Secure SD-WAN combines networking and security into a single integrated platform. It makes businesses far more agile and cost-effective by eliminating costly contracts with telecom operators and deploying new sites in minutes with any data service, including MPLS, broadband, or even LTE.

Current security architectures rely on consolidating data streams into a centralized pipe in the data center using traditional premises-based firewalls. Secure SD-WAN leverages cloud-native NGFW with security micro-segmentation and a centralized control system.

Scalability

A secure SD-WAN service must be capable of scaling to hundreds or even thousands of remote locations. It requires a fully integrated security stack that includes connectivity, traffic shaping, network management, and application recognition tools.

An enabling technology is custom-built SD-WAN ASICs that provide high performance, low latency, and scale. These are especially important for applications that require intensive encrypting, such as IPSec.

With the advent of cloud computing, ensuring reliable, fast, and secure connections to cloud applications and the Internet is critical. Before SD-WAN, remote offices had to backhaul traffic to a central security server. SD-WAN makes it possible to use public Internet links for middle-mile transmissions, freeing up private network capacity and enhancing WAN resilience.

A secure SD-WAN also enables direct Internet breakout at every branch location to improve SaaS application performance versus the more common method of backhauling. And it delivers dynamic routing optimization that chooses the best Internet uplink for each application, increasing performance and reducing cost by avoiding costly MPLS circuits. This approach is scalable, simple, and easy to manage.

Flexibility

The flexibility of secure SD-WAN is a crucial benefit for organizations seeking a more agile and cost-effective WAN. In addition to allowing traffic to be routed based on application, it provides flexibility in the underlay network by enabling multiple transport types such as MPLS, broadband Internet, and 4G/LTE. It enables organizations to choose the best option for their business needs and provides redundancy with multiple backup paths.

It provides a more flexible approach to network security, critical for organizations with remote offices and SaaS-based applications. Instead of integrating security point products at the WAN edge, security capabilities can be programmed centrally with an SD-WAN and pushed out to 10s, 100s, or even 1000s of WAN edges.

It eliminates the need to deploy separate devices in each branch and reduces the complexity of maintaining and troubleshooting security at scale. It also ensures that direct connections to cloud and Internet applications get the same level of protection when backhauling them through the core network. It is crucial as businesses increasingly embrace a broader set of business-critical cloud and Internet services that require more reliable connectivity and performance.

Security

Unlike legacy firewalls that backhaul traffic to the central office, SD-WAN offers direct connections between sites and the cloud for better application performance. It enables organizations to centrally program and propagate security policies directly to 10s, 100s, or 1000s of nodes at the network edge. It reduces one of the biggest causes of data breaches today-human error.

Secure SD-WAN solutions also encrypt traffic using robust encryption algorithms like AES that uniformly protect the privacy of all users, devices, and sites regardless of their location. It helps to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information, whether sent over public networks like guest Wi-Fi or internal private connections.

To be genuinely secure, a fully managed SD-WAN solution should incorporate next-generation firewall capabilities that offer advanced threat detection and prevention for the entire enterprise edge, from branch offices to the cloud. This centralized, end-to-end segmentation is critical to secure connectivity that delivers on the promise of agility and simplicity of an SD-WAN solution. It is crucial since the proliferation of new and increasingly dangerous threats, including ransomware, botnets, and malware.

Convenience

SD-WAN combines network links into a pool to make bandwidth available on demand for different services. It enables enterprises to prioritize traffic and give speed and priority to critical applications and services for business.

Unlike traditional MPLS, SD-WAN identifies applications to determine the best route and directs data to the cloud. It eliminates the need to backhaul data from branches to headquarters, which can reduce application performance and lead to security issues.

Security is built into the WAN, so all data traveling across the Internet is encrypted. It prevents sensitive information from being intercepted by cybercriminals.

SD-WAN also simplifies and speeds up site deployments, configurations, operations, and troubleshooting tasks. Centralized management makes applying policies and updates to all locations and devices more accessible. For example, adding a new branch location is much easier than with traditional networking technology, which requires the equipment to be manually configured for each office. It is referred to as zero-touch provisioning. With this feature, IT teams can define intent, and the software will automatically configure all devices.

Performance

Secure SD-WAN combines networking and security into a single platform. It enables network and security operations consolidated at the WAN edge for greater simplicity, agility, and cost efficiency.

Application steering automatically selects the best physical path to minimize latency or maximize bandwidth based on current network conditions by combining link redundancy and active quality monitoring. It significantly improves WAN performance and reduces IT overhead.

Security is integrated into the solution with cloud security as a service model or embedded on-premises at the WAN edge. It allows enterprises to segment traffic based on policy and protect against ingress attacks.

Using direct internet breakout for SaaS and internet-bound traffic eliminates the need to backhaul this traffic for security inspection and significantly improves performance compared to traditional MPLS circuits. It allows the business to use lower-cost commodity bandwidth connections for low-priority traffic while saving high-performance MPLS connections for critical applications.