How SD-WAN can secure your cloud adoption

Australia has long been recognised as a global leader in adoption of cloud technologies – and with Gartner forecasting that software-as-a-service (SaaS) spending will double by 2019 with overall annual spending growth of 17.1 percent, that trend is far from slowing down.

These days, there are few IT conversations where people are not talking about opportunities to leverage the infrastructure, integration, and delivery capabilities of public cloud services. They’re also talking about Office 365, cloud storage, pushing desktops into the cloud, and leveraging other infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) capabilities that extend company network services.

Such capabilities are enabling massive digital transformation – which is a core goal of corporate and government ‘cloud-first’ strategies. However, as companies link their internal networks with external services and virtual infrastructure, the security perimeter becomes very blurry.

Network and security specialists have been wrestling with the need to maintain critical data and capacity controls whilst still enabling the integration of cloud services and platforms into the environment.

The challenge arises because cloud platforms, which are physically and logically separated from the internal company network, run to different security and networking requirements and technologies.

Companies have had to find a way to bridge the gap to cloud services by extending their existing controls to a third-party platform that operates by different rules, using different tools. And while cloud providers have responded by offering extensive application programming interface (API) hooks into their environments, next-generation tools are exploring even more effective mechanisms.

Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) technology offers another way of simplifying these interfaces, streamlining the extension of security policies across the WAN and into the cloud.

This is possible because SD-WAN technologies can seamlessly propagate network configuration policies and security settings from a company’s internal software-defined network (SDN) across the WAN, to where they can be virtually mapped onto cloud-service equivalents.

Adopting this approach allows customers to position the cloud as an extension of their own network environment, providing seamless integration even as the business transforms in new directions.

As well as improving the interaction between cloud and on-premises networks, SD-WAN capabilities also provide crucial visibility that can improve the auditability and risk-assurance profiles of new cloud services as they are added.

Better information about security protections and everyday data movement is crucial to supporting the tightening regulatory controls around breach notification, data protection, and more.

Heightened expectations of company protections don’t stop at the company border – and SD-WAN can help by facilitating detailed records of security policies, changes to security and network configuration, and unusual activity both in the cloud and outside of it.

While cloud platforms are intrinsically run by outside providers, effective use of SD-WAN capabilities can bridge the gap and ensure that your private and public cloud applications work in lockstep to meet your overall transformation objectives – while maintaining the crucial data-security controls that your regulatory compliance requires.

Talk to us to find out more about how SD-WAN can help secure your cloud adoption.

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Andoni Salvador
Author Name: Andoni Salvador

Andoni Salvador is a Network Solutions Architect at NTT Communications ICT Solutions (NTT ICT) with over 14 years’ experience in the IT industry. He thrives on working closely with customers to understand their business requirements and technology environment, then designing a robust network solution that is fit for purpose.

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Added 16 April 2018

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