3 Challenges Solved by SD-WAN and SASE

The traditional network, organized around a hub-and-spoke design, is no longer applicable to a cloud-based work environment that has edge devices geographically dispersed between hybrid and remote workers, as well as Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Many companies are using, or in the process of implementing, software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN).

SD-WAN serves as a foundational technology for launching an integrated approach to networking and security called secure access service edge (SASE). The solution combines various tools, including SD-WAN, secure service edge (SSE), cloud access security broker (CASB), secure web gateway (SWG) and firewall as a service (FWaaS).

If your business is migrating to the cloud or struggling to handle the connectivity and security challenges of a permanently remote or hybrid team, SASE may be a way to address a host of complexities. Here are three specific problems that SASE can solve:

Overextended VPNs: Virtual private networks (VPNs) use an encrypted connection to secure data over the internet. A VPN creates a secure tunnel to the VPN server, preventing any interception of data. It also allows employees to access the network from anywhere, and it establishes connections over internet links, which are less costly than designating private lines.

Part of SASE is the utilization of zero trust network access (ZTNA), so that a device is never trusted by default, even when it originates from a corporate network. One advantage that ZTNA offers over a VPN is that VPN offers unlimited access to the business network once connection is established, while ZTNA sets specific access permission according to role. The ability to use resources is designated by user identity, granted based on job requirements.

Out-Of-Date WAN: In a traditional network architecture, multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) links are used to connect locations to the central network, requiring all cloud traffic to backhaul to the data center for security monitoring and inspection. The result is latency and lackluster application performance.

With SD-WAN, the WAN is virtualized and can use a variety of links, including MPLS, 5G and broadband internet. It monitors traffic and is able to adapt when congestion threatens application performance or transmission speed. Data is protected in transit with encrypted IPsec tunnels.

SD-WAN equips network teams with centralized management and visibility, with the capability to set business policies for prioritization of certain types of network traffic. Implementing SD-WAN is considered the first step toward SASE adoption.

Vulnerable SaaS: Software as a service (SaaS) is becoming more popular, but areas like security and compliance around data need to be addressed. Sensitive data traveling over unsecured links and being hosted outside the network perimeter introduces a host of vulnerabilities.

CASB monitors activity in cloud solutions and identifies risks and policy problems to reduce risk of data loss. It also prevents users from accessing cloud applications that are unauthorized by corporate security teams. In order to protect your business from malware, phishing and other cyber security concerns, a SWG is positioned between the user and the website to interrupt traffic for inspection. The combination of CASB and SWG enables safe internet access while increasing visibility and control over the use of cloud solutions.

When you’re trying to solve complex network and security problems, you need a guide. For help in assessing how SD-WAN, SASE and other technologies could address your challenges, contact us at One Connect.