06/15/2023 9:40 AM By Chuck F

What is SD-WAN and what is SASE?

What is SD-WAN and how does it benefit companies with a single location or companies with multiple locations?

SD-WAN, or Software-Defined Wide Area Network, is a modern approach to building and managing a wide area network (WAN) that connects multiple locations together. It uses software to control and optimize the network, to enable highly efficient receipt and delivery of your data, rather than relying solely on hardware-based network devices such as routers and switches.

SD-WAN can benefit both companies with a single location and those with multiple locations. For companies with a single location, SD-WAN can provide a more reliable and efficient network connection. It can help ensure that mission-critical applications have the bandwidth they need, while less important traffic is given lower priority. SD-WAN can also improve network security by encrypting traffic and implementing security policies.

For companies with multiple locations, SD-WAN can be particularly beneficial and was the reason for its original design. It allows for the creation of a virtual network that spans multiple physical locations, making it easier to manage and control the network. SD-WAN can prioritize traffic between different locations based on business needs, ensuring that critical applications have the necessary bandwidth. It can also automatically route traffic around network issues, such as outages or congestion, improving reliability and reducing downtime.

Additionally, SD-WAN can reduce the costs associated with managing and maintaining a traditional WAN. It allows companies to use low-cost internet connections instead of expensive leased lines, while still providing the same level of performance and security. This can result in significant cost savings, particularly for companies with multiple locations.

What is SASE and what are the components that make up a good SASE solution?

SASE, or Secure Access Service Edge, is a cloud-based network security solution that combines multiple security and networking technologies into a single platform. The goal of SASE is to provide secure and reliable access to corporate applications and resources from any location, without sacrificing performance or user experience.

A good SASE solution should consist of the following components:

  1. Secure Web Gateway (SWG): A SWG provides secure internet access and blocks malicious websites and content. It uses URL filtering, malware detection, and other techniques to protect users from internet-based threats.

  2. Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB): A CASB provides visibility and control over cloud applications and data. It monitors cloud activity, enforces security policies, and encrypts sensitive data in transit and at rest.

  3. Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaaS): A FWaaS provides network security by controlling access to corporate resources and blocking unauthorized traffic. It can be deployed as a cloud-based firewall or as a virtual appliance in the customer's data center.

  4. Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA): A ZTNA provides secure remote access to corporate resources, without exposing them to the public internet. It uses identity-based access control, multi-factor authentication, and encryption to protect against cyber threats.

  5. Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN): An SD-WAN optimizes network traffic and improves application performance by selecting the best path for traffic based on business requirements. It can dynamically route traffic over multiple links, such as broadband internet, 4G/5G cellular networks, and private connections.

  6. Identity and Access Management (IAM): An IAM system provides centralized control over user identities, authentication, and authorization. It can integrate with directory services, such as Active Directory or LDAP, to enforce access policies and prevent unauthorized access to corporate resources.

Together, these components provide a comprehensive, cloud-based security and networking solution that can adapt to changing business needs and protect against evolving cyber threats.

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