The New Landscape of Secure Wide Area Networking

The New Landscape of Secure Wide Area Networking v2

Our annual Siouxland Cybersecurity Forum brings together global leaders in Cybersecurity to discuss pressing concerns around networking, response and recovery, testing and more. At this year’s event, Michael Kedik, our Vice President of Product Management, discussed the new landscape of secure wide area networking and its potential to advance security in the face of growing threats.

 

Here are the highlights of the compelling information he shared.

 

The Landscape of Wide Area Networking Has Changed

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Today, business needs are changing at lightning speed, and that demands a network that can change just as quickly. Over the past 15 years, organizations have seen:

  • The emergence of cloud technology.
  • The rise of the mobile and remote workforce.
  • A deluge of security risks, including:
    • Ransomware
    • Malware
    • Cybercrime 

The need to keep our networks secure hasn’t changed, but our approach to security has. In the early 2000s, WAN used a hub and spoke model. Servers were hosted at a central office, and branches were connected by MPLS or frame relay. Email and the internet were a separate entity, used for email, browsing, research and not much more, and the internet was limited to just three million websites.

 

Over time, this model has become less and less manageable. Adding a DR site helps, but it has its limitations. Organizations moved over to internet-based collaborative tools and social media, and your branches may have moved to a VPN rather than MPLS. As the cloud emerged, organizations moved resources there, but the costs and security vulnerabilities of MPLS have become abundantly clear.

 

Is Your WAN Built for Today’s Needs?

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The old approach of centralized access and control is limited and expensive. Is your WAN built for today’s needs? Here are six areas for consideration:

  • The Cloud—Before the cloud, applications only communicated with servers in the data center. Latency didn’t matter, and there was a single internet entry point, which made security manageable. Today, applications are distributed, latency is an unacceptable slowdown and video conferencing is making enormous demands on bandwidth.
  • Security—In today’s climate, traffic in transit must be secured. BYOD environments and IoT have created an exponentially rising number of endpoints, further complicating security. The new 5G edge presents another disruptive technology that will bring new demands.
  • Application Awareness—With voice, video, Office 365, and more, many networks are strained. Each application has unique requirements, and traditional TCP/IP protocols are inherently application un-aware.
  • Monitoring—Most TCP/IP WAN monitoring tools struggle with differentiating between business-critical applications and general internet browsing. These tools have zero visibility into application-level needs, and WAN visibility is mandatory.
  • Bandwidth Cost—Bandwidth growth is explosive, and costs are just as explosive, straining the budgets of many organizations.
  • Support—The WANs of the past were developed with on-site personnel in mind. Today’s IT departments have less staff with more demands and little time for complex configurations. Simplicity is more important than ever. 

Where does your organization stack up? Today’s secure WAN technology is flexible and easy to manage. It’s also secure, which is a top-of-mind concern for financial institutions. To learn more, download our data security guide or contact us to learn more about the new landscape of secure wide area networking.