Digital transformation: combine network and security

14.04.2022

Successful digital transformation requires a modern company network. Many retail businesses are now opting for SD-WAN technology. However, when selecting an SD-WAN solution, security is paramount.

Modern network architecture with SD-WAN

Most retailers with several sites have networks based on a centralised security architecture. This means network traffic from all the various stores is routed through one data centre, which is equipped with a firewall to combat any threats.

However, this centralised architecture can no longer cope with the growth in data traffic and the transition to cloud applications resulting from a company’s digital transformation. This means poor network performance for the end users. That is why many retailers are upgrading their company network to an SD-WAN infrastructure.

SD-WAN (software-defined wide area network) uses different internet connections for every store. It also ensures that every application has a high-quality connection. This not only makes the work of the staff much easier (e.g. easy access to online stock data), but it also supports an omnichannel approach and improves customers’ shopping experience.

However, these direct internet connections may also make the company more vulnerable to cyberattacks, so it is important to pay careful attention to the security of your SD-WAN.

 

Pro-active security

You can only ensure total security against cyberattacks if you take this into account from the outset. When designing your network architecture, give careful thought to where your applications are located and their network patterns. Use this as the basis for configuring your firewall security policy.

 

Consistency and simple management

An SD-WAN solution without built-in security is not ideal: besides your SD-WAN solution, you will also have to manage a separate firewall at every store, increasing the workload of your IT team. Using multiple management solutions and the need for these to exchange data further complicates the issue and increases the chance of threats slipping through the net.

To avoid obstacles in terms of complexity, an inconsistent security policy and time-consuming management, you need an SD-WAN solution that combines the network and security functionalities into one product. With such an integrated solution, you have just one dashboard that gives you easy access to all the operations needed to manage your company network: monitoring your applications’ performance, configuring the security policy for your users and blocking dangerous websites.

 

The perfect SD-WAN solution

There are several products on the market that offer this type of integrated solution. Some are essentially security solutions into which the SD-WAN functionality is integrated later, while others started life as an SD-WAN product with the security functionality then added. The solution you opt for will depend on your requirements and priorities. We are happy to help you make the right decision for you. With the support of various SD-WAN suppliers, we can offer you the solution that best suits your retail company.

 

 

Do you need help implementing your retail company’s digital transformation? Find out how our SD-WAN solutions increase your responsiveness and efficiency. Get in touch with your account manager for a network and security assessment.

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