SMOAD Networks

February 22, 2023

How is the security of SD-WAN designed?

The adaptation of remote working and cloud computing is slowly dissolving the importance of traditional networks. Traffic entering your branchations from unknown networks or public networks makes matters worse. Public networks are not secured by perimeter-focused security solutions leaving your corporate network at risk let alone branch locations.

With organizations moving to sophisticated network solutions like SD-WAN, the need to secure the network infrastructure becomes the topmost priority. Some of the SD-WAN protection includes threat prevention, scalable management solutions, and deployment models.

SD-WAN security challenges
SD-WAN comes with a host of networking potential but the security challenges are umpteen. While securing your SD-WAN infrastructure, organizations face the following challenges:

Deficiency in security services: Enterprises cannot depend on security systems deployed in the headquarters. Enterprise-grade security for branch locations can secure traffic flowing through the public internet.

Visibility and monitoring essential: Not all traffic is routed through secure networks, as SD-WAN sends traffic through available routes and not necessarily the existing network monitoring tools. Hence, security needs visibility and SD-WAN makes distributed network monitoring and visibility essential.

Enforcing consistent security policies: It is challenging for SD-WAN to enforce security policies across the enterprise because of the diverse requirements and capacities of the branch locations.

Varied security requirements: Each branch has unique security requirements and satisfying branch security requirements could be challenging. SD-WAN comes with customized security deployment based on the unique requirement of the branch offices.

Scalability: As the organization expands so must its security functions. In a distributed environment it would be challenging to scale security solutions across different sites.

What security features does SD-WAN have to offer?
SD-WAN security solutions should satisfy all the security needs of the headquarters and branch locations. Some of the SD-WAN security features are as follows:

  • Get rid of Internet threats with comprehensive protection from the next-generation firewall. It is a combination of traditional firewalls, anti-bot, intrusion prevention systems, application control, URL filtering, and identity management.
  • The role of SD-WAN is to prevent the threat and not solely detect and respond. Prevention-oriented security includes updated threat intelligence and sandboxing malicious content with the help of security engines powered by artificial intelligence.
  • With the number of branches increasing, security challenges rise, making monitoring and management complicated. Security across sites can be managed with the help of unified security monitoring, policy enforcement, and management.
  • There are no restrictions to deploying SD-WAN in various branch locations. The deployment can be done based on the hosting potential and requirements of the branches. The unique needs of the branch offices can be met using SD-WAN security solutions like offering Software Virtual Network Functions (VNFs), Security Gateway Appliances, and Cloud Network Security.

What is the significance of IP Security in SD-WAN?
IP Security layer offers advanced packet authentication, and data encryption, among other features. SD-WAN is developed in compliance with IP Security standards. IP Security can be used in multiple environments. It can combat the threats arising out of traffic coming from the public internet. Various components protect data including:

  1. Internet Key Exchange: Here new SA or security association is instituted between the receiving and sending systems. The algorithm and cryptographic information agreed upon will be adhered to for the complete session.
  2. Encapsulating Security Payload: Data retransmission is prevented with ESP, a technique used by hackers. A sequence number is added to the packet header, and at the receiving end, the sequence is checked. If it is out of sequence, the transmission will be stopped and will be resumed only after a secured connection is established.
  3. Authentication Headers: AH is added to each data packet and the header confirms that there was no modification to the data during transmission.

Traffic traverses through private and public networks causing security concerns. It is only sensible to use IPsec as it is one of VPNs’ major security components. When IPsec is added to SD-WAN it makes it effective.

Investing in the right tools and team to install and maintain SD-WAN security can provide long-term protection for your organization’s data. Experienced SD-WAN service providers like SMOAD can add reliable security solutions to your network.

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