How Leading MSPs Stay Resilient with Multiple SD-WAN Solutions
We all read the news, and often learn about the latest customer data breach at any given retail chain and how it impacts its reputation and business. It seems like every month there’s a newsworthy breach that impacts consumers. What the news outlets won’t tell you is that, last year alone, 50% of retailers experienced a breach. With each breach, more sensitive data is released into the dark web.
Data and transaction security are not the only concerns retailers have. When the internet goes down at a retail store, customer experience and confidence suffer, the brand suffers, and present and future revenue take a hit. Profitability also gets impacted during these “brownouts” because of the potential for credit card fraud (i.e., spooling). Although downtimes do not make it into the news, failover connectivity–whether it is via a dual broadband link to different internet service providers (ISPs) or via cellular links–is a needed add-on to any IT deployment at a branch location. In today’s hybrid network environments, redundancy is key.
Imagine an MSP being contracted by a Quick Service Restaurant chain to manage its network of branches nationwide. Let’s assume it is a hybrid network and that SD-WAN plays a major role to reduce cost and improve service agility. How important would you think network availability is to this client? In the event of blackouts or brownouts caused by its ISP’s failing infrastructure, the business looks up to its MSP to provide the network resilience and business continuity needed not just to avoid losing revenue, but to preserve an optimal customer experience.
With a cellular failover link or two, MSPs almost guarantee that a client’s location will always have access to the internet to transact and communicate. However, beyond the firewall lies other hurdles to network resilience and availability. Examples are hardware single points of failure, power issues, construction (Backhoe Bob), bad weather and, yes, animal-caused damage. These are considered small risks when it comes to leveraging technology to solve the issue, but combined they present a bigger challenge to risk-tolerance.
Meshing virtual private network (VPN) tunnels site-to-site (branch-to-branch) with Auto VPN can improve resilience by ensuring that secure connectivity, to a given colocation, is always possible. It serves as a second layer of network resilience geared toward delivering the best service possible to the MSP’s client. The first layer is to ensure access to the internet at the branch. The second layer is to make sure that critical business services are always attainable via a secure link.
How does an MSP deliver that level of service? It makes sure it works closely with a network security vendor that delivers the SD-WAN edge device and multi-tenant platform that allows for the visibility and control of clients’ branch networks. To stay competitive these days, just managing a firewall on premise won’t cut it. SD-Branch solutions go beyond the managed firewall service and leverage SD-WAN architectures to deliver content-filtered Wi-Fi, switching and cellular failover connectivity, among other services. Being able to offer next-gen firewall services, internal vulnerability scans and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance assistance often makes a big difference in the eyes of the client.