5월 3, 2023

FlexEdge Secure SD-WAN Series Part 2—Security

Security and authentication with the FlexEdge SD-WAN orchestrator
Tuomo Syvanne

In the first post in this series, we reviewed how the Forcepoint SD-WAN orchestrator–– a capability built into our Forcepoint FlexEdge Secure-SD-WAN solution helps organizations implement an efficient and scalable large SD-WAN.

In our second post, we review security and authentication aspects of Forcepoint SD-WAN orchestrator.

As organizations scale and enhance connectivity, robust network security becomes crucial. Forcepoint Secure SD-WAN ensures secure operations by integrating IKEv2, AES-GCM, and enterprise-grade security technologies like intrusion prevention and anti-spoofing. Its comprehensive approach safeguards cloud, remote locations, and user networks, enabling uninterrupted business growth.


Each gateway has its own identity

The Forcepoint SD-WAN orchestrator enhances network security by assigning a distinct identifier to each gateway, increasing protection. This identifier is shared with other gateways within the network, enabling strong security measures. If a gateway is compromised, the SD-WAN orchestrator promptly eliminates it from the configuration, preventing connections to other gateways. Additionally, the Forcepoint SD-WAN orchestrator notifies other gateways of the removal, eliminating the compromised gateway from the network to maintain a secure environment.


Wildcards not required

Some vendors with dynamic full mesh solutions rely on “wildcard shared secrets” or “wildcard certificates” to authenticate gateways. Especially in configuration models where unique identity of each gateway is not utilized, using wildcards becomes the only available option. However, this introduces a security vulnerability. Since the same wildcard certificate authenticates multiple gateways, if one gateway is compromised, it can imitate uncompromised gateways undetected and gain control over other gateways in the network. This highlights the importance of implementing individual gateway identities to mitigate such risks and ensure robust network security.

Forcepoint SD-WAN orchestrator prioritizes strong security authentication measures and does not rely on wildcards. When a shared secret is utilized, it is only used for authentication between a specific gateway and the orchestrator. To further enhance security, each gateway generates a unique public and private key for authentication. This key authentication is securely transmitted to the SD-WAN orchestrator via a protected channel, which then shares the information with other gateways in the network. This comprehensive approach ensures secure authentication across all components involved, preventing gateways from accessing any secrets that could enable them to mimic or control other gateways.


Anti-spoofing and traffic filtering

The Forcepoint SD-WAN orchestrator employs effective anti-spoofing measures by managing and communicating the authorized addresses for newly added gateways. This information is shared among all gateways in the network, preventing bypassing of traffic filtering. Each gateway within the Forcepoint SD-WAN orchestrator solution possesses robust traffic filtering and intrusion detection capabilities, ensuring selective acceptance of traffic from Forcepoint SD-WAN.

In our next post, we describe how the Forcepoint SD-WAN orchestrator delivers 24/7 service even during maintenance or link failure.


Tuomo Syvanne

Tuomo Syvanne is a Principal Network Engineer at Forcepoint.

Read more articles by Tuomo Syvanne

About Forcepoint

Forcepoint is the leading user and data protection cybersecurity company, entrusted to safeguard organizations while driving digital transformation and growth. Our solutions adapt in real-time to how people interact with data, providing secure access while enabling employees to create value.