It’s easily one of the biggest objections—it may well actually be the biggest objection—faced by just about any new technology: security. We’ve seen it crop up in everything from online shopping to cloud-based systems to mobile payments and beyond. People, with good reason, are deeply concerned about the security of their technology. Yet the nearly-universal nature of this objection makes for an excellent opportunity for those who would offer technology as a service, particularly for software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN) operations. SD-WAN security can be a significant differentiating point in a field stuffed with competitors, and can also open up a greater likelihood of future sales.
How Does SD-WAN Security Serve As a Product Distinction?
With a rapidly-growing crowd of SD-WAN providers in the market space, standing out is at once vital to future growth and an immediate necessity to fend off all those other firms eager for a slice of the market. Thus, taking advantage of security concerns as a product differentiation strategy will likely pay off.
There are plenty of possible holes. While it’s important to recognize that “security” is a concern, there are a lot of separate sub-concerns that make up the overall umbrella term of “security.” Issues of overall architecture and later accessibility all play a part. For instance, some SD-WAN providers offer the option to let customers take the reins on SD-WAN setup; anything from the design phase to deployment and even management after the fact can be put directly on the customer itself. That means that, without the right expertise in play, potential security holes are opened up right from go.
Nothing in common. The SD-WAN field actually starts out surprisingly well-differentiated. In fact, the only truly common element among SD-WAN operations, reports note, is the separation of the data and control planes, as well as the use of an SD-WAN controller on the control plane. This means that anyone shopping for SD-WAN service will have to take SD-WAN security into account from the start, because it’s a safe bet that very few firms will offer universal options.
Lots of potential protection tools. SD-WAN providers know they’re dealing from a position of perceived weakness. Customers are inherently skeptical of cloud technology and have been for years. SD-WAN isn’t much different in that regard, and SD-WAN providers necessarily talk up their own security systems. Many providers will add SD-WAN security tools to their own mixes, including unified threat management systems, intrusion prevention tools, and Layer 7 firewalls.
Customers want to hear about security. Enterprise Strategy Group, back in February 2018, released a study that noted that security was the leading adoption driver for SD-WAN. There’s a good reason for this; SD-WAN offers plenty of network visibility, as well as new requirements for encryption and a centralized configuration that makes it easier to manage. This is just par for the course, so companies have to add their own security tools.
It’s a direct path for data. Since SD-WAN is a new networking technology, a lot of customer data travels over this medium. SD-WAN users are effectively putting all their eggs—data—into the basket that is SD-WAN, which makes security absolutely vital. Security is truly an all-or-nothing proposition at the customer level, so businesses that provide SD-WAN services and can demonstrate the best in SD-WAN security are more likely to land customers than those who don’t demonstrate SD-WAN security power.
SD-WAN automates very well. Automation can be a wonderful thing for any IT function, thanks to its ability to reduce demand on IT resources. Yet anyone who has experience in automation knows that it can also breed laxity. People get used to “the system” handling certain issues, and no one bothers to even check the system’s work. Thus, anything that has a high degree of automation—like SD-WAN—requires conscious effort to be managed.
New threats. SD-WAN has changed the landscape for computing, and as such, it’s opened up new potential threats. Security threats were previously handled at the data center level, using centralized access. Offering internet access at the branch level makes each potential office—especially where SD-WAN is being used for multi-office environments—a new potential failure point for security. This means that stronger overall security is called for to address the new threats.
How to Adjust Your SD-WAN Security for Better Sales Results
If you want to take advantage of the common objection of security when it comes to your product line, especially in terms of SD-WAN security, then start by getting in touch with us at Innovative Business Solutions.. As a master agent with over 500 business partners nationwide, we’ve got a wide body of experience working with managed service providers, and can help bolster that security to improve the odds of making that vital connection with the best product. Just reach out to us and get started making your SD-WAN offering all it can be.