The Four Elements that Build a Better SD-WAN for Retail
Security leads us to the fourth element: compliance. “Fear the hacker, not the auditor.” Achieving true compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is not just about answering a questionnaire and filling out forms, but by truly enabling your clients to have the right tools and processes in place to secure transactions and data. Going above and beyond to ensure protection from external and internal threats should be their goal. If your clients adopt a zero-trust approach to network security, there’s a chance they will always be ahead of the game and true compliance would be a by-product of that security stance.
A comprehensive SD-WAN solution for retail must include compliance readiness tools that help your clients produce reports and complete questionnaires. Yet it also needs the services and processes that guarantee that compliance, such as regular internal and external vulnerability scans.
The Fifth Element
“But… the title says there are four elements to consider”, you may say.
I lied. There is a fifth element and it’s you: the talent to position, sell, and deliver network solutions to retailers. There are gaps in IT talent among retailers that managed service providers can bridge. Plus, by pooling tools and resources to best serve your clients, you add the value that vendors alone cannot. You are the alchemist and you can help your clients create gold out of these four elements. The secret is to combine agility, resilience, security, and compliance to deliver a better branch experience.
As I hinted, these are four interdependent elemental properties of a robust SD-WAN solution for retail. Gaps or lackluster delivery of any of these four elements affect the rest. Poor security will hamper compliance, resilience, and reduce agility to respond. Poor resilience will compromise security, agility, and compliance. Lack of agility will definitively affect security detection and response, hinder network resilience, and affect compliance. No compliance… you get the point, it means your client’s transactions and data are not secure, they cannot quickly adapt to evolving threats, and most likely indicates low network availability.
Not all SD-WAN solutions are created equal. To better service retail clients and help them build a better branch, you should partner with an SD-Branch vendor who takes the virtualization of network functions to the next level by combining these for elements as an integral part of their offering.
John Ayers is Vice President of Product Management.
This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.