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Questions to Ask Your SD-WAN Provider About Security

Your SD-WAN provides you with full control over your network across branch offices, remote access points and a distributed workforce. While simplifying and centralizing management, it may also enable more connections to the internet, which can create additional threat vectors.

How do you ensure that your SD-WAN solution is protecting you from threats? Here are some of the key questions you should ask your SD-WAN provider about security.

Do You Have an Integrated SD-WAN Security Solution?

Overcoming SD-WAN security challenges is easier if you work with one solution provider to manage your SD-WAN, with an integrated security approach.

The complexity of security systems, exacerbated by the lack of in-house expertise, is the biggest driver of costs incurred from data breaches. An integrated SD-WAN security solution simplifies the secure management of your network.

Having integrated security is a must. However, whether you have a basic firewall or a next-generation firewall (NGFW) makes a big difference.

Basic Stateful Firewall vs. NGFW: What is Your Strategy?

There is a significant difference between a basic stateful firewall and an integrated NGFW.

One term you may hear when evaluating SD-WAN infrastructures is “stateful firewall.” A stateful firewall is a network-based firewall that filters data packets as they enter or leave the network. Once the traffic is approved to enter your network, however, it can move freely inside.

While a stateful firewall is a requirement, a more secure option is to deploy an NGFW that filters traffic as it travels through your network. This way, it’s possible to apply policies for individual applications. An NGFW will include a standard stateful firewall as well as other security measures, including:

  • Integrated intrusion prevention.
  • Application awareness and control.
  • URL filtering.
  • Built-in advanced malware protection.

Do You Provide Comprehensive Network Visibility?

While much of your security prevention will be automated, you also need to monitor what is happening on your network at all times to stop potential malicious behavior. You need a holistic view of network activity at all hours, including contextual awareness, to identify:

  • Threat activity by networks, devices, hosts and users.
  • Threat origination points and where threats have traveled within your network.
  • Active applications and websites.
  • Communication and connections between machines, virtual machines and networks.

How Quickly Can You Detect Threats?

More than 155 million people were affected by data exposure in 2020 as part of more than a thousand reported data breaches, with the average total cost of a data breach adding up to $3.86 million per incident.

What is even more frightening is how long it takes for data breaches to be discovered. A study by IBM shows that the average time to identify and contain a data breach is 280 days.

An NGFW should be able to detect threats in near-real-time and alert you to a data breach in minutes. It should also prioritize alerts so that you can quickly eliminate threats when they are identified.

Can You Manage Security and Network in a Centralized Platform?

One of the benefits of SD-WAN is the ability to manage your entire network from one centralized platform in one location. This should include your security settings as well. When integrating network security with your SD-WAN, the solutions work together. For example, when your SD-WAN dynamically filters and routes traffic to optimize performance, your NGFW should automatically adjust to accommodate the changes.

If you make network changes, you want to make all of the changes without moving between platforms, reconfiguring individual firewalls or dealing with third-party solutions. You want an SD-WAN security solution that seamlessly integrates with your security architecture; shares threat information and policies with any network security tools; and automates security tasks such as user identification, policy management and tuning.

How Often Do You Update Security Packages?

Your NGFW should also come with regularly updated threat intelligence sources. As cybercriminals continue to evolve their tactics, you need constant updates to stay abreast of emerging threats.

The best SD-WAN security providers offer full incremental updates on evolving threats daily, real-time threat detection updates hourly and detect data traffic movement between sites.

Overcoming SD-WAN Security Challenges

Overcoming SD-WAN security challenges requires resilient security protocols from your provider. Your checklist should include questions about whether your SD-WAN provider uses these best practices as part of its security solution:

  • Application visibility, filtering and logs.
  • Application identifier (AppID) policy rules.
  • Internet Protocol (IP) (i.e. create accept and reject lists)
  • Custom AppID signatures.
  • Secure Sockets Layer certificate-based protection.
  • IP filtering by geolocation, domain name system or reputation.
  • URL categorization and filtering.
  • Customer-defined actions, such as block, inform, ask, justify and override.
  • 128- or 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard encryption.
  • Antivirus flow protection with auto-signature updates.
  • Identity provider and intrusion prevention systems.

Learn More About SD-WAN Security

Contact the experts at LOGIX Fiber Networks today to learn more about SD-WAN security and how to choose the right provider for your organization.