The key role of SD-WAN in establishing a SASE foundation

Networks · Jul 9, 2024

As businesses quickly grow and evolve to meet changes in market demand, strong network security becomes crucial. Traditional, rigid network management solutions are no longer sufficient, especially with the rise of cloud technologies. The
TELUS Canadian Cloud Security Study
found over 50% of the data from Canadian organizations is stored in the cloud.
Organizations also need to protect themselves from cyberattacks to safeguard their people, customers and their business’ reputation. The study found that the average Canadian company experiences five security incidents each year, each costing approximately $88,000. A cyberattack can have long-lasting negative impacts, making it crucial to prioritize network security.
By combining Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), organizations can build a resilient, secure and high-performing network infrastructure.

The power of SD-WAN and SASE to solve modern IT challenges

SD-WAN and SASE together offer a powerful solution for modern networks. While SD-WAN helps improve performance by efficiently routing traffic and balancing loads, SASE takes network security to the next level. SASE integrates comprehensive security features like encryption, firewalls, and secure web gateways into a single cloud-based solution. This helps ensure that all users and devices are protected regardless of their location.
Unlike traditional SD-WAN, SASE provides a holistic approach to network security, combining networking and security functions into a unified framework. This not only enhances security but also simplifies management, scalability and deployment across diverse environments, making it a more comprehensive and future-proof solution for today's increasingly cloud-centric world.
SD-WAN’s strong network performance and centralized control make it simpler to implement SASE's comprehensive security features. The combination of the two helps optimize performance, scalability and enhance security, making it beneficial for businesses with multiple locations and cloud needs.

Understanding SASE

As companies adopt cloud solutions and support remote work, traditional network architectures can fall short. SASE addresses these challenges by integrating four key security functions with SD-WAN into a unified cloud-based service:
  • Secure Web Gateways (SWGs) enable secure access to cloud applications and services.
  • Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASBs) provide visibility and control over cloud applications and data.
  • Zero-trust Network Access (ZTNAs) provides basic access control based on identify and context
  • Firewalls (FWaaS) monitor and block unauthorized network traffic.
SASE can help secure access to applications from any device, anywhere, enhancing network security and performance.

The role of SD-WAN

SD-WAN simplifies wide-area network management by using software to centralize control, improve visibility and automate processes. Key benefits include:
  • Traffic distribution: Leverages multiple access options to reduce congestion and prioritize critical applications.
  • Real-time monitoring: Delivers application-aware routing and optimal traffic paths to boost network efficiency.
  • Handling diverse traffic: Manages voice, video and data traffic efficiently with intelligent prioritization.
  • Network flexibility: Helps future-proof the network by allowing seamless integration with new technologies and applications to adapt to changing business needs, enabling easy adjustments to bandwidth and connectivity requirements.
SD-WAN can help optimize your network for more consistent performance and productivity across multiple clouds, branches and remote locations.

SD-WAN as the foundation of SASE

SD-WAN's flexibility makes it the ideal foundation for SASE, offering several key advantages:

Seamless employee connectivity

SD-WAN connects remote workers to cloud-based resources, extending the network beyond traditional boundaries. This adaptability helps to ensure that employees can access necessary applications securely from any location. When integrated with SASE, this secure connectivity is further enhanced by incorporating strong security measures like zero-trust access and comprehensive threat protection, which helps to ensure that all remote connections are not only efficient but also highly secure.

Enhanced performance

SD-WAN helps to support optimal performance and security for applications, even during peak traffic, by prioritizing traffic based on business needs. This guarantees that mission-critical applications receive the necessary bandwidth and priority. When combined with SASE, this performance optimization is bolstered by integrated security measures, with more consistent protection across the entire network.

Scalable and adaptable infrastructure

SD-WAN's scalable nature allows for easy integration of new technologies and applications, making it adaptable to changing business requirements and emerging security threats. When paired with SASE, this scalability is complemented by comprehensive security, providing a flexible and secure framework that can quickly respond to business growth as well as evolving cyber threats.

Cost efficiency

By leveraging multiple access options and optimizing traffic, SD-WAN can reduce operational costs compared to traditional WAN solutions. This cost efficiency makes it a beneficial option for businesses of all sizes. Combined with SASE, businesses not only save on networking costs but also benefit from integrated security solutions, eliminating the need for separate security infrastructure and further enhancing overall cost-effectiveness.

Improved visibility and control

SD-WAN offers centralized management, providing real-time visibility and control over network traffic. This enhanced oversight helps support quicker response times to potential issues and more efficient network management. When integrated with SASE, this visibility and control are further strengthened by traffic filtering, unified security policies and threat detection, building a more secure and well-managed network environment.

A foundation for comprehensive security

SD-WAN's dynamic nature and built-in security features can create a strong foundation for SASE. This combination allows businesses to gradually integrate additional security measures, such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems, creating a holistic and future-proof security framework.

SD-WAN's scalable and adaptable nature, combined with its security features, makes it the perfect gateway solution for implementing SASE. This combination provides a gradual, cost-effective approach to building a modern network security system.
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Authored by:
TELUS Business
TELUS Business