The IT space has been abuzz with whispers that security and networking could soon be headed for a convergence, with networking taking over security needs (or vice-versa). Some pundits are predicting this shift could take place as early as this year, with SD-WAN technologies drawing particular attention due to two main factors: their popularity, and their perceived vulnerability.
As a result, IT experts are predicting SD-WAN will have a strong influence on both networking and security trends in 2017. Here are five specific ways in which this could influence the near future of enterprise IT:
SD-WAN Networks Have Heightened Security Needs
SD-WAN technologies, by their very nature, require a great deal of direct Internet access (DIA) expansion. This, in turn, brings about a major increase in the amount of digital assets that are exposed to security vulnerabilities.
Most businesses still aren’t paying enough attention to their security needs, with a recent survey sponsored by Versa Networks through Dimension Data finding that 40 percent of enterprise branch networks don’t even deploy basic firewall technologies, and that as many as half of these networks don’t use more advanced firewall security solutions.
When SD-WAN is used to power DIA, businesses open themselves up to two types of threats. SD-WAN increases the amount of attackable surface elements, while DIA means enterprises have a larger number of potential threat entry points to secure.
Vendors Are Taking Several Different Approaches to SD-WAN Security
Fortunately, experts in the SD-WAN space are fully cognizant of the security risks, and several solutions have emerged. Network segmentation and stateful firewalls are leading the charge, but there are still significant challenges at the application level. Vendors are working to meet these challenges by putting together customized mix-and-match solutions that combine as many as four security technologies.
Security Through Service Chaining
When paired with deep packet inspection (DPI), service chaining provides an effective means of securing SD-WAN networks. DPI works by collecting traffic from the edges of the network, and service chaining supports it by merging multiple security functions into a single, centralized hub that analyzes that traffic and identifies threats.
While this strategy is generally effective, it is still developing. One of its shortcomings is that security and the analytics specific to networking are separate. This can result in slower IT responses to security threats when they happen.
Because enterprises are trending towards reducing the amount of on-premises resources they maintain, a growing number of vendors are integrating SD-WAN networks with security solutions prior to implementation.
While this does offer key advantages, including improved analytics and reduced costs, it also comes with some drawbacks. One of the biggest downsides relates to industry-leading security providers, many of which aren’t fully integrated with SD-WAN networking solutions as of yet.
Security and Networking Will Converge
Even though the industry isn’t quite there yet, experts expect that security and networking will converge as the aforementioned technologies continue to mature. SD-WAN is noted for its ability to support collaboration, which bodes well for
IT teams working to secure these networks.
MicroCorp is a leading agency and distributor of advanced enterprise telecommunications solutions. Prospective partners interested in adding SD-WAN and related security technologies to their service suites are invited to contact MicroCorp to learn more.