Secure SD-WAN

By this point, just about everyone has heard of SD-WAN, and everywhere you turn it seems there is someone talking about, or writing about SD-WAN.  One may think it is a mature market by now, but actually we have a long way to go.

While SD-WAN is far from the infancy stages, we are still in the formative years.

Just over the last year, the SD-WAN market has changed quite a bit.  There are new players still entering the SD-WAN space, existing players expanding their platforms with new capabilities, and we’re starting to see consolidation from VMWare/Velocloud, Cisco/Viptela, and most recently Palo Alto announcing their acquisition of Cloudgenix.  But the biggest change you will notice is the migration from just “SD-WAN” to “Secure SD-WAN.”  It’s not good enough to just be an SD-WAN vendor anymore, security needs to be an integral part of any SD-WAN solution.

Secure SD-WAN comes in many different forms, and almost all vendors claim their offerings are secure, so it is important to really understand how each SD-WAN vendor incorporates security.

Early SD-WAN technologies are now referred to as first-generation, while the latest you will hear called second generation, next-generation, or now Gartner’s newly coined term SASE (Secure Access Service Edge), which focuses on cloud-based delivery.

In the market, you see traditional firewall vendors adding SD-WAN capabilities, pure-play SD-WAN vendors adding firewall/NGFW capabilities to their platforms, as well as vendors who fall into the SASE category who truly built an integrated Secure SD-WAN solution from the ground up, in the cloud.  For those SD-WAN vendors who offer limited or no security capabilities, there are tight integrations with security vendors to provide a seamless solution, whether it be service chaining or automated on-ramps into cloud security products.  Just like first-generation SD-WAN solutions, Secure SD-WAN is offered on-prem, cloud-based, or in a Hybrid approach.  Each offering is unique and one isn’t generally better than the other – but one is most likely better than the others for your specific environment.

With the continued adoption of digital transformation and Enterprise users, data, and resources continually becoming more decentralized, Secure SD-WAN can provide the glue between pervasive connectivity and security while reducing complexity.

With the current global pandemic changing the way we all work and communicate, reliance on traditional methods is just not cutting it.  Reliable connectivity has never been more important and cybercrime is on the rise more than ever.

Teleworkers are becoming more like remote offices and require a robust solution over a simple VPN connection from their laptops.  This new paradigm now requires a myriad of devices to be on the corporate network.  Video conference devices, IP phones, corporate access points, or other corporate devices don’t always have the means to connect securely.

Secure SD-WAN provides the means to securely connect to corporate resources while giving IT staff more visibility and control to ensure businesses can continue as close to normal as possible.

– Sanjay Ramaswamy, Networking Solutions Architect

Contact us to learn more about Secure SD-WAN and a solution that’s right for your business.

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