Software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) is a revolutionary technology that helps connect remote workers and branch offices to centralised networks. It’s a secure way to connect users to applications without suffering from latency or lag. SD-WAN adoption is accelerating rapidly and the next step is for SD-WAN to become an integrated part of the security platform instead of a standalone application, according to Wavelink, a Fortinet distributor.

Ilan Rubin, managing director, Wavelink, said, “To keep up with the constantly evolving threat landscape, organisations need to put security at the heart of their networking models. Expanding attack surfaces, digital innovation, and increasing risk mean that organisations will be dangerously exposed if they don’t.

“SD-WAN is exploding as a way for organisations to speed up and simplify their connectivity for remote workers and branch offices; however, this also creates risk as cybercriminals use that functionality to attack the organisation. Putting SD-WAN inside the security platform is necessary to address this risk and provide an elegant and agile solution.”

A security-driven networking model demands that SD-WAN be integrated into the security platform. As organisations innovate, the pace of innovations can often mean security capabilities can’t keep up and the attack surface continues to expand. By making security an integrated function of every innovation or expansion project, organisations can ensure that security measures perform as an integral part of the network.

This kind of consolidation and convergence is a natural part of the evolution of any new solution. Securing the enterprise is complex; organisations are increasingly choosing to implement comprehensive security platforms instead of various point solutions to gain a more seamless and effective security posture. Making essential functions part of a single system is crucial. SD-WAN should be part of the security platform in the same way as anti-virus and intrusion prevention systems.

Implementing security as a retrofitted solution can leave gaps in protection and is a costly option. SD-WAN is, by design, perfectly suited to be integrated into a strong security fabric. The reverse process (integrating security into SD-WAN solutions) is problematic and can slow down the performance of the SD-WAN solution, which runs directly counter to the purpose of SD-WAN.

Instead, SD-WAN should be added to security platforms, eliminating appliances that need to be deployed at the edge and fully integrating the functionality and benefits of SD-WAN into the security platform. This approach can eliminate the gaps that can occur when security is overlayed onto SD-WAN as an afterthought.

Ilan Rubin said, “SD-WAN will perform best when it’s integrated into a truly integrated security platform, not just a collection of point solutions welded together. A security fabric is built from the ground up to operate as a single, unified system; this is where SD-WAN can thrive as a secure solution as long as it’s also built from the ground up to operate as part of that system.

“This can offer significant benefits in terms of the security of the SD-WAN system operating in tandem with the network. While SD-WAN is still a relatively new technology, it makes sense to start the convergence process sooner rather than later to avoid potential security risks and deliver a better user experience and simplify operations.”