E-Handbook:

Why, and how, to merge your SD-WAN and security strategies

BACKGROUND IMAGE: kentoh/Fotolia

How to piece SD-WAN and security together

Ensuring security in a software-defined WAN implementation is crucial, but it's often easier said than done. The SD-WAN security equation comprises multiple variables, including integrated security functions, authentication, policy enforcement and internet access requirements.

With so many components, piecing SD-WAN and security together can seem like a complex puzzle. But IT teams can tackle the puzzle by understanding how to integrate SD-WAN into their existing security strategies and protect crucial interconnections and network access.

Teams looking to secure SD-WAN should focus on four specific areas: direct threats, trust, traffic visibility and orchestration. Consider, for example, how to protect edge devices that directly access the internet and could easily be compromised. Research how to ensure trust for applications and users, considering authorization, identity and traffic visibility. Look for an SD-WAN platform that provides a management console with reliable policy enforcement, configuration changes and software upgrades.

Teams can also create an SD-WAN security checklist to ensure they dig into the requirements for each security segment. This checklist could cover the individual security functions needed within an SD-WAN platform, overall WAN security elements and considerations for SD-WAN integration with security information and event management systems.

SD-WAN changes how enterprises look at network security. The platform can integrate with existing network infrastructure, but IT teams must evaluate how it does so, considering APIs, cloud environments and other security systems. Enforcing SD-WAN and security might be complicated, but IT teams that understand the big picture -- and the minor details and functions required to support that overall strategy -- can better build and maintain their SD-WAN and security plans.