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Designing Network Security for the Distributed and Cloud-Centric Enterprise

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Digital transformation initiatives – whether driven internally or by COVID-19 – have transformed enterprise IT in recent years. As security lags, companies need to embrace modern solutions like SD-WAN and SASE.

The Traditional Enterprise Network is Quickly Disappearing

As little as ten years ago, corporate networks looked very different than they do today. At the time, companies kept most of their IT assets – and users – on-site. With most of their infrastructure connected to the corporate LAN, companies adopted security strategies that made sense for this model.

Fast-forward to today, the modern enterprise network looks very different. Nearly every organization uses at least some cloud-based resource, such as data storage, application hosting, or Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, which moves IT infrastructure off the corporate network. Mobile device usage has also skyrocketed in recent years as technology has advanced, and companies allow employees to work from the devices with which they are most comfortable. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated both of these trends and added a new wrinkle as employees accustomed to working from the office found themselves teleworking for a year or more.

All of these factors have contributed to massive changes to the face of the enterprise network. Much (if not most) of an organization’s IT infrastructure is now offsite, and the advance of technology and increased acceptance of remote work mean that most companies have no intention of going back.

Legacy Security Solutions Don’t Meet Modern Security Needs

As organizations’ IT infrastructures have evolved, their security architectures have largely failed to keep pace. Many organizations are still using security models and tools designed for the old, centralized enterprise network. These legacy security solutions fall short of modern security needs in several ways, including:

  • Perimeter Focus: In the past, the focus of security was keeping all of the threats outside of the enterprise network and all of the organization’s valuable data inside. While this approach never really worked, it is even less effective today as the traditional network perimeter dissolves. Security solutions deployed at the network perimeter are in the wrong place when an organizations’ IT assets are in the cloud.
  • Standalone Security: Many organizations have deployed an array of standalone point security products designed to address specific security risks and use cases. As a result, they have security platforms that are difficult to manage and maintain. The complexity of working across multiple different tools and environments makes security staff slower at threat detection and response, increasing the cost and damage of cyberattacks to the organization.
  • Platform-Specific Solutions: As corporate IT environments have grown diverse, many organizations have developed different security strategies and toolsets for protecting different parts of their infrastructure. As a result, they find it difficult to consistently enforce security policies across their entire IT infrastructure.
  • Disjointed Identity: The wide variety of endpoints, environments, and security solutions means that many organizations lack consistent identity management across their entire environment. As a result, it is difficult to apply and enforce identity-based zero-trust security policies without leaving major gaps.

These are only some of the biggest problems that legacy security has created for modern organizations. As companies continue to grow and evolve, they need something better.

SD-WAN Consolidates and Streamlines Enterprise Networking

The first step in modernizing enterprise security is moving the focus from the corporate LAN to the corporate WAN. Many organizations focus their security and network investments on the headquarters network, forcing all traffic to flow through there to take advantage of their benefits.

SD-WAN offers the ability to create a more decentralized corporate WAN. SD-WAN appliances are designed to optimize routing between any two SD-WAN points of presence (PoPs) over multiple different transport media. They also can identify the source of traffic and apply application-specific rules.

Adopting SD-WAN can help an organization to build a network that is optimized for its needs. With increasingly distributed IT assets, an organization needs a way to ensure that business traffic can quickly and reliably get from anywhere to anywhere. A well-designed and well-implemented SD-WAN deployment can meet these needs.

SASE Offers Integrated Network Security

SD-WAN is a valuable networking solution, but that is all it is. While SD-WAN links are encrypted, they don’t provide any of the security features that organizations need to detect and protect against modern threats. Achieving these features with SD-WAN requires investment in additional solutions, which is one of the main problems with a legacy security model. This is why organizations should choose solutions that go beyond SD-WAN to offer SASE. SASE takes the capabilities of SD-WAN, moves them to the cloud, and integrates a full security stack. With SASE, an organization can not only route traffic from anywhere to anywhere but also do so securely without the need for an array of complex and costly standalone security solutions. Modern enterprise networks are increasingly distributed and cloud-centric, and security needs to follow suit to avoid falling behind.

Web Desk is the news author at Research Snipers which mainly covers Technology News, Microsoft News, Google News, Facebook, Apple, Huawei, Xiaomi, and other tech news and served by Research Snipers Staff and editors.

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