How to Improve Network Security with SD-WAN

After countless cases of data misuse – including the major Facebook scandal involving Cambridge Analytica – companies realize more than ever how important it is to have reliable network security. If they have branch or remote locations, it can be complicated (and expensive) to control and ensure database security in all locations.

To find your best solution to security issues, you first need to know just what is involved and what the options are.

What is network security, and why is it important?

Companies and organizations use network security to secure the information they need to protect from unauthorized users and potential hackers. Network security is the plan or strategy these organizations use to monitor unauthorized access, exploitation and modifications of their networking assets. An essential part of network optimization, it is implemented with a combination of hardware and software to protect the network from viruses, malware, ransomware, hackers and denial-of-service attacks.

What is SD-WAN?

SD-WAN, software-defined WAN (wide area network), is used by companies to connect their networks, which may include branch offices and/or data centers that are far away from the headquarters or main location. Traditionally, WANs use special proprietary hardware to connect their various locations. SD-WAN can manage many types of connections – MPLS, broadband and LTE – to deliver business-class, simple, secure WAN connections without the hardware aspect.

How does software-defined WAN protect networks?

It integrates security, policy and organization by creating a secure connection among network endpoints. The company benefits from:

  • End-to-end encryption across its entire network, including branches and data centers
  • A scalable key-exchange usage and SD security that effectively authenticates all end points, which ultimately results in secure communication throughout the network and the cloud
  • Better control of the network from a centralized location
  • The ability to layer security encryption measures

What types of SD-WAN architecture exist?

SD-WAN is an overlay architecture that offers a networking foundation that is much easier to control and monitor than traditional legacy WANs. By using the cloud, software-defined WAN centralizes and simplifies network management. SD-WAN can be just software-based or a solution that uses both hardware and software:

  • Premises-based uses an on-site appliance that is more economical for small, localized businesses.
  • MPLS-based places appliances at various end points, creating a virtual IP network that provides end-to-end control.
  • Internet-based allows the customer to choose a web provider, has multiple appliances at each location and pays for part of its connection to be SD-WAN.

What are the advantages of software-defined WAN?

Because of an increasing demand for bandwidth and decreasing (or restricted) operating network budgets, corporate WAN managers are looking for ways to optimize their networks cost-effectively and without compromising quality. SD-WAN benefits companies by:

  • Helping optimize traffic flow and performance in branch offices
  • Routing traffic over cost-effective services like broadband
  • Replacing the traditional routers in branch offices with appliances that gauge and utilize different types of transport technologies based on performance
  • Decreasing the complexity of the network with easier configuration, one-touch deployment, continuous monitoring and centralized troubleshooting
  • Managing costs by using the cloud for connectivity and services, thus bypassing the need for expensive routing hardware
  • Delivering branch agility by integrating multiple links, devices and services to work in tandem
  • Optimizing appliance performance with secure access to enterprise and cloud applications
  • Providing more flexibility than traditional WAN technologies like T-1 or MPLS

Gartner estimates that SD-WAN will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 59 percent through 2021, pushing it to become a $1.3 billion market. By providing simple solutions to the increasing concerns of network security and database security, the projection makes sense.

How do you get into the field of network security?

Since new vulnerabilities to our technology are coming about every day, the need for IT security specialists is growing. MTI College offers a fast-paced, hands-on Network Administration and Security associate degree program that prepares you for an entry-level position as a professional network admin specialist.

Computer networking is critical in most industries that rely on secure, shared databases – industries such as health care and banking. Completing your associate degree in Network Administration and Security, and earning CompTIA Network+ and Security+ certification, may open the door to an entry-level job as a:

  • Network administrator
    You would be responsible for setting up and maintaining an organization’s computer network to keep costs down and production up.
  • Security specialist
    In this important role, you would protect a company’s computer network and make sure that only authorized people could gain access to confidential information. You would also have to monitor the network’s infrastructure and firewalls.
  • Information security analyst
    You would look for security breaches and investigate violations, install firewalls and generally help keep a company’s computer network safe from hackers.
  • Systems administrator
    This job entails taking care of the day-to-day operation and upkeep of a company’s computer network.

Get the skills and certification you need from MTI College, and you can be on the road to protecting our IT security.

Want to learn more about MTI’s programs?

Our admissions team will help you find the perfect program to meet your goals. Financial aid is available to those who qualify.

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