Expand Revenue Opportunities Through SD-WAN Services

Software-Defined Networking

… fundamental service you can provide to any IT team scoping out a potential SD-WAN solution.

  • Integrated, high-performance security. According to a recent Gartner survey, “72 percent of respondents said that security was their topmost concern when it comes to their WAN.” That’s why any SD-WAN solution needs to provide a full range of advanced security features. Security solutions need to operate at SD-WAN connectivity speeds. To meet this requirement, several things need to be taken into consideration:
    • Security needs to be natively integrated directly into the SD-WAN solution. This allows for faster performance, simplified single-console management and less IT overhead.
    • SD-WAN security needs to be able to provide deep inspection of your encrypted VPN traffic at digital speeds. Because so many security solutions fail to meet this requirement, many vendors simply refuse to publish their numbers. Fortunately, many third-party test labs do, and this is an item you should pay close attention to.
    • Secure SD-WAN needs to provide a full range of security protection. Your branch office is no different from any other element of your network, and it requires the same level of robust protection, including next-generation firewall (NGFW) functions, comprehensive intrusion prevention (IPS), web filtering, and anti-malware and anti-virus. It also needs to encompass threat detection, including high-performance inspection of SSL-encrypted traffic and sandboxing.
    • Any secure SD-WAN solution also needs to seamlessly integrate with the larger enterprise security framework, including security applied inside the branch LAN, to reduce one-off management overhead and ensure consistent security enforcement across the entire distributed network.
  • Centralized visibility and control. Once an SD-WAN solution has been deployed, IT staff are required to manage WAN optimization and security functions through two different interfaces, often creating gaps in their ability to see and respond to threats. Resolving this challenges requires integrated single-pane-of-glass management that allows remote administrators to manage physical and logical network topologies, ensure that security and networking policies support common objectives and enable seamless integration and orchestration of policies and protocols — not just for the extended branch ecosystem, but across the entire distributed network, ensuring that branch deployments aren’t treated as a separate and isolated network environments.

Rethinking Strategies

To meet their ongoing digital transformation requirements, organizations are radically rethinking their branch and WAN edge strategies. For many, this means replacing static MPLS connections with SD-WAN solutions designed provide fast and efficient interconnectivity between branch offices and other critical resources.

In addition to high performance and advanced routing functionality, however, one of the functions most often overlooked is security. Unfortunately, because most solutions on the market fail to adequately address the issue of security, it can be an easy issue to forget until you are faced with having to build an ad hoc security solution from scratch.

Most IT teams are already stretched thin, and are unfamiliar with the complexity of choosing and deploying SD-WAN solutions. To overcome this challenge, and meet the growing business demand of transitioning a more comprehensive branch strategy, they need help from a trusted adviser. By understanding the requirements of a truly effective, scalable and secure SD-WAN solution, you are in a position to provide the help and guidance they need — and just at a time when cybercriminals are increasingly targeting the WAN edge as one of the weakest links in an organization’s security strategy.

Jon Bove is the vice president of Americas channels at Fortinet. In this capacity, Bove and his team are responsible for strategizing, promoting and driving the channel sales strategy for partners in the United States as the company seeks to help them build successful – and profitable – security practices. A 17-year veteran of the technology industry, Bove has held progressively responsible sales, sales-leadership and channel-leadership positions. During his time at Fortinet, he has been responsible for establishing Fortinet’s national partner program and aligning Fortinet’s regional partner strategy to allow partners to develop Fortinet security practices with the tools and programs to successfully grow their businesses. Follow @Fortinet on Twitter or Bove on LinkedIn.

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