WAN has been a hot topic for at least a couple years. Its many benefits – which include helping businesses avoid carrier lock-in, integrate wide area networks, leverage multiple underlying connections, and optimize bandwidth – have led to what IDC (News - Alert) called “remarkable growth” in a study last year.

Adoption of SD-WAN infrastructure and services should be strong going forward too. Futuriom says the SD-WAN market will hit $1 billion by 2019. And IDC expects such SD-WAN solutions to see CAGR of 69.6 percent between 2017 and 2021. If that plays out as expected, sales of such SD-WAN solutions will exceed $8 billion by the end of that period.

Now that the market and the media have been educated on the value of SD-WAN, market players have been working to expand their product portfolios and messaging. And one of the key topics related to SD-WAN has become security.

Late last year Riverbed (News - Alert) announced a joint SD-WAN solution with security company Zscaler. VeloCloud in the fall announced it had added Palo Alto Networks, Symantec, and others to its SD-WAN Security Technology Partner Program. And SimpleWAN and Versa Networks, which have long emphasized the fact that their solutions offer built-in security, continue to reinforce the importance of security and what they deliver on that front.

SimpleWAN’s solution delivers real-time intrusion defense and supports compliance regulations including HIPPA and PCI (News - Alert) DSS. And the company’s leadership has been pushing the importance of security since its product launch.

Versa Networks also takes a holistic approach to security.

In a white paper, Versa Networks talks about its solution’s ability to use NFV to service chain security functions. “For example, specialized security functions like a secure web gateway can be service-chained to the SD-WAN to enable secure direct Internet access from the branch,” it says.

Versa Networks also noted: “To address growing branch office vulnerabilities, both service providers (through managed service offerings) and enterprise IT/CISO teams need to apply NFV to evolve branch security infrastructure from legacy point appliances to a more agile and software-defined approach,” “Software-defined security (SD-Security) introduces simplicity to the world of network security. In this model, protection is based on network-wide logical policies and monitoring that are not tied to a specialized (and siloed) security appliance or function. This is further empowered by the fact that SD-Security created through NFV de-couples security functions from proprietary hardware, enabling security functions to run in software that can operate on commodity x86 servers and appliances.”

Edited by Mandi Nowitz