Security A Top Criteria in Your SD-WAN Selection Process

Security A Top Criteria in Your SD-WAN Selection Process

Enterprises thinking about their connectivity challenges over the next year put security among their top three concerns, according to a new IDG Enterprise survey of IT executives. How to increase WAN flexibility and agility without increasing the possibility of data breaches and other security problems?

Many respondents to the survey are looking to SD-WAN to deal with these issues. Forty-five percent of them say that increased security is one of the most important potential business benefits to come from transforming their networks with SD-WAN deployments.

Among the various reasons that IT leaders see value here is that SD-WAN facilitates the normally difficult task of WAN segmentation, helping businesses deal with issues such as security threats from within, as Network World explains.

Security Intelligence touts SD-WANs to be the starting point of zero-trust network models. And TechTarget has discussed the introduction of first-line-of-defense capabilities such as integrated online application and website whitelists in SD-WAN solutions for branch offices that may not have local firewalls.

Internet Equation

Indeed, it's critical for security to be at the top of SD-WAN priorities, given that the technology paves the way for enterprises and their branch, retail or other remote locations to leverage the Internet more than ever before for critical business applications and processes. Bundling security services or integrating with security vendors’ solutions isn’t an option but a requirement.

Features your business should expect to leverage to protect it from the increased vulnerabilities that more direct internet access brings include:

  • A single on-premise or virtual client device & or bookend devices & that can handily and cost-effectively serve multiple security functions, including embedded firewalls for secure Internet offloads and automatic encrypted tunneling to secure data across the internet
  • The ability to centrally drive policies and configurations to reduce complexity and ease management of all the business' critical security requirements. Centralized orchestration is a path to chaining WAN security services like firewalls and routers across locations around the globe, for example.

In fact, survey respondents put the most importance on centralized policy and configuration management when researching SD-WAN solutions, presumably to address concerns regarding network security as well as complexity and manageability.

Continuous Monitoring

Another aspect related to security is resiliency and redundancy, which is a reason why many businesses are turning to fully managed services to mitigate the risks of deploying and operating new SD-WAN technology, with continuous monitoring and maintenance as part of the solution.

Further evidence that SD-WAN sellers & vendors, VARs or service providers – need to be at the top of their games when it comes to security is that it’s the top factor in buyers' minds as they consider from whom to source their solutions. Fifty percent of survey respondents rank it as critical in their determinations.

Street cred counts, too, with the Masergy-sponsored survey revealing that most organizations prefer to use an established vendor when purchasing SD-WAN technology.

Masergy provides two SD-WAN offerings: SD-WAN Go and SD-WAN Pro. Both include advanced encryption and are fully integrated with Masergy’s Hybrid WAN solutions.

Learn more about Masergy's SD-WAN technology in our white paper.

About Paul Ruelas

Director, Product Management, Masergy
Paul Ruelas is Director of Network Products at Masergy. He brings over 26 years of expertise in telecommunications, IP Networks, complex solution design, and product development. Paul has developed many Ethernet and optical products that enabled numerous global enterprises to transform their data communication infrastructures to improve business outcomes. Paul is an industry thought leader in communication transformation and on topics such as hybrid networking, SDN, NFV, and cloud connectivity.