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High-performance, reliable and secure corporate network? Long live secure SD-Wan!

Software Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) is the technology that uses direct internet connections to set up a Wide Area Network (WAN). SD-WAN is not new, but it has been evolving rapidly lately.

The evolution of the WAN connection

Not so long ago, simple WANs were set up, for example, to allow employees from different branches to work together and share documents. These were often relatively secure networks, although some 27% of the WAN connections are not encrypted by the providerIn addition, a WAN connection has some disadvantages: the speed and bandwidth of the WAN connection is often low, which quickly results in overloading with the necessary delays, loss of data and extra operational costs as a result.

Due to the increased availability of broadband Internet connections, SD-WAN has experienced a strong growth. The advantages of the software-based, virtual way to set up a WAN speak for themselves: fast, broadband and cheap compared to other solutions. SD-WAN solves all the disadvantages of a traditional WAN connection. Yet there is also a downside to the beautiful medal ... .

Secure SD-WAN is the solution!

With more and more Cloud and SaaS applications, SD-WAN has become the new standard technology and - out of pure necessity - has evolved into Secure SD-WAN, because the attack surface of an SD-WAN is considerably larger than that of a classic WAN. All the devices in the network are connected to the Internet in one way or another, whether or not securely. Fortinet therefore integrates its Next Generation Firewall (NGFW) in their SD-WAN solutions.

New IoT applications place ever-increasing demands on bandwidth, speed and security. More and more devices are being connected and are spewing an ever-growing stream of data onto the network. A motivation for the developers and providers of SD-WAN technology to further improve this. Fortinet is already succeeding in this with its Next Generation Firewall with integrated Secure SD-WAN.

Secure SD-WAN as an alternative to MPLS

Secure SD-WAN is also an excellent alternative to the well-known MPLS, in terms of performance, safety and cost you can improve by choosing SD-WAN.

SD-WAN is often cheaper than MPLS

Previously, many organizations had external branches and retail locations (POS) connected to the central data center through an MPLS connection. Although this is a cost-effective solution, data, workflows and transactions must be returned to the data center for processing and redistribution.

SD-WAN reduces costs by providing optimized, multipoint connectivity, giving users secure local access to the services they need, whether from the network or the cloud.

In addition, SD-WAN also gives you freedom in terms of service provider. MPLS connections are often highly priced by the network administrator. If you choose SD-WAN, you are free to choose which network administrator you use.

Secure SD-WAN connections both provide better protection than MPLS

MPLS appears to be secure because it provides a secure, managed connection between the branches, the data centre and the service provider. A public internet connection does not provide similar security.

However, this is misleading: MPLS does not analyse the data it provides. And, of course, this MPLS traffic must also be inspected for malware and other dangers. The deployment of a firewall and additional security features remains a requirement.

Fortinet's Secure SD-Wan is different. Connectivity is an integrated feature within an NGFW appliance. Each connection is routed through an automatically dynamic meshed VPN connection to secure data during transit and comprehensive control through the wide range of security tools that make up the FortiGate.

Security, performance & operational costs are decisive factors

From a study by Gartner It turns out that - in addition to security - performance is the main concern for decision-makers. The network must be reliable, always available and can be used from different locations, without any downtime, delay or loss of data packages. Every failure - no matter how small - has an impact on the operational cost, and it is only logical that this cost should be the third biggest concern.

Secure SD-WAN from Fortinet tackles all these concerns and offers you a perfect alternative to the familiar MPLS connection with easier set-up and management.

A study by Gartner shows that - besides security - performance is the main concern for decision-makers;

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