Enterprises Need Secure SD-WAN to Keep Edge Networks Safe

March 25, 2020

By Special Guest
Michael Wood, CMO, Versa Networks,

Enterprises pursuing a hybrid cloud strategy, a multi-cloud strategy, or relying on a software-as-a-service model to give remote workers access to critical applications, can expose themselves to new threat vectors. These new threats must be built into an already long list of security considerations for wide-area network (WAN) edge implementations.

By transforming their networking strategies with the best solutions, including Secure SD-WAN, organizations will not only gain manageability and control, but they will take a big step toward better overall network security. It’s a multi-win scenario. As enterprises look for ways to accelerate their digital transformation journeys and achieve greater business agility, they must transform their WANs to be more software-driven to achieve these goals.

The networks of yesterday were data center centric; however, with SaaS (News - Alert) and multi-cloud requirements, site-to-site connectivity from the edge and to the cloud are now required. Branches no longer need to simply connect back to the corporate data center to access apps and clouds. That’s the good news, because backhauling all traffic to the data center resulted in poor user experiences. However, connecting through the cloud can limit an organization’s opportunity for packet inspection and increase exposure to security threats.

With enterprises investing heavily in digital transformation, the threat environment has intensified and broadened significantly. In some cases, organizations need their security to be CPE-based and integrated with cloud security for scaling up and down, depending on workload demands.

Multiple connections via SD-WAN, including private and hybrid connections, allow branches to gain direct Internet access (DIA). What enterprises need, however, is DIA without security limited branch by branch, each of which may have different requirements. Advanced Secure SD-WAN allows for all various security policies to run at all branches at the same time, in the same context as varied deterministic network performance. In addition, managed SD-WAN and cloud security can manage both on-premises and cloud-based security policies for branches, uniformly.

For extending WAN edge to the cloud, Secure SD-WAN solves the bottleneck from private cloud to public cloud. Once the branch is on the web, the biggest threat revolves around the IP of the branch being exposed, putting users at risk for DDoS attacks and all sorts of unknown vulnerabilities. It’s paramount to protect the public window at the edge, and there’s no need to put an expensive hardware-oriented security appliance in-line at every branch.

With advanced Secure SD-WAN, enterprises are rapidly moving to direct and secure Internet and cloud connectivity for their branch locations. Secure SD-WAN enables each branch location to take advantage of diverse security policies and connectivity, while IT enables corporate and Internet traffic simultaneously – on the same circuits. Multi-cloud connectivity moves the Internet perimeter from a centralized and secure HQ location to a distributed model, where every branch location receives direct and optimized cloud access with security.

The combination of SD-WAN and multi-layered security is required for organizations to take advantage of the benefits of SD-WAN in the secure manner that’s required. The traditional hub and spoke connectivity model that connects branch users through private VPNs to a data center or corporate HQ firewall no longer works in today’s multi-cloud environments. Integrating these necessary security and networking functions into a single software platform greatly reduces complexity, while providing advanced visibility that can be programmed with automated and contextual policies.

When branch and corporate offices connect to multiple clouds, IT needs cloud-intelligent, dynamic multi-path connectivity with fully embedded security. The rapid rise of cloud and SD-WAN has ushered in an era where on-demand services are accessed, and operational simplicity is table stakes. The key to enabling a smooth multi-cloud migration path is a versatile and multi-service Secure SD-WAN platform.

Michael Wood is CMO at Versa Networks.  An entrepreneurial, creative, results-oriented and hands-on CMO, VP Product, Board Member, Advisor, and Investor with repeated success scaling incubation businesses and startups, Mike has extensive expertise scaling products, businesses and processes to take a business from limited revenue to hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. He is experienced in networking as a service, virtualization, cloud, mobile, video and security.

The benefits of and technology required to enable distributed workforces will be featured at SD-WAN Expo 2021.  This will be the fourth edition of SD-WAN Expo, coming to the brand new Miami Beach Convention Center, June 22-25, 2021, as part of the TechSuperShow.  The fourth edition of SD-WAN Expo will expand on many of the topics enterprise leaders need to know surrounding their connectivity needs, including deployment models, evolving standards, SASE, practitioner case studies, and more. The collection of TechSuperShow events – SD-WAN Expo, ITEXPO, Future of Work Expo, The Blockchain Event, MSP Expo, and more – deliver an unprecedented educational and networking opportunity, where business leaders have access to all the technology that is helping businesses drive success.

Edited by Erik Linask

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