Benefits of Combining SD-WAN and SDP for IoT Security and Performance

The proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) devices has clear benefits and drawbacks for organizations. On the bright side, IoT's arrival should enable data collection and aggregation at unprecedented scale, possibly leading to more informed decision-making. Plus, embedded sensors within items such as pharmaceutical supply chains, unique markings on medical devices and low-power wide area networks (LPWANs) may also combine to ensure more accurate tracking of items throughout supply chains.

At the same time, there are many new risks in both security and network performance:

  • IoT infrastructure is uniquely vulnerable to exploits affecting wireless protocols such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, in part because it often lacks easy mechanisms for patching known flaws. Many IoT products run legacy versions of the Linux kernel and can't be updated.
  • The number and variety of IoT devices creates more possible entry points past the traditional network perimeter, which was already dissipating due to the rise of cloud-based services including SaaS.
  • Moving internet traffic from IoT devices through traditional WAN architectures such as MPLS is too costly and does not scale. The IoT further complicates the WAN by adding new protocols and connectivity options for LPWAN, Narrow-Band IoT and more.

What's the answer to these challenges? Enter the software-defined perimeter (SDP), a concept pushed by the Cloud Security Alliance as a new approach to preventing attacks against application infrastructure.

SDP is an alternative to the usual bevy of firewalls, VPNs and network access controls, intended to dynamically determine, on a case by case basis, who can see and use network resources and applications. Properly implemented, it could replace the all-or-nothing access models that often grant extensive permissions to individuals who might abuse them to hack IoT devices.

The synergy of SDP and SD-WAN technology

Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) technology can help with SDP implementation. While it defends against common IoT-related attack vectors, SDP introduces complexity and does not directly address network performance and reliability issues.

In contrast, failsafe SD-WAN technology allows for the rollout of additional security measures and ensures IoT device connectivity work as expected. An SD-WAN from Talari Networks supports encryption, simpler branch security infrastructure and integrations with cloud security services from Zscaler and Palo Alto Networks.

In terms of performance, an SD-WAN can carry cloud-bound IoT traffic from branches across redundant links and multiple potential modes of transport, including broadband, MPLS, cellular and satellite.

Getting started with SD-WAN

Failsafe SD-WAN is the next step in QoE, reliability and security as your network becomes home to more IoT devices. Schedule a demo today and take a look at the free eBook below for more information.

Categories: IT Challenges

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