Securing the SDN – Architected to minimise the Risks

Software Defined Networking (SDN) has become the rage in the last few years. It’s been seen as a revolution in delivering multiple services without needing multiple servers and huge datacentres. Whilst it’s a great thing for ICT to be able to do more with less, many organisations don’t necessarily know about the inherent dangers related to virtualising some of the networking structures.

In traditional networking, we are taught to separate the layers and define access requirements for various network functions. This is especially the case when it comes to external services and external access. This has typically only been done on the infrastructure layer as there has always been separation of applications via infrastructure in the past.

In an SDN world, there is no infrastructure separation. There are multiple applications on the same infrastructure within the business, yet each application may have its own requirements for both internal and external access.

The key to securing the SDN is both a comprehensive understanding of the applications and their related services. There are 3 defined layers that need to be encapsulated in your SDN approach:

1) Application Layer – Identifying all the applications, services, and dependencies

2) Infrastructure Layer – The core servers, switches, and routing that allow communication

3) Controlling Layer – This is the intermediary between the Application Layer and Infrastructure Layer

The key to SDN success is having a comprehensive understanding of the application and infrastructure layers and then setting controls, both ingress and egress, in place at the controlling layer to enable secure and separated communication.

If you would like us to run a health check to see if your SDN is secure or want to find out more about how to build a SDN environment, please get in touch.