Is It Time to Switch to an SD-WAN Platform?

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The broad adoption of SD-WAN has been vital to digital acceleration. While SD-WAN began by providing branch offices with flexible access to remote applications, it does so much more today. Secure SD-WAN blends security and connectivity to add adaptable inspection and superior user-experience for applications. This integrated strategy also enables organizations to seamlessly extend enterprise-grade security into the LAN/WLAN and 5G as SD-Branch. New SD-WAN solutions enable flexible, on-demand access between cloud environments and between data centers and the cloud. And SD-WAN is now a critical component of SASE, extending the same controlled access to essential resources that branch offices enjoy to today’s hybrid workforce.

But that’s just the start. Leveraging Secure SD-WAN as a platform allows organizations to build highly adaptive, distributed networks by blending discrete environments into a single zero-trust edge (ZTE) strategy. By combining advanced networking and security services into a universally deployable Secure SD-WAN platform, organizations now have the flexibility to scale and expand resources on-demand across their complex and rapidly evolving on-premises, remote edge, and multi-cloud hybrid environments.

Can Your SD-WAN Solution Do This?
Organizations looking for optimal flexibility in their digital acceleration strategy should seriously consider upgrading their SD-WAN solution. An advanced SD-WAN platform should be able to provide these additional services in addition to its more traditional functions:

  • SD-WAN and SASE – As a hybrid, work-from-anywhere strategy becomes the norm, secure and reliable connectivity requires extending SD-WAN functionality beyond the branch, data center, and cloud to home offices and mobile workers. A SASE solution built around SD-WAN ensures that every worker can enjoy the benefits of enterprise-grade security and an optimized user-to-application experience regardless of location. At the same time, a common SD-WAN platform simplifies visibility and control.
  • SD-WAN with ZTNA – Securely connecting users to distributed applications and resources, especially across multiple clouds and on-premises networks can be challenging. SD-WAN combined with ZTNA (zero-trust network access) helps organizations consistently enforce zero-trust access policies with explicit per-application/per-session controls, and granular monitoring detects activities that can impact performance and impact security.

Built-in ZTNA Access Proxy functions provide advanced security and deep visibility across all users, applications, and devices to maintain optimal user experience—even as networks adapt to changing business, application, and user demands. SD-WAN combined with ZTNA ensures uniform access policy enforcement across all edges to simplify and centralize management and monitoring and automate threat detection and response.

Combining Secure SD-WAN and ZTNA into a single platform ensures that users and devices can only access those resources to which they are explicitly entitled, regardless of where they are deployed or the path through the extended network required to reach them. By applying this same strategy across every network segment, admins can be assured that every connection is being consistently secured, inspected, and monitored end-to-end, ensuring consistent quality of experience and scalable protection even as users move across and between work environments.

  • Multi-cloud SD-WAN – An effective Secure SD-WAN platform should natively integrate with the security services of each major cloud provider. This enables IT teams to establish and maintain secure, high-performance connectivity to applications running on—and between—hybrid and multi-cloud networks by prioritizing critical application traffic and maintaining reliable connection resiliency to ensure consistent cloud on-ramp and optimal user experience. Deploying a single SD-WAN platform everywhere allows organizations to consolidate networking and connectivity functions across their distributed network—including orchestration, configuration, automation, and management. It also enables IT teams to finally establish consistent, centralized network security for broad visibility, uniform segmentation, and consistent enforcement across on-premises, branch, private cloud, and multi-cloud deployments.
  • AIOps and SD-WAN – Adding AIOps to a Secure SD-WAN platform allows admins to monitor, manage, anticipate, and remediate Secure SD-WAN connections anywhere across the network. Automatically correlating and analyzing information pulled from the WAN, security, and LAN network layers identifies issues faster, accelerates troubleshooting, optimizes network performance and resiliency, and maintains operational efficiency.

A Secure SD-WAN platform plays a vital role in ongoing network transformation

Nearly all digital acceleration addresses one issue: providing users and devices with fast, accurate, reliable, and secure access to critical applications and resources. This isn’t new. It’s been the driving force behind digital innovation since the first computers spoke to each other back in 1969. But today, as networks continue to evolve and expand, most traditional networking and security strategies struggle to keep up.

In this new environment, SD-WAN plays a critical role in helping organizations maintain visibility and control even as the network fragments across new, highly dynamic edges. Whether deployed on-prem, in the cloud, as a cloud-based service, or even integrated into other solutions, Secure SD-WAN that’s capable of serving as a platform allows organizations to securely connect users, devices, and networks to critical applications and resources, regardless of where they are deployed. Optimizing user experience, consolidating functions, and converging networking and security provides an essential safeguard against today’s increasingly sophisticated and opportunistic threat landscape.

Take a security-driven networking approach to improve user experience and simplify operations at the WAN edge with Fortinet Secure SD-WAN.

 

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