Generally, your branch offices are part of the entire network architecture. The right SD-WAN solution can advance your business’s security posture by decreasing the costs and stress of interruptions to business-critical applications.
Here’s a look at five benefits of SD-WAN for your business.
1. Protection Against Innovative Hacking Methods
Cybercriminals are relentless in using sophisticated hacking methods to get access to your network system. Malware and APT are two of the many ways they seek to spy and extract data for nefarious means.
Whether you are responsible for network security at a small business, large corporation, or government agency, SD-WAN is one way to improve visibility and control. Implementing this technology makes it easier to detect potential intrusions.
With constant monitoring, you are in a stronger position to respond to an imminent cyber attack. As it functions with your network, a software-defined wide area network prioritizes traffic flow. Based on security policies, it ensures critical protocols and updates have a higher priority.
This helps to reduce security breaches. Cyber attackers will have a harder time gaining a foothold in your network system.
Part of your role as an IT leader is evaluating new technologies against security policies. Upgrading applications can have a negative impact if they introduce more sophisticated threats and attacks.
With this in mind, another security benefit to this technology is a next-generation firewall (NGFW) in place. Taking advantage of an NGFW means you can consolidate:
• Anti-virus features
• Application awareness
• Cloud-based protection systems
• Firewall for real-time web apps
2. Block Invalid Connection Attempts
A standard feature of a software-defined wide area network is tracking unauthorized connections. Network administrators receive alerts when invalid connection attempts occur.
Some invalid connections come from permission limits where a user tries to access an unauthorized area. Others are cybercriminals trying to introduce malware and disrupt your network system for evil deeds. Vigilant monitoring prevents either scenario.
With an SD-WAN environment, controllers and appliances installed at every branch office are already equipped to monitor traffic flow over the network. This includes invalid connection attempts.
By monitoring this activity, network automation and provisioning are simplified for IT administrators to detect changes. They can act and block these attempts to access your network before a serious problem interrupts operations.
Keeping security policies up-to-date is key to ensuring this process works in reducing the risk of viruses, data breaches, or other cyber threats.
3. Cloud Management Connectivity
More businesses are using cloud applications in daily business operations. Central to these applications is maintaining efficient access in environments such as an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS).
As a result, a cybersecurity benefit of SD-WAN for cloud services is protection against security vulnerabilities. You can expect seamless and secure connectivity whether onsite or at a remote location. This optimizes user experience while delivering high-level security for your business.
Remote users experience better network performance when connecting to a cloud-based application. Their productivity is not hindered by latency issues. Additionally, including this technology with cloud applications can prevent data loss if an unwanted intrusion occurs.
Furthermore, policy-driven routing allows for adding new security features through the cloud environment. That way, your business is not encumbered with physically installing new equipment for every update.
Cloud-based services may cover:
• Malware detection
• Cloud-access security brokers
• Secure web gateways
Using an SD-WAN solution in this manner keeps the entire network current. Therefore, your business benefits from the best of both worlds: onsite usage and cloud computing. Your network receives protection against threats and security blind spots anywhere your network is accessed.
4. Multiple Transmission Links for Permissive Connectivity
Within the SD-WAN environment, you need to ability to connect different branch locations to one network. Permissive connectivity covers this solution by using different links. Whether the connection is satellite, cellular, or broadband, the connection is stable even if one link fails.
Also, permissive connectivity can help your business improve the reliability and performance of your WAN. This occurs with dynamic switching between links based on reliability, performance, and cost. As a result, critical applications continue to be accessible.
Data is also transmitted securely and efficiently. Your network is less vulnerable to cybercriminals disrupting it through a single link.
Another security advantage is traffic protection between locations. Encryption and firewalls are deployed to deal with malicious malware or other threats. These blocks can occur in real-time and turned off after neutralizing the threats.
Virtual firewalls also work to restrict access to certain websites when employees or clients access your network remotely.
Additionally, consider how having an IP network for the internet and corporate VPNs is part of a permissive connectivity setup. However, this type of connectivity could raise more problems when you want to secure your business network.
Deciding which connections should be forbidden is necessary for maintaining better network connectivity.
5. Centralized and Scalable Locations
Centralized security is one of the main benefits of using SD-WAN features to enhance your security posture. Your IT administrator manages and enforces security policies from a single location. Doing so ensures all branch offices are compliant.
It is also easier to identify and respond to potential security threats before they expand across the entire network. This scalable approach enables you and your team to create, deploy and control security policies.
Your IT team is not constrained to configuring policies and controls each time you add a new location. As your business grows or you add new applications, centralized security makes it easier to scale security with that growth.
One way this automation is visible is when you decide to migrate from a capacity-constrained MPLS environment. Since MPLS is for networking and not security, routing traffic to a central data center causes the network to use more bandwidth. The user experience suffers.
Moving to a software-defined wide area network removes bandwidth concerns. In effect, you boost usable capacity for a resilient network. With SD-WAN, you get the best from cybersecurity and networking.
Whether users access applications at your main office or via the cloud, your network is protected against cyber threats.
In addition, remote users are protected from direct internet access while you maintain regulatory and privacy requirements. All this occurs without compromising application performance.