As organizations adapt to the new normal, changes in the way they conduct business on a daily basis create significant challenges to regulatory compliance. Software-defined WAN (SD-WANSecure Access Services and Compilation (SASE) provide organizations with the tools they need to meet and overcome these challenges.
Modern enterprise is distributed
In the past, most organizations had very centralized IT infrastructure. Most of their data and applications are stored in on-premises infrastructure, and their employees work in the office on computers directly connected to the corporate network. This makes cybersecurity and regulatory compliance relatively easy as all devices are behind the enterprise network perimeter and connected to the corporate-owned network infrastructure.
Over time, the modern company has become more distributed. Companies have moved beyond the security challenges of satellite sites to those of the cloud and the workforce primarily or entirely remotely.
With this sudden decentralization of enterprise IT infrastructures, new challenges in cybersecurity are introduced. With devices no longer being connected directly to the corporate network, the traditional network perimeter has vanished. Additionally, the proliferation of cloud and remote work means that business and application data is stored on devices that the organization no longer owns or has full control over.
This makes it much more difficult for a modern business to gain visibility and control over its infrastructure. As a result, securing corporate devices, apps, and data becomes much more difficult.
Cloud and Telework Introducing the Regulatory Challenges
In addition to creating challenges for enterprise cybersecurity, the growing shift to cloud computing and remote work has also created regulatory challenges. The combination of cloud computing and telework means that a percentage of business traffic that starts or ends in a corporate network shrinks.
This means that this traffic does not naturally travel through the perimeter of the traditional network, where most organizations’ security solutions are deployed. As a result, businesses struggle to maintain visibility and enforce security policies on a growing percentage of their business traffic.
This and other factors contribute to significant regulatory compliance challenges for modern businesses, such as:
If the traffic does not pass through the organization’s security solutions, the organization may lack the ability to enforce access controls for sensitive data and applications. This creates critical compliance issues because most regulations mandate an organization to prevent unauthorized access to data for their purposes.
The growth of cloud computing and remote work means that not all of the organization’s data is stored and processed on the enterprise network. If the data crosses legal boundaries, new regulations may apply or an organization may not comply with certain regulations. For example, the GDPR prohibits the transfer of EU citizenship data to non-EU countries or businesses that do not have equivalent or “full” data protection regulations.
Data display level
Inability to display all of the network traffic, an organization lacks adequate visibility of where the sensitive data it owns is stored, transferred, and processed. This makes it impossible to demonstrate that this data was not disclosed in a data breach or processed in a manner that violates the GDPR consent requirements and similar regulations.
These and others demonstrate that traditional approaches to cybersecurity and regulatory compliance are ineffective for modern distributed enterprise.
SD-WAN provides essential network visibility
Many of the cybersecurity and compliance challenges faced by distributed organizations stem from the fact that their networks have evolved faster than their security policies. While an organization may have infrastructure, applications, and users distributed around the world, their network monitoring infrastructure is centralized in one or several locations.
This forces these organizations to make a decision between network performance and network security and regulatory compliance. Redundancy of all network traffic over the enterprise network – over a virtual private network (VPN) or similar – provides the visibility needed at the cost of significant latency and reduced performance. By contrast, allowing all of the traffic directly to its destination guarantees high performance but leaves the company in the dark about the high rates of business traffic.
SD-WAN provides a potential solution to the visibility challenges posed by cloud computing and remote workforce. Instead of a single VPN endpoint on the enterprise network, the enterprise can deploy a cloud-based SD-WAN point of presence network (PoP).
Users can send their traffic to the nearest PoP SD-WAN, from where it will be securely and optimally routed to the most convenient exit PoP and then to its destination. Since all traffic passes through an SD-WAN PoP, an organization is able to achieve full network visibility and enforce some access control without impacting traffic performance into the corporate network.
Simplify compliance with SASE
Networking cloud-based SD-WAN PoPs is an important first step in balancing network performance and network security and regulatory compliance, but it’s not enough. Particularly, SD-WAN is just a network solution. Securing traffic over an SD-WAN requires deploying a security stack with each PoP SD-WAN.
SIX provided a better alternative. SASE integrates a full security stack with SD-WAN functionality into a single cloud-based device. With SASE, an organization has a decentralized, scalable solution that provides secure remote access and the security functionality needed to address modern regulatory compliance challenges.