Become SD-WAN secure: your top considerations

Your organisation is ready to begin its migration to SD-WAN. You have determined what kind of solution best fits your current situation. But how do you know that what you’ve chosen doesn’t compromise the cybersecurity environment of your business?

We’ve shortlisted the top security considerations to be aware of when evaluating this last and critical part of your decision-making process.

  1. You’re exposed – do you know where?

It’s not uncommon for organisations to have slim budgets and stretched resources. Undertaking an audit of your network will illustrate clearly where your vulnerabilities lie. You can effectively prioritise them reducing the overall risk to your organisation as you embark on new initiatives.

  1. What are the in-built security features of your solution?

Out-of-the-box solutions are perfect for quick and easy deployment but don’t assume that the built-in security features fully cover you. A multi-layered approach is recommended. And again, being aware of the gaps in the solution’s security will ensure you effectively select supporting technologies to fill them.

  1. Configure your pre-configured zero touch solution

Building on the theme of assumptions, it would be foolish to simply deploy a zero-touch solution. Consider running a proof of concept or a lab with your vendor or service provider to ensure that the pre-configurations are in line with your network, security policies and controls. This both reduces risk and interrupting business operations.

  1. Ensure you speak the same language

User data is the crown jewel we are all working to protect. It’s crucial to think about the controls you put in place around data plane security (the user traffic on your network, which needs to be encrypted).

Again, vendors include their ideal encryption methods but that might not be enough. Encryption is in a constant state of change, so you need to diversify your approach; don’t simply check a box. Not to mention, if you are switching from one vendor to another, ensure the coded language of your policies and controls are the same. If it isn’t, you need to factor in a step in your migration plan that both translates and tests the new tech.

There is no silver bullet solution, but a considered risk-first approach transforms your cybersecurity posture into a business transformation enabler, and sets your network up for improved performance, increased visibility, and seamless scalability. Watch your business grow with peace of mind.

Kids and code – encouraging young people to tinker

CodeCombat

CodeCombat helps people learn Javascript by playing a web-based game.

It’s not news that there’s a global IT skills shortage. Kids are growing up with computers, but they’re not being taught in schools how to tinker with them, how to code for them, or how to fix them. Often, kids don’t begin to learn these skills until they’re in university, if at all.

Thanks to the internet and some passionate IT professionals around the world, children with an interest in computers now have other options.

Last year, Code.org launched the ‘Hour of Code’, an initiative designed to show people of all age groups, genders and countries that they can learn how to create a program.

The programme was a huge success – seven days after its launch, 15 million people from 170 countries completed an hour of code, and one in five US students took part.

Then there are educational games that can teach kids these skills and help them have fun, too – not just solitary video games, but board games that can be played with parents and friends. Technology innovation website VentureBeat has a great list of them, along with commentary from IT and education experts.

Closer to home, Victoria University in Wellington sees the benefits of beginning to teach students IT skills before they get into tertiary education. The university is piloting an after-school programme for high school students – years 10 to 13 – to teach them about various technologies, with the intent of helping to produce more digitally literate adults.

Of course, providing avenues for kids to learn only tackles one of the two major problems with getting students into IT. There is still a lingering perception that only geeks work in IT – a topic for a future blog.