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Secure Your Distributed Network Without Sacrificing Application Performance

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Eugene Likhovid April 10, 2021

In today’s cloud-connected world, IT teams manage networks that are more distributed than ever before. Your organization probably uses cloud-hosted, SaaS or virtual desktop applications, and may rely on public cloud services, such as Azure or AWS as well. Add your remote users to the mix who need access to these resources from anywhere, and you have a complex, multi-cloud network that is challenging to secure and manage. Legacy architectures no longer adequately meet the security and performance demands of such a distributed infrastructure.

The cloud migration and mobility that your employees need increase your network’s attack surface. But protecting all your dispersed users and resources with traditional security practices degrades application performance and leads to a complex network that is time-consuming to manage and impossible to scale. You may find yourself caught in a bind between enabling the cloud-based capabilities your end users need and keeping your infrastructure secure – a choice that you should not have to make.

This is where distributed cloud-security solutions like SD-WAN can help. Secure SD-WAN extends your network’s security perimeter all the way to the user, delivers Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) and securely connects distributed users to distributed applications, all without compromising user experience. This allows you to eliminate the inefficiencies of a traditional Wide Area Network (WAN) architecture and easily enable a Work-from-Anywhere (WFA) workforce.  Here is how.

Zero Trust Network Access

Secure SD-WAN provides a wide range of easily manageable solutions for securing your network, applications and end-users, regardless of where your team is located. From enterprise-grade authentication to granular application segmentation and control, these services enable you to manage strict access rules for each person, group and application. Leading SD-WAN services integrate with several authentication servers and protocols, including Active Directory, SSO – OKTA, LDAP, and SAML2, making it easy to identify and authenticate your users.

As the network threat perimeter extends to the remote end-user, Secure SD-WAN allows you to enforce security policies directly on your team’s devices. These Secure Remote Access solutions offered by leading SD-WAN vendors create encrypted connections from end-user devices to cloud gateways and, once authenticated, from cloud gateways to public and private cloud resources. This enables your team to securely connect to company resources hosted in private data centers, the public cloud and SaaS locations.

Primary features include:

  • Application Segmentation
  • Strong Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
  • Granular Application and Role-Based Control
  • Application and Network Visibility
  • Stateful Firewall
  • DoS Protection
  • Next-Generation Firewall
  • Intrusion Protection System (IPS)
  • URL filtering

Improved Application Performance

If you have a distributed, multi-cloud network, backhauling traffic to high-performance security protocols at your headquarters or data center, or creating a series of VPN tunnels for remote employees can severely affect application performance. But with its intelligent application-based multi-path steering, Secure SD-WAN allows you to protect your resources, users and network without compromising your team’s application experience.

Driven by application performance from branch to cloud and remote user to cloud, Secure SD-WAN allows you to set app- and user-specific SLAs and routes all your mission-critical traffic on the best available connection at any given time. The Secure Remote Access client installed to the end-user’s device routes network traffic to the best available gateway based on real time network data.

Software-based network optimization functionalities that have been extensively deployed at branch locations are now available for your remote users as well, including SLA Monitoring, Traffic Engineering, and Forward Error Correction. These functions ensure exceptional application performance for your end-users even on low bandwidth home connections or a spotty WiFi.

Primary features include:

  • Intelligent Gateway Selection | Routes traffic to the gateway that provides the best user experience.
  • Hot Stand-by | Ensures that the Secure Remote Access client is simultaneously connected to multiple gateways and monitors the performance towards individual gateways. Flows are routed towards alternate gateways instantaneously upon detection of degraded performance.
  • Traffic Steering | Steers traffic based on Application, FQDN, and/or Routes. The traffic steering policy determines breakout of traffic, selection of gateway and whether encryption is needed for traffic tunneled towards the gateway.

Simplified Network and Security Management

As organizations like yours look to reduce the complexities of network and security management while supporting a remote or hybrid workforce, Secure SD-WAN offers a highly scalable solution to manage your distributed network.

Secure SD-WAN enables you monitor your network, users and cloud-based applications, easily manage all your routing and security policies and review real-time analytics through a simple admin interface. You can mass-deploy policies to any number of locations or users with a few clicks, set up new branches in minutes, and consolidate all your network functions into one device at each location.

Secure SD-WAN enables you to integrate multiple services into a single cost-effective subscription, simplifying management and reducing your licensing, hardware, hosting and management costs. Functions include SD-WAN, Routing, Secure Web Gateway, Remote Access, Next Generation Firewall, LTE WAN backup and Analytics.

Managing and securing a multi-cloud network and remote users doesn’t need to be a complex, time consuming endeavor. Secure SD-WAN enables you to extend your network’s security perimeter all the way to the end user and safeguard your traffic and resources without having to compromise application performance. SD-WAN enables you to leave the complexities of legacy WAN architectures behind and simplify your network operations, so that your IT team can focus on streamlining operations and driving agility at your organization.

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