Securing the Cloud Edge with SD-WAN
SD-WAN enhances the networks by connecting the data centers and cloud resources to the information fabric of a business that is distributed over vast sections. At the intersection of the network, cloud and security, which is referred to as the cloud edge, businesses face several security risks, increased complexity in usage and inconsistent performance of the applications. The traditional way towards securing WAN is both inefficient and expensive, given that most firms are using cloud computing and running important applications over the internet.
The inefficiency of the WAN platforms arises from the fact that the traditional platforms were designed for directly connecting the branches to the software data centers. They lack the flexibility needed to handle the numerous connection requests to the cloud platforms. They automatically connect to a network that is efficient and effective in terms of cost. In order to ease the connection procedure, organizations need to have a comprehensive and flexible software-defined architecture to make the WAN secure and simplify the procedure for network management and thus lowering the cost.
4 levels of security at the cloud edge:
Up until now, the best way of securing the data at the cloud edge was to send all of the site traffic to the data center in order for it to be inspected, analyzed and filtered, after which it is sent to the various SaaS applications or cloud services. Most business enterprises, that want to secure their data, have to rely on the MPLS connections which, in turn, increase the scale and complexity of the security layers at a particular data centre. This option is often expensive for the business organizations. When there is greater site traffic among the different branches at the organization, the cost and complexity of handling the MPLS network increases by a significant amount and one also faces the risk of security for the data centre.
In order to simplify the procedure of transferring and using the data, one requires an SD-WAN security bundle that is capable of providing centralized control of the network and security management. As the security capabilities are embedded, one can protect the data passing to and from different branches within a business enterprise and platforms on the cloud. The SD-WAN security network is able to shield the business enterprise from security risks that generally originate from various compromised sources on the internet.
Normally, there are 4 levels of security at the cloud edge, which we have been highlighted below.
- Compliance: This refers to the protection of data at all the connection points. Almost all organizations have a set of sensitive personal information that they process and store in their database. In order to make sure, that the data is accessible only to select individuals with proper access, one requires allocation-aware firewall which adds an embedded level of security to the data. SD-WAN adds a security layer that allows for the router to learn and enforce which types of data can be accessed by particular applications. Afterwards, the SD-WAN networks routes any sensitive traffic through a secure VPN to the applications in the data centre or on the cloud platforms.
- Direct access to the internet: Prior to the introduction of the SD-WAN network, business organizations were completely dependent on the MPLS networks for connectivity from the branches to the data centre, which is the site of the security functions. When organizations allow the devices and applications at the branch site to access the internet directly, they tend to ignore the security requirements that are necessary for a centralized system. This, in turn, exposes the branch to various types of internet traffic and increases the risk of an attack. To prevent these problems, the SD-WAN infrastructure enables security firewalls and detection in case of any intrusions. Any latest security threat can be easily countered with help from the SD-WAN network.
- Direct access to the cloud: While providing direct cloud access helps to improve the allocation experience for the cloud and SaaS applications, it poses greater risks of security. SD-WAN leverages the DNS security layer and the intrusion detection system to prevent any sort of phishing or malware attacks. These attacks are usually caused by the compromised internet connections and ports that are used by the cloud platforms and SaaS applications.
- Guest access: There are numerous organizations that are focused on building a great user experience for their customers and for that they usually provide internet access. While this can help in drawing more customers to the business, it also has a risk of exposing more sensitive data to unwanted individuals. Therefore, there needs to be a security method in place, which can help to protect the important data from attacks. SD-WAN helps to filter the web, detect any possible threats and prevent any intrusions from outside.
SD-WAN offers a simplified way towards sharing and storing of sensitive information on the internet. Given that an SD-WAN network performs the function of security by ensuring the 4 steps mentioned above, it is one of the most reliable methods of transferring and storing of sensitive data. When using SD-WAN, business organizations do not need to worry about the technicalities since all of it is handled by experts in the technical field. The system of operation for the SD-WAN is simple and does not make it necessary to have technical individuals present at the branch 24×7.