As increasingly more organizations expand their operations across geographies, ensuring secure connectivity and communication between headquarters and remote branch offices has become a critical challenge. Read on to learn more about the various aspects of branch office network security and how to better protect your organization’s data, applications, and infrastructure.
Branch office security refers to the measures and technologies used to secure the networks and communication channels that connect remote branch offices to the central corporate network.
These measures may include (but not be limited to the following):
The goal is to protect the data and applications accessed and transmitted through the branch network from external threats and potential insider threats.
Securing branch offices can be a formidable task due to several factors that pose significant challenges for IT teams.
To overcome these challenges, organizations need to implement modern security solutions that can address these challenges effectively, such as SD-WAN and SASE. These solutions provide a more secure and scalable approach to branch office security, enabling organizations to centralize management, secure access, and protect data and applications across all branch locations.
WAN stands for Wide Area Network. It’s a network that covers a large geographic area, connecting multiple local networks or LANs (Local Area Networks). WANs typically use a combination of technologies such as leased lines, satellite links, and microwave connections to connect geographically dispersed locations.
However, traditional WANs can be expensive, complex, and time-consuming to manage for the following reasons:
SD-WAN stands for Software-Defined Wide Area Network. It is a progressive and innovative approach to WAN architecture that allows organizations to leverage software to abstract the underlying network infrastructure and gain greater control and visibility into their network traffic.
With SD-WAN, organizations can use multiple types of connections, such as broadband internet, 4G/LTE, and MPLS, to connect their branch offices. They can prioritize traffic based on application and business needs.
This can lead to significant cost savings, improved performance, and easier management of network security policies because SD-WAN:
In short, traditional WANs are expensive and complex to manage, and their security is often based on legacy hardware that requires manual configuration and maintenance. On the other hand, SD-WAN solutions provide centralized and automated management, as well as granular security policies based on application and user context. SD-WAN security solutions also offer end-to-end encryption and visibility across all branch locations, improving overall security and performance.
Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is a cloud-native security framework that combines WAN, security, and other network services into a single platform. SASE provides a unified and scalable approach to secure branch office connectivity, with features such as zero-trust access, data loss prevention, and cloud-based security services. SASE also offers seamless integration with cloud applications and services, making it ideal for organizations that rely on cloud-based resources.
SD-WAN and SASE are complementary technologies that work together to enhance network security for branch office:
By integrating SD-WAN and SASE, organizations can increase network performance, reduce costs, and achieve better security posture for their branch offices. The SD-WAN component provides optimized connectivity and traffic routing, while SASE delivers advanced security services that protect branch office users and resources from cyber threats.
Updating your branch office security has several obvious benefits, including increased security posture, improved compliance, reduced costs, and better performance and user experience.
With modern security solutions such as SD-WAN and SASE, you can achieve better visibility, control, and management of your branch office network, as well as better protection against evolving threats.
There are several ways you can secure your branch office with the latest security technology, here are just a few:
By implementing the above best practices, organizations can achieve better branch office network security and reduce the risk of cyber threats.