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How to Solve Common SD-WAN Challenges and Security Issues

Some integrated SD-WAN features have been around for some time, such as virtual private networks (VPNs). The migration of more applications to the cloud, however, means the storage of more and more data on devices in branch locations rather than a central data center. The edge is no longer the established perimeter.

SD-WAN security issues can arise if the SD-WAN is not managed and configured properly to mitigate risks – even with the use of VPNs.

Common SD-WAN Security Challenges

Here are just a few of the more common SD-WAN security challenges organizations face starting with an inefficient security solution.

Insufficient SD-WAN Security

While nearly every SD-WAN provider will tell you that they have built-in network security features, you should be aware that not all systems are created equal. Most SD-WAN solutions include a stateful firewall, but will not provide the security you need to overcome SD-WAN security challenges.

If you do not plan your security strategy carefully, you can take a step backward when deploying SD-WAN. By moving data to the edge and distributing connectivity, you may lose the unified threat management protection you had within your centralized model before deployment.

Many companies try to trim expenses by using a low-cost provider that does not have adequate security.

Increased Network Complexity

SD-WAN allows companies to leverage cloud technology and centrally manage operations across branch offices and remote sites.

Many organizations are taking full advantage as they accelerate their digital migration. For example, the number of enterprises operating 100 or more sites is expected to grow by 28% in 2021. Companies deploying more than 500 different applications are forecast to grow by 32%.

SD-WAN simplifies management by bringing remote sites into a central platform. However, the increased network connectivity can create additional threat vectors that require monitoring and management, especially when connected to third-party platforms.

BYOD and Remote Work

Cloud connectivity allows employees to connect remotely. That has been especially important in the past year as more employees work away from the office. Some 67% of employees are now using personal tech for work.

Remote work has increased the amount of bring your own device (BYOD) use. Employees using their personal laptop, smartphone, tablet or home computer have created another layer of SD-WAN security challenges. Without strong and efficient mobile device management, these devices will not have the security protocols enabled that company-owned devices do.

IT teams need to analyze BYOD traffic just as they manage any other traffic that moves through the corporate network.

Solving SD-WAN Security Issues

Solving SD-WAN security challenges requires a more strategic approach. You can use separate security applications or rely on third-party solutions, but the best solution is to have resilient, built-in security functionality within your SD-WAN solution.

However, you need an SD-WAN security solution that goes beyond a basic firewall to provide the security that you need.

You need an SD-WAN solution that dynamically secures your network against external threats. To provide the level of security that your organization requires, you need built-in security that includes a next-generation firewall (NGFW) as part of its secure access service edge (SASE) network architecture.

We recommend an integrated Versa SD-WAN security solution for these reasons.

Versa SD-WAN Security

Versa SD-WAN security, integrated with your SD-WAN, provides the resilient and flexible security that an NGFW provides.

Versa NGFW identifies individual users, traffic flow, packets and applications to manage security protocols for each. With constant monitoring, network policies and security settings are dynamically applied based on changes or threats detected within the network environment.

All connectivity to your enterprise is protected with industry-standard Internet Protocol security tunnel encapsulation. Traffic is encrypted in transit and secure. Decryption capabilities perform macro- and micro-segmentation to analyze packets in transit as well.

Other benefits of Versa SD-WAN security include:

  • Zone-based firewall protection, including rules, policies and scans.
  • Application visibility of more than 3,000 applications and protocols.
  • Policy-match triggers for applications, groups, URLs, geolocation, application identifier policy rules and packet capture.
  • IP accept and reject lists
  • IP filtering by location, domain name service name, destination IP address and reputation of source.
  • User-defined URL categorization and filtering.
  • Auto-signature updates for antivirus.
  • Built-in intrusion detection and intrusion prevention systems.
  • Detect data traffic movement between sites.

A software-as-a-service platform, Versa provides hourly updates to provide real-time threat detection of emerging threats, and a full incremental update daily.

When you have a single software platform that includes your management and security, you have tighter integration. As you change policies within the management platform, the security adapts to accommodate the changes. As your SD-WAN dynamically allocates bandwidth and routes traffic, security settings adapt to match.

A central platform keeps everything in sync and lets IT teams take advantage of zero-touch provisioning without worrying about adjusting security settings in third-party solutions.

An SD-WAN with strong security helps organizations realize the full benefits of SD-WAN, including reducing attack surfaces, better application performance, and the agile and scalable infrastructure your company needs to grow.

Learn More About SD-WAN Security

Contact the experts at LOGIX Fiber Networks for help solving common SD-WAN challenges and security issues.