SMOAD Networks

October 19, 2022

Is SD-WAN really that secure?

SD-WAN is seen as a viable network solution when it comes to price, ease of operation, and security strategies. A recent survey conducted by IDC revealed that businesses choose SD-WAN for its security features and only then for its affordability and ease of operation. Traditional enterprises have stuck to MPLS despite its high pricing for the simple reason; it is secure, as the virtual circuit of MPLS is invisible to third parties making it highly secure. Virtual private networks (VPNs) secure the connections between sites. Moreover, different techniques are used to strengthen the routers to secure the premise’s equipment.

How to mitigate security threats with SD-WAN
In the event of an attack, SD-WAN facilitates quick discovery to mitigate the threat. While traditional WAN architecture provides limited visibility of the traffic moving across networks, SD-WAN provides both network and application visibility. It offers Best-In-Class solutions for advanced threat detection and prevention to improve security, paving the way for reduced IT complexity at remote locations.

Layered Security
SD-WAN layered security approaches like next-generation firewalls, content filtering, and intrusion prevention make it highly reliable. All these tools work hand in hand to avert, detect and react to the attacks.

SD-WAN for small businesses
SD-WAN is ideal for small businesses that cannot afford MPLS VPNs or where it is not available. The SD-WAN connects to cloud applications and components to VPN without spending on the cloud provider fee. SD-WAN vendors provide support for existing IP security standards, yet others associate with security vendors to add security features. Though, some additional security features come with SD-WAN.

Overlay network
SD-WAN creates a second network over the IP using its mechanism for sending packets to connect users and resources. The process is similar to IP routing creating permissive connectivity. In SD-WAN routing, only authorized connectivity is permitted. It is impossible to forward without the source and destination address in the forwarding table. Poorly addressed packets are discarded.

Recording invalid address
SD-WAN knows who has authorized access. Whenever an intruder attempts a connection, it will forward an alert to the administrator on unauthorized access or malware invading the system with malicious intent. It can also detect and prevent DoS attacks.

Why are people not talking about SD-WAN security capabilities?
Here are some of the reasons for the lack of reach of security potential of SD-WAN

  1. The service provider deciding to install SD-WAN without considering the unique security features would not have got a product that supported those features.
  2. Forwarding policies take effort and time, and hence explicit forwarding is not easy. It is difficult to define the connections to be permitted unless you know what a forbidden connection is. So, it is not clear how explicit connection policies are prepared and adopted. It requires training and the vendors have no time for it.
  3. Explicit forwarding is not a security answer. A threat connected to the resource could still harm the system if it manages to pass through application or database safeguards. This is why application access security and information resources must prevent unauthorized access.

The above are just a few snags that can be overcome with explicit connectivity and journaling. New tools to set forwarding policies can accessorize detailed connection security. Over time, the operators will realize that SD-WAN service is taking up VPN revenue. As cloud-based applications rise, SD-WAN can secure and connect the cloud applications through redeployment and scaling.

Get A Demo Now!