SMOAD Networks

May 17, 2023

How SD-WAN is transforming network security: Zero-trust architecture and more

Businesses are expanding into new geographical boundaries, increasing the need for a hybrid IT environment. The traditional network infrastructure is choking under pressure, unable to match the growing demands. The need for multiple sources has resulted in the growth of Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) technology.

Can SD-WAN transform network security?
SD-WAN promotes secure vendor and agnostic data transport across WAN or internet connectivity increasing hybrid cloud adoption. SD-WAN can aggregate multiple network technologies like MPLS, broadband, LTE, and 5G to connect to branches and remote offices. Compared with MPLS, SD-WAN is 2½ times cost effective due to secure edges, limited staff and router service costs.

Security is the top priority in SD-WAN. Organisations are keen on understanding the security impacts of installing SD-WAN as it should not expose the network to vulnerabilities while connecting to the cloud or embracing new endpoints. In an Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) report, respondents placed security on the top in SD-WAN.

Zero Trust Model in SD-WAN
The security of SD-WAN increases with Zero Trust Model. So, what is Zero Trust Model? It is the security feature that stops trusting applications, networks, users or devices by default and introduces a host of verifications. In this model, authentication is given priority, followed by network security.

A secure SD-WAN architecture promotes agility and performance of your WAN network by establishing security-rich features that can be embraced with your present infrastructure. For on-premises to cloud end-to-end circuit encryption, the model uses IPSec 256-bit protection. The model assists IT managers to monitor and control the access points on the application and network. Firewalls and edge devices must be deployed for foolproof security.

How can the zero trust model replace traditional WAN?
SMOAD SD-WAN enabled security and performance, helping save money. It encompasses all security SD-WAN solutions an organisation seeks. Zero trust principles are brought to every connectivity and not just users. All IoT/OT devices and servers are brought under the ambit of the model. It eliminates any threats and surface attacks using a router WAN network. Now you can convert your branch offices into modern branches using SaaS and cloud app deployments. Automated and integrated connectivity can reduce internet outbreaks and provides smarter and faster service.

New architecture needs new security with transactions moving to the cloud and internet; there is a need for a highly secure environment to protect distributed users from the vulnerabilities of attack. Today, applications, data and devices are moving out of the perimeter of security as they breach the traditional line of control. As the trusting enterprise perimeter is violated, there is a need for modern defence strategies for distributed workforces. It is here that the Zero Trust Model comes into play. Some of the tenets of this model include:

  1. Securing resources and accesses irrespective of hosting model or location
  2. Adopting default deny strategy while establishing application access
  3. Traffic logging and inspection for applications you control and don’t in order to monitor any malicious activity.

Zero Trust Security components
The Zero Trust Security components include:

  1. Secure Internet Gateway (SIG): The ultimate idea of Zero Trust security is to protect the user while accessing applications beyond your control. A simple click can unleash cyber threats on your connectivity. With remote offices set in, the devices are unmanaged, and the internet is the choice of the corporate network. SIG is simple, quick and cheap while securing Direct Internet Access (DIA) traffic. SIG is safe, as it proactively protects users irrespective of location. Every DNS request is inspected, and malicious domains are blocked.
  2. Identity Aware Proxy (IAP): The architecture provides application access through a cloud-based proxy. In this architecture, identity and authorisation happen at the edge and are only on a need-to-know basis. It uses standard HTTPS protocol at Layer 7 or the application layer. IAP identifies the source and verifies the user and device trust. It checks the security criteria like certification, password protection, endpoint direction, response solutions and installation of the latest OS. The user traffic is inspected, and any application request can be examined, authorised and terminated. After terminating the transaction on the proxy, additional features are integrated for better user experience and protection of the application.

Transform your business into a modern network model by protecting the line of defence. SMOAD believes SD-WAN with Zero Trust Security is the initial step to moving to a safe and threat-free internet.

Call us for a demo!