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VMware Boosts SD-WAN with Zero Trust Service Amid Remote Work Surge

Citing the need for secure access to enterprise applications amid the work-from-home surge caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, VMware is augmenting its software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN) offering with a Zero Trust Service.

Generally, the Zero Trust model is a security concept in which no one is granted default trust inside or outside an enterprise network, requiring verification of all connections.

To create the new VMware SD-WAN Zero Trust Service, the company integrated its VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud offering with its Workspace ONE product, which is described as a digital workspace solution delivering and managing apps on any device by bundling together identity, application, and enterprise mobility management.

The new offering will address enterprise concerns about inconsistent access, poor user experience and stress on enterprise infrastructure by providing a multi-region, per-application VPN service for iOS, Android, Windows and MacOS clients. It features role-specific policies allowing for persona-based controls.

As with many other new cloud, virtualization and networking initiatives, COVID-19 is a primary factor.

"Providing access to enterprise applications for users who that are working from home, remotely as they travel or are away from the office has always presented challenges," VMware said in a news release last week. "These issues have been exacerbated as millions of people have been forced to work from home as a result of the current global pandemic, and organizations grapple with the new reality that the 'office' as we know it may be changed forever."

VMware SD-WAN Zero Trust Service
[Click on image for larger view.] VMware SD-WAN Zero Trust Service (source: VMware).

VMware said the aforementioned enterprise concerns of inconsistent access, poor user experience and stressed enterprise infrastructure will be addressed by:

  • Consistent, always-on, intrinsically secure access: Users will always be connected to enterprise applications. If they are within a branch or corporate network, the VPN service will automatically be paused. If they work from home or elsewhere and try to connect to their administrator-allowed applications, network connectivity will transparently and automatically be applied with secure trust established with the device. More authentication (for example, multi-factor authentication) can be applied as needed.
  • Productive work experience: The remote access client automatically will connect to the closest VMware SD-WAN cloud PoP, and the user traffic (based on enterprise policy) may be passed to a cloud firewall, a web security service, to another enterprise branch or datacenter to an application or service they need.
  • Efficiency for IT teams: Routing policy and security controls will remain in the hands of the enterprise while the VMware SD-WAN cloud service handles scaling, management, upgrading and multi-region VPN service presence.

Noting its "Work @ Home" initiative launched earlier this year that incudes a three-month subscription to its SD-WAN software and hardware rental to enable optimal application delivery for remote workers, the company said: "The VMware SD-WAN Zero Trust Service offering will expand connectivity options for remote and mobile workers. Over the next several months we will announce further integrations and deepening of the service as we continue on our cloud-native SASE journey."

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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