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The Benefits of an Integrated SD-WAN Security Solution

A survey of 1,200 C-suite executives and IT leaders from Ernst and Young revealed a shocking statistic. Nearly 90% of those surveyed said that their cybersecurity measures do not fully meet the needs of their organization.

As companies adopt a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN), they must ensure that they implement the right type of solution for their needs to avoid causing security-related problems.

Typically, when deploying SD-WAN solutions, a company’s infrastructure moves from a centralized internet model where everything flows through their primary data center – and where the unified threat management appliances are – to a distributed egress model. This makes the SD-WAN the gatekeeper for security. However, most SD-WAN solutions only include a fairly simple firewall, which will not provide the level of security and access control that organizations need.

Just one unsecured entry point, such as a remote worker’s laptop, can put the entire network at risk.

Having to secure each branch office and backhaul all of the branch traffic through a central firewall is an inefficient solution at best. It can slow down traffic on the network by introducing latency and can impact application performance. An SD-WAN can intelligently route traffic to avoid these situations, but a basic firewall is not designed to stand up to the security challenges in today’s environment.

The solution? An integrated next-generation firewall (NGFW) built into your SD-WAN solution.

Choosing an SD-WAN Security Solution

Most SD-WAN security solutions will include a stateful firewall. That is an important part of SD-WAN security, but you should also be aware of its limitations. A stateful firewall is limited in its ability to distinguish legitimate network packets from other connection types.

SD-WAN benefits from an integrated NGFW in multiple ways that greatly enhance security, including:

  • Deep packet inspection.
  • Application identity-based policy rules.
  • Application group and filters.
  • Internet Protocol filtering (i.e. create accept and reject lists)
  • Secure Sockets Layer certificate protection.
  • Policies triggered by URL category.
  • Antivirus with auto-signature updates.
  • Microsegmentation of network traffic.

These enhanced security features offer more resilient intrusion protection and protection against malware. The best SD-WAN security solutions will incorporate Layer 7 anomaly detection and provide full incremental security updates and real-time threat detection protocols.

The Benefits of an Integrated SD-WAN Security Solution

The benefits of an integrated SD-WAN security solution cannot be overstated. By integrating SD-WAN connectivity and traffic shaping with an NGFW, organizations can reap the benefits of an SD-WAN solution – without compromising security when adding additional third-party solutions.

An integrated solution enables IT teams to manage their entire SD-WAN and security solution from a centralized dashboard, bringing together security controls and the management of WAN and local area network (LAN) functions. By combining functions, the management of the network and its security work together.

When there is a change to the network, security adapts to the changes.

Unlike static connections to the network, SD-WAN connections are dynamic and often in a state of flux. An SD-WAN solution will monitor traffic and make adjustments to optimize performance and prioritize latency-sensitive applications. If you are not using an integrated NGFW, security can lag or be unable to catch up with dynamic changes.

Integrating security into your SD-WAN eliminates lag time and the need to adjust security using a third-party solution.

There is one other important facet to an NGFW. SD-WAN can extend the built-in security deep into the local LAN, adding security to local switching and wireless access points.

A Foundation for a Smart Security Strategy

SD-WAN benefits your organization in so many ways. From reduced complexity to increased application performance, to reduced operating expenses, SD-WAN provides a way to more intelligently direct traffic for a higher-quality user experience.

Making sure that your SD-WAN deployment incorporates the security your organization needs is essential. Integrating an SD-WAN security solution using an NGFW can provide a foundation for a smart security strategy.

Learn More About SD-WAN Security

To learn more about SD-WAN and your security options, contact LOGIX to discuss your needs.