Ensuring Secure SD-WAN Solutions: Benefits and Potential Security Gaps

by | SD-WAN

In today’s digital age, cybersecurity attacks pose a significant threat to businesses. While many companies have invested heavily in securing their data and networks, security vulnerabilities remain a major concern. This is where software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) solutions come in. While SD-WAN can offer many benefits, it is important to understand the potential gaps with respect to security to ensure your business is protected.

Benefits of SD-WAN Deployment

One of the primary benefits of deploying SD-WAN is the significant reduction in transportation costs. By reducing the reliance on private circuits and selecting optimal routes for data between branch offices and the cloud, SD-WAN is highly cost-effective. In addition, SD-WAN deployment offers faster and more reliable network connectivity due to its smart load-balancing technology. This technology helps to gauge potential congestion and prioritize critical applications, ensuring real-time support.

SD-WAN also provides businesses with the ability to collaborate across locations easily and reliably. Since data is not backhauled to a central office, customers and remote employees can access cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications almost instantly. Finally, SD-WAN deployment enables optimized management and tracking of workloads, which can significantly improve business efficiency.

Potential Security Gaps with SD-WAN Deployment

Despite the many benefits of SD-WAN, it is important to note that it does not guarantee complete security for your business. Most SD-WAN vendors offer IPsec encryption to provide security for businesses, but this only works at the network level and does not take into account overall connectivity. Since most data is routed to the cloud via public broadband, there are inherent risks associated with any non-private connection.

Businesses that use standalone SD-WAN products must add an extra layer of security to ensure better protection, which can increase resource overheads for the business. For example, SSL processing is critical for inspecting traffic for security certificates. To accomplish this, traffic must be routed to an SSL proxy, decrypted, and exposed to policy rules. Although this process is slightly time-consuming, SSL encryption is essential in preventing security attacks and improving data routing efficiency, which ultimately leads to better scalability for businesses.

Firewall provisioning is another important security feature that businesses should implement when using a distributed SD-WAN architecture. Each branch in the architecture requires appropriate gateway security, but most devices offer only primitive firewalls with many limitations. To mitigate security attacks, next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) provide advanced features such as deep packet inspection (DPI) and intrusion detection/prevention (IDS/IDP) capabilities.

Another security gap to consider with SD-WAN deployment is the lack of control over internet service providers (ISPs). Since SD-WAN uses the public internet for data transfer, businesses have limited control over their ISPs, which can potentially result in security breaches. To mitigate this risk, businesses can opt for managed SD-WAN services from vendors that offer advanced security features.

Ensuring Secure SD-WAN Solutions

As business owners, CEOs, and CTOs cannot afford to take information security lightly, ensuring secure SD-WAN solutions should always be a priority. To achieve this, businesses should look for SD-WAN vendors that offer advanced security features such as SSL processing, NGFWs, and managed services. These features can help to mitigate the potential security gaps associated with SD-WAN deployment.

In addition, businesses should implement security best practices such as regular updates and patches for all devices and software, employee education on cybersecurity threats and prevention measures, and multi-factor authentication for all accounts. It is also important to conduct regular security audits and assessments to identify vulnerabilities and address them in a timely manner.

Conclusion

In conclusion, SD-WAN deployment offers many benefits to businesses, including cost savings, faster and more reliable network connectivity, and optimized workload management. However, it is important to understand the potential security gaps associated with SD-WAN deployment and take appropriate measures to ensure secure solutions.

By implementing advanced security features such as SSL processing and NGFWs, and following security best practices such as regular updates and employee education, businesses can significantly reduce the risk of cybersecurity attacks. With the increasing sophistication of cyber threats, ensuring secure SD-WAN solutions should be a top priority for all businesses.