How to Secure a Software-Defined WAN?

How to Secure a Software-Defined WAN?

Security is a top priority for SD-WAN deployments, as this type of networking allows segmentation policies that control traffic between locations. You can easily manage these policies with a single pane of glass, and SD-WAN is also flexible enough to adapt to network changes automatically. This technology helps protect traffic between locations and connects them via a secure tunnel using strong encryption. It can also deploy virtual firewalls to control access to certain sites.


IPSec for software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) is a network security solution that allows businesses to deploy and manage virtual private networks without using proprietary hardware. Businesses can ensure that their applications are secured, reliable, and perform at peak levels using this technology. The network also enables secure application delivery, which is ideal for businesses that rely on data for business-critical operations.

Many organizations are transitioning to cloud-based applications and network infrastructure, and this growth is increasing demands on WAN service delivery. With this migration, organizations can deploy and manage media-rich applications which enrich end-user experiences. Because of this, organizations need to evolve their WANs to support such digital interactions efficiently across multiple sites.

With a software-defined WAN (SD-WAN), security functions are virtualized, reducing the cost of updating security elements and countering evolving security threats.

Tunnel-Based Approach

While tunnels are convenient, they can also be problematic from a scale perspective. While they reduce traffic and make life easier, tunnels also introduce overhead and can significantly increase packet sizes. This can cause problems in networks with low bandwidth and congested links. However, modern SD-WAN solutions can overcome these challenges with a tunnel-based approach.

SD-WAN security is based on multiple layers of security, including IP security (IPsec), VPN tunnels, and next-generation firewalls. By implementing these security measures, network administrators can orchestrate and manage them from a central location. SD-WAN security can help organizations protect their networks and ensure data privacy. It also provides the flexibility to apply security policies to specific applications and traffic types.

Historically, WANs connected small networks through routers or virtual private networks. However, this architecture is very inefficient, particularly in cloud environments. It also requires expensive and inefficient MPLS to route data and is often difficult to scale. 

Application-Level Visibility

Application-level visibility is an essential part of secure networking. It allows network administrators to determine which routes are most appropriate for traffic based on the application used. It also enables better control over performance and resource allocation. With application-level visibility, IT managers can make better network performance decisions and manage resources more efficiently.

Application-level visibility provides network administrators with information on bandwidth, resources, and performance, enabling them to implement security policies to protect the network. The ability to monitor network traffic is critical to secure SD-WAN, but gaining this visibility is only one part of the puzzle. Most SD-WAN solutions use a traditional tunnel-based approach. Tunnels add cost-intensive overhead and use headers, which reduce application performance. In addition, they reduce visibility by assigning all traffic to a single tunnel. That means a single firewall has no visibility on network traffic, while a network-wide firewall analyzes all traffic that passes through it.


SD-WAN Mesh Networking Topology

While SD-WAN can help enterprises manage their remote employees, it also lacks the flexibility of a traditional network. Traditional networks contain two main components: the control and data planes. The former is responsible for traffic flow, while the latter handles network security and policies. Today, organizations increasingly use cloud-based services to deliver services to their customers and staff. This increases the demand for WAN connectivity. rn.

Will Smith

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