In addition to SD-WAN technology, organizations are now exploring Cisco SD Access. SD Access (Software Defined Access) is a relatively new solution that extends virtualization to the access layer of the network. SD Access is intended to provide greater levels of speed, accessibility, automation, and scalability to administration.
What is SD Access? Cisco's SD Access is part of the DNA platform — Digital Network Architecture center. Essentially, it provides an additional layer of analysis, controls over access policies, network segmentation, and endpoint monitoring. It is an all-in-one product that provides another vital layer of security and privacy protection. The four major components related to SD Access include the DNA Center controller, the Network, the Cisco Identity Services Engine, and the DNA Advantage License. All these components work together to create a software-defined layer of access.
Many organizations already using Cisco technologies will be able to easily integrate Software-Defined Access into their existing architecture. SD Access isn't an entirely new technology; rather, it's a collection of utilities that make it easier to manage networks, endpoints, and end-users. Through this technology, as well as better processes, organizations are able to maintain better control over their organization's access points.
This becomes even more important as companies add Internet of Things (IoT) devices and increasingly complex Mobile Device Management (MDM) to their existing networks.
Outside of Cisco's SD Access technology, software-defined access can refer to any utility that manages access on a software level rather than a hardware level. Cisco's SD Access technology is a robust suite of tools and processes, but there are other utilities that also manage access through software and virtualization.
SD Access is intended to make the existing access management processes and protocols easier. The core advantages of SD access include:
In short, SD Access makes access solutions and protocols easier to use and manage. Cisco SD Access automates many of the processes involved in access management and can mitigate many potential threats.
As a direct result, Cisco's SD Access can reduce costs for an organization (by reducing the potential for threats and attacks) and reduce the number of hours administrators spend managing their systems vs. performing revenue-generating tasks for the organization.
SD Access isn't a new technology. Rather, it's a suite of utilities and protocols that's intended to improve upon and automate end-user and endpoint access. SD Access can't detect and mitigate all threats, and it's only as smart as the data that is fed to its AI and machine-learning solution. SD Access still has to be guided by a professional administrator, who will need to set the correct protocols, groups, and alerts.
To that end, a managed service provider (MSP) can help organizations looking into SD Access. An MSP will be able to configure the solution with the proper network segmentation and user access controls, so the system can run seamlessly and can more easily detect and mitigate potential threats.
Most of the potential issues with SD Access boil down to the potential for misconfiguration, which is something that an MSP would be able to resolve.
Software-defined access can be implemented through the Cisco DNA platform. Organizations who are running on a Cisco infrastructure will be able to take advantage of SD Access to secure and protect their network, as well as improving upon the general efficiency of their network-based solutions.
Is your organization interested in optimizing and automating its access protocols? SD Access can help. But because it's a relatively new technology, many companies will need guidance regarding its implementation. R2 can be a guide for your business realizing these benefits.
Contact R2 Unified Technologies today to find out.