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Fortify Your SD-WAN With SSE Integration

Fortify Your SD-WAN With SSE Integration

Blog Article Published: 04/03/2023

Originally published by Lookout.

Written by Balaji Prasad, Head of Product, Endpoint and SASE, Lookout.

Many of today’s security tools are built to secure cloud services. But we need to keep in mind that many organizations still require configurations that don’t have direct connection to the cloud.

Organizations that have numerous branch locations — like convenience stores, school districts and banks — often use a software-defined wide area network, or SD-WAN. SD-WAN enables organizations to centralize network management and more effectively apply application and routing policies across offices.

By leveraging SD-WAN, security policies can also be applied to branch offices. However, if an organization’s security stack still remains on-premises, traffic must be funneled from branch offices through the organization’s headquarters to receive security treatment before going to its final destination. This hairpinning of traffic is not optimal when using cloud applications and degrades end-user performance.

As organizations begin to combine legacy on-premises tools with cloud services, an SD-WAN won’t be able to address new cloud-based security challenges on its own.

Let me use this blog to break down how integrating security service edge (SSE) capabilities with SD-WAN simplifies management controls and provides a rich policy framework to keep sensitive data protected without hindering productivity.

How integration can help you achieve SASE

As data and applications move to the cloud, it is increasingly important for organizations to ensure that they are not compromising on security. SD-WAN systems are great at routing web traffic, but they need additional tools to keep that traffic secure.

Many organizations use bolt-on solutions, like introducing a firewall to an existing SD-WAN, but these solutions require routing traffic to headquarters for examination. Not only does this create additional management complexity, but it also creates a laggy user experience due to the unnecessary traffic redirection.

To streamline security, organizations can integrate their SD-WAN with an SSE solution to create a true secure access service edge (SASE).

Instead of using bolt-on tools that will never be friendly to the cloud, organizations can integrate with an SSE platform solution, which is the convergence of security tools in the cloud, that can provide security support to legacy structures. An SSE solution should have native capabilities to pick up traffic and implement features like data loss prevention (DLP), user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA), and enterprise digital rights management (EDRM) that can be extended to an SD-WAN connected branch office.

As organizations start to utilize the cloud, they need a security solution that belongs in the cloud so that SD-WAN controllers can keep doing the important work of maintaining network connectivity and resiliency.

By integrating both SD-WAN and SSE, you’re able to enforce fine-grained control over all apps, remain compliant and keep data secure.

Well-rounded security

With the power of SSE and SD-WAN combined, organizations will gain full visibility over the sanctioned and unsanctioned SaaS apps being used by their employees, along with the data within these apps.

Here's a little more insight into the benefits organizations should look for when they add SSE to their existing SD-WAN.

  • Consistent security policies: Security teams can create and enforce access policies that extend throughout the entire enterprise.
  • Unauthorized access prevention: With contextual cloud access security broker (CASB), UEBA, and DLP policies, organizations can ensure only validated users have access to data residing in the cloud, preventing the exfiltration of high-value information.
  • Fine-grained control of cloud apps: Security teams will have control over the data, usage, compliance, threat prevention and access to sanctioned and unsanctioned cloud apps, complementing the security features of existing SD-WAN services.
  • Complete visibility: Expanded visibility with features like DLP, CASB, UEBA, and EDRM gives security teams comprehensive insight into users, user behaviors, applications and resources, keeping data protected without hindering productivity.

If data is forced through legacy security controls, user experience suffers and organizations lose visibility and control, but SASE solutions allow organizations to follow zero-trust principles, but they may shy away from the task if they think it means completely abandoning their existing security infrastructure.

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