How An SD-WAN Can Help Bolster Network Security

Network security has always been a priority for corporate executives, but this requirement has become even more of an imperative within the last few years. The network represents the gateway company users leverage to access a range of mission-critical assets, including documents, applications, databases and other information. However, should a threat permeate this technological underpinning, all bets are off.

For these reasons, business decision-makers have put more thought into their organizations’ network protections. Although there are numerous security options out there, SD-WAN solutions work to significantly bolster the company’s security infrastructure by enhancing network performance, providing complete visibility, and offering a number of key features that are an integral component for the overall protection of the network.

Network security by the numbers

Although security has always been important, the rising instances of attacks and breaches in recent years are making data and network protection one of the highest priorities in the enterprise world.

  • Trustwave’s 2016 Global Security Report found that there was a 40 percent increase in compromises of corporate and internal networks last year, up from 18 percent in 2014.
  • When these compromises are successful, they’re now more costly than ever. The most recent data shows that breaches typically cost the victim organization around $5.9 million to resolve, including a cost of about $201 for every compromised record. In some cases, these costs are simply too much for a business, and it is forced to close following an attack.
  • On average, hackers are able to remain within a corporate network for more than 200 days before being detected. Even more telling, 52 percent of participants of CyberEdge Group’s 2015 Cyberthreat Defense Report noted that they expected a successful cyberattack against their corporate network within the next 12 months.

These numbers not only demonstrate the increase threats present within the corporate environment, but the need for improved, advanced security measures as well. Now, legacy protections are simply not enough – today’s businesses need more to ensure their network remains under their control.

An SD-WAN solution can offer several security advantages, including increased control and visibility over all network activity.
An SD-WAN solution can offer several security advantages, including increased control and visibility over all network activity.

How can an SD-WAN help?

Thankfully, an SD-WAN can offer several security advantages in addition to its network performance benefits. Let’s take a look:

Granular control: An SD-WAN solution enables companies to create policies to inform the network about how certain types of traffic should be treated. In this way, IT administrators can ensure that mission-critical data packets, like those associated with application access or VoIP calls, are prioritized over less important data packets, like those connected with general web browsing.

This level of granular control also has important security implications, as well. Network managers can establish policies pertaining to specific types of external traffic, preventing these packets from utilizing certain network connections. This not only serves to further enhance the network’s overall performance, but it also keeps critical MPLS or broadband links free of potentially malicious traffic. This type of network segmentation is incredibly difficult to achieve without an SD-WAN in place, and can be considerably valuable when it comes to network security.

Unparalleled visibility: A big issue with network security is visibility – this is the reason hackers are able to remain undetected within a network for more than six months. In order to ensure that cybercriminals and other unauthorized users aren’t able to fly under the radar, it’s critical that network admins have as much visibility into the company’s network activity as possible.

“Hackers are able to remain within a corporate network for more than 200 days before being detected.”

This is another area where SD-WAN solutions shine. In addition to routing traffic according to admins’ specific policies, SD-WAN technology also provides an unparalleled level of visibility into all network traffic – including from the data center, through all of the company’s Internet links and through its remote office locations. Every single data packet must pass through the SD-WAN, meaning nothing happens within the network without this technology tracking the details.

Secure encryption: SD-WAN solutions also come with built-in encryption capabilities, ensuring that only authorized users are able to access and view assets connected to the corporate network. In this way, as data packets traverse throughout the network, they are adequately protected against any malicious actors or spying eyes.

“While the conventional wisdom says [the internet] may be less secure, the reality is that it’s secure enough for nearly all enterprises to use, provided they put appropriate levels of encryption on their traffic,” Gartner research director Andrew Lerner told TechTarget.

SD-WAN solutions come with numerous security advantages, especially when it comes to guarding traffic and ensuring visibility. Talari Networks specializes in SD-WAN solutions, including those that can provide these protections, as well as a range of other beneficial network capabilities. To see how SD-WAN technology could bolster the security of your company’s network, contact Talari Networks today for a custom demonstration of our industry-leading SD-WAN solution.

Categories: Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN), Application Performance/Application Quality, IT Challenges