How Micro-Segmentation Can Address SDN Security Concerns


SDN growth will occur despite a number of implementation challenges. Many organizations are not ready to transition to SDN technology, in which the network data plane is separated from the control plane, and the flow of data is managed dynamically through centralized software. 



A recent report from Technology Business Research (TBR) found that the software-defined networking (SDN) market is maturing thanks to expanded vendor offerings and the adoption of open standards. TBR estimates that the SDN market will see a compound annual growth rate of 86 percent through 2019, and will account for an ever-larger share of the overall enterprise network infrastructure market.

SDN growth will occur despite a number of implementation challenges. Many organizations are not ready to transition to SDN technology, in which the network data plane is separated from the control plane, and the flow of data is managed dynamically through centralized software. Manual, device-specific administration is replaced by automation, which is enabled by policies that are programmed into the SDN controller.

However, security concerns could present an obstacle to more widespread adoption of SDN. If network devices and applications aren’t properly configured, hackers could gain access to the SDN controller and override policies or execute a denial of service attack. And new forms of attack are likely to evolve as SDN sees more widespread adoption.

Traditional security solutions are inflexible and tend to focus on the network perimeter. They are also hardware-specific, lacking the automation and orchestration needed for a software-centric platform. In order to protect the SDN environment from attack, organizations need fine-grained security and policy enforcement distributed throughout the network, a concept known as micro-segmentation.

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