Why securing SD-WAN is the key to leveraging 5G safely and efficiently

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Article by Wavelink, Fortinet distributor, CEO Ilan Rubin.

Many companies are beginning to foresee the potential that 5G networks will create by studying breakthrough technologies and applications beyond the Internet of Things (IoT) and video streaming.

The dramatically increased speed offered by 5G will make bandwidth-intensive applications such as virtual reality, augmented reality and AI well within the reach of organizations. However, to effectively prepare for these new technologies, organizations will need to put in place the right next-generation networking solutions.

Australia is rolling out 5G on a large scale, and the potential opportunities and benefits cannot be overstated. Full adoption will depend on the availability of 5G devices and adoption of applications requiring 5G tier performance.

Before organizations embark on 5G, they need to consider the ramifications of security. Faster speeds for legitimate traffic will also mean faster speeds for attackers, so it is essential to implement secure network solutions that will allow businesses to fully utilize 5G without introducing unnecessary security risks.

As the adoption of 5G is expected to happen relatively slowly, organizations will likely have a range of devices and connections that are still in use for some time. Managing this complexity requires some sort of smart solution that can make decisions at the network or connectivity level, and manage edge and IoT devices based on application performance requirements. The Software-Driven Secure Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) has become the ideal solution for these requirements.

Secure SD-WAN manages network traffic so that the applications most important to the organization are prioritized to minimize downtime or disruption. Traditional edge-based routers cannot cope with the connectivity complexity inherent in modern computing environments. Secure SD-WAN is designed to support and manage 5G connections and simplify network complexity.

Because SD-WAN manages and prioritizes traffic based on defined rules, it can help businesses maximize the value of 5G by ensuring that applications that truly require super-fast speeds will perform as expected. Meanwhile, less bandwidth-hungry or mission-critical applications may be directed to slower connectivity options, as this will not negatively affect the user experience.

Secure SD-WAN can also handle ever-changing environments in real time, giving organizations the flexibility they need to make changes to their networks for optimized results.

It is important to note that not all SD-WAN solutions include built-in security from the start; those who treat security as an afterthought can expose the organization to potential risks. However, a secure SD-WAN solution can support 5G speeds without disrupting business-critical communications or opening security holes.

Security needs to work fast enough to match 5G. Active inspection of all traffic can slow the performance of next-generation firewalls. It is therefore essential to choose a solution specifically designed to enable 5G performance and critical security functions.

It is not enough to rely on the native security features of 5G networking solutions; organizations must apply integrated end-to-end security to protect themselves from the growing threat landscape.

Secure SD-WAN already offers significant network benefits to businesses at all levels, especially those with branch offices and remote workers. By implementing a secure SD-WAN solution now, organizations can prepare for the new world that 5G will enable.


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