Improve your network security with SD-WAN

Adoption of cloud computing has enabled organisations to dramatically reshape the architecture of their networks, but when it comes to linking remote offices and workers most companies still rely on far less revolutionary technologies to secure their connections.

Ubiquitous use of virtual private network (VPN) services, whether managed internally or through a third party, provides a level of WAN encryption but also poses security challenges for companies eager to streamline the process.

Encryption keys, for example, are typically either stored locally and administered manually, or handled by a third-party service that functions at arm’s length to the enterprise. In this model, key management has become an additional function and an impedance to the smooth interconnectivity between sites and remote workers.

Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) services offer a long-overdue step forward by integrating encryption, network resilience, and other core network security services into the fabric of the remote data connection.

Instead of sourcing and managing security policies manually, SD-WAN capabilities allow security policies to propagate to every corner of even the most dynamic and changing network. This means, for example, that the various elements of the SD-WAN can automatically reconfigure themselves to maintain segmentation of particular users or resources, even as those resources change their location or their means of connection.

SD-WAN capabilities also make encryption much easier: rather than requiring security administrators to maintain and configure point-to-point encryption, SD-WAN automatically manages encryption with automatic handoff that keeps devices connected – and data traffic protected.

Automatic handoff allows encryption keys to be refreshed, and the changes propagated to all registered devices, without user intervention every 2 hours. This not only ensures that encryption keys are short-lived – saving them from the threat of eavesdropping – but that devices can be dynamically added to the network, or excluded from it, based on the changing configuration of that network.

When encryption is transformed from being a network add-on, into being a fundamental capability of the network, enterprises enjoy a higher degree of security. Private networks are guaranteed to stay private, and secure connections to remote sites stay secure.

Because the security function operates below the corporate application rather than being inextricably tied to it, that function is self-repairing and self-managing. This ensures that business objectives around data protection can be readily met, no matter which telecommunications carrier, service, or device is being used.

Data security is hard enough without having to everything manually. By moving intelligent decisions about data routing, encryption, and other data-security issues into the network fabric, SD-WAN offers security practitioners a much-needed reprieve that will raise the security bar across the board, no matter how the network changes over time.

If you’re interested to learn more about how SD-WAN can assist with your organisation’s data security, contact us for more information.

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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 26 April 2018

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