As remote working becomes the norm and employees connect from outside the corporate network, reliable and secure connectivity is essential.
This can be challenging for businesses, as devices are increasingly dispersed across multiple locations. Cloud-based services, applications and platforms also make it difficult, as employee networks may struggle to match the flexibility, scalability and speed of implementation needed for daily operations.
One of the solutions to these challenges is SD-WAN, an overlay virtual solution for your existing WAN. By integrating Software-Defined Networking (SDN) with fixed and mobile transport networks, SD-WAN offers a complete solution.
SD-WAN brings intelligence to the network, gives you immediate visibility and control of network traffic and can provide a lower-cost alternative to traditional networking. It helps your business respond quickly to environmental shifts and external threats.
Here are five key security benefits of SD-WAN:
1. Security is centralised and scalable
The centralised controller in SD-WAN can set security policies for the entire network. You can create and distribute security policies across the business, which can then be enforced and maintained centrally.
The centralised controller allows you to filter and block malicious traffic without affecting the rest of the network’s operations. Suspicious activity can be automatically redirected and reported to the administrators.
You can create, control and deploy security policies at scale as the business changes and grows, or as you provision new applications.
2. Prioritising traffic from remote locations
SD-WAN can prioritise traffic from your locations, moving voice or video traffic over low-latency, high-bandwidth links (such as MPLS) and using cheaper local internet for less time critical traffic.
Your business can combine a variety of network connection types into your WAN, such as private circuits, mobile networks and any internet connection. This enables you to ensure the connectivity used is appropriate for the data sent.
3. Zero-touch and segmentation
Zero-touch provisioning lets you add a new branch or remote location online in a matter of minutes. There’s less chance of human error: once a policy is defined or changed, it’s automatically distributed to all devices connected to the SD-WAN.
You can define policies for which applications a workplace can use, such as the CRM system, cloud-based applications like Office 365, or real-time traffic such as Voice over IP (VoIP). You can manage segmentation policies from a single pane of glass and adapt automatically to any network’s changes.
4. Traffic encryption and firewalls
SD-WAN protects traffic between locations by connecting them all with a secure tunnel that employs strong encryption.
You can deploy virtual firewalls to deal with a malicious threat or malware in real-time, and then turn them off once the threat has been neutralised. You can also use virtual firewalls to restrict access to websites for remote employees and guests.
5. Connectivity with the cloud
SD-WAN provides seamless and secure direct connectivity to cloud providers and endpoints, optimising the cloud experience. It delivers high levels of security to your business, preventing data loss from unwanted intrusions.