Authors: Jason Pappalexis

Publish Date: April 17, 2019

Network traffic requirements for the enterprise are growing as applications, content, and hardware evolve. Reliable packet delivery between branch offices and data center headquarters is critical for business continuity, but a lack of options has left organizations saddled with expensive point-to-point links. The 5G network is on the horizon, but infrastructure requirements make it more of a three-to-five-year target for many.

The software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) can be used to leverage high-bandwidth, consumer-grade links for business-class services at a lower cost than traditional dedicated links. Enterprises today are adopting the SD-WAN for their branch office network needs, and they aren’t looking back.However, whilethe prospect of bundling anti-threat capabilities with WAN bandwidth management is compelling,deploying an SD–WAN in place of firewall technology introduces several considerations, of which security effectiveness is only one. NSS Labs has observed that SD-WAN products from non-firewall vendors do not always provide the detailed information and control required of an edge security technology.

This paper reviews deployment of the SD-WAN in the enterprise and investigates the secure SD-WAN as a replacement for firewall technology.