Businesses prefer an integrated SD-WAN, security solution at remote offices, says study

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SD-WAN may be the new fashion statement for businesses that want to virtualize functions to serve remote offices, but security issues related to carrying traffic on broadband links remain an issue.

As concerns over complexity and security in managing branch networks rises, a new survey conducted by Versa in conjunction with Dimension Research revealed that 80 percent of respondents prefer an integrated SD-WAN and security solution.

Meanwhile, another 59 percent of the respondents said they would consider purchasing a managed SD-WAN service rather than a standalone enterprise product.

RELATED: SD-WAN specialist Versa taps Cisco alum Ahuja as new CEO

Interestingly, businesses fall short in implementing a cybersecurity strategy.

The study said over one-third of companies fail to have proper security measures at branch locations, while less than one quarter of companies have an active project to address challenges.

Not surprisingly, the growing popularity of the bring your own device (BYOD) concept has made WAN security and management more complicated.

In a typical branch, 44 percent of respondents said the IT staff has to manage more than 10 devices, while 66 percent have to manage more than six devices. What’s more, 88 percent of networking professionals confirmed that in a given remote branch they are working with devices from multiple vendors. A key challenge for managing branch network security is the growing complexity caused by cloud applications and mobile devices.

Overall, 97 percent of businesses said they face multiple challenges to managing their WAN.

Participating businesses cited three common challenges with managing branch offices: managing network and security devices at branch locations (52 percent), mitigating information security risks at branch locations (50 percent), and deploying new network and security solutions at branch locations (42 percent).

Even though businesses have knowledge of these issues, only 76 percent of respondents are currently implementing projects to simplify WAN management. Additionally, more than one-third of companies are failing to institute proper security measures--such as secure web gateways, intrusion protection and firewalls--at branch locations.