3 SD-WAN Security Considerations To Look Before Choosing SD-WAN Vendor
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3 SD-WAN Security Considerations To Look Before Choosing SD-WAN Vendor

By Enterprise Networking Mag | Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Choosing the SD-WAN vendor is a little tricky. What are the security considerations a company should research before adopting one?

FREMONT, CA: A software-defined WAN strategy has to be designed with equal importance to networking and security as compared to other network parts.

Security is a vital aspect of SD-WAN. However, when companies start to research on SD-WAN security consideration, they face bewilderment. It is not surprising that many vendors prefer building security into a wider vision for cloud architecture. This is expected because vendors usually find it convenient to get clients to purchase into the top-down vision than to sell bottom-up characteristics and abilities. But a vision will not shield the computer network, its features will.

The following are the steps to safeguard SD-WAN infrastructure.

1. Onboarding

Network infrastructure gear can stay in a shared space or in the rack of the service provider where physical security and access requirement are not known. Hence, companies need a secure device onboarding process for its SD-WAN. The last thing needed is a rogue device that masquerades as an essential part of the company’s network and has access to all traffic flowing across it.

Another SD-WAN security consideration is to ensure that the vendor blocks the latest infrastructure devices from joining the company’s network until they are authenticated. Authentication can take place via a serial number or registration or another security token.

2. Data plane security

The data plane carries user traffic, which needs encryption. Encryption methods include Secure Sockets Layer, IPsec VPN tunnels, or Transport Layer Security.

However, it should be kept in mind that data encryption is not just a checkbox item. Vendors include various techniques for encryption and critical changes. Shorter key intervals are safer as they minimize the time a hacker has available to utilize a key.

For providing further security, some vendors use Diffie-Hellman key exchanges, which allow users to share secret keys over unsafe channels. Since security vendors are always trying to stay one step ahead of fraudsters, encryption is a domain of constant exchange.

3. Control plane security

Security consideration of SD-WAN is control plane security. This is a messaging path among the company’s network’s control elements—those that are inside the routers and switching devices comprising the company’s SD-WAN.

It is very important to encrypt this traffic so that an attacker can’t intercept, hack, or exploit the management and configuration function of the company’s SD-WAN. Hence, the companies should make sure that their vendor encrypts the control plane.

After tackling these SD-WAN security considerations, the company should look for basic firewall functionality as part of its SD-WAN with more capabilities like malware protection and other higher functions.

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