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SD-WAN: Protecting the Protection in the Virtualized Environment

SD-WAN offers Enterprises inherent manageability, security, and ultimately agility, which enables the cloud to absorb applications and infrastructure. As the market has exploded, proprietary solutions have proliferated to the point where it is difficult to hold an even basic conversation about SD-WAN. ‘Applications’, ‘Services’, ‘Policies’, ‘Overlay’- seemingly straightforward terms have been defined (and redefined) by each of the many vendors.

It was inevitable that something had to give.

While contemporary telecommunications were built on standards, SD-WAN has emerged largely unscathed, that is until this past summer. In late July, MEF  ratified the industry’s first SD-WAN StandardMEF 70 helps restore order to an otherwise highly fragmented market. Managed Services providers in particular stand to benefit from the new standard, which facilitates the dialogue with customers using a common benefit, while taking a step towards integrating the SD-WAN islands as MSPs to significantly reduce the costs of maintaining multiple vendors.

MEF is also seeking to build a standards platform and open ecosystem around the SD-WAN standard. Project proposals have been contributed for SD-WAN APIs, service assurance, and many new features. Another potential game-changing technology is in the security area.

Forward-looking security firms and operators are forging a new methodology for how carrier-grade security will be deployed in the virtualized services environment. The MEF Security as a Service (SECaaS) project is helping CSPs address the skills gap in security professionals by proposing a security reference architecture. 

SECaaS enables operators the flexibility to tailor the level of protection to the threats anticipated for individual environments. By leveraging the Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) model, where VNFs may be instantiated and deployed on demand, SECaaS not only provides the agility operators are seeking, but also a closed-loop approach to detection, forensics, and remediation.

In addition, SECaaS also offers a new business opportunity and marketplace for security VNF providers to promote their products and ultimately value proposition in the ever-changing security and protection segment.

MEF 3.0 PoC #115 (SECaaS) 

 

MEF 3.0 PoC #115: Security Assurance in SD-WAN Application Flows ("The Protectors")

At MEF19 (Nov 18-22, Los Angeles), Tata Communications Transformation Services (TCTS), Fortinet, and Spirent have teamed up to unveil the industry’s first SECaaS demonstration at the MEF 19 Proof of Concept (PoC) Showcase. This PoC leverages the TCTS Virtual Cloud Exchange (VCX) platform, Fortinet FortiGate SD-WAN Security, and Spirent’s CyberFlood Data Breach Assessment (DBA) virtualized security validation platform.

The Demonstration will feature:

  • How operators can deploy security in the virtualized environment
  • Why security is so critical for multi-cloud access
  • The need for continuous assessment to validate security protection effectiveness
  • Why emulated application traffic, attacks and malware are needed to validate security efficacy
  • Workflow for troubleshooting security problems and vulnerabilities in real-time

The demonstration will validate Security as a Service using production services and products, featuring the state of the art for carrier grade security deployment. And the concepts demonstrated are being channeled into the MEF standardization activities; the Co-Editor of MEF 88 is Nicolas Thomas from Fortinet; both TCTS and Spirent are contributing to the project.

On the verge of a massive 5G rollout, which will enable IoT at scale, security in the carrier environment has never been more important.

Visit PoC #115 at MEF19 to experience the vision and reality of Security as a Service.

 

Contributors:
Marc Cohn, Spirent
Vineet Anshuman, Tata Communications Transformation Services
Richard Orgias, Fortinet.

 
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