Zero Trust and IoT Security: Versa's Software-Defined LAN Transforms Branch and Campus Networks

By Greg Tavarez, TMCnet Editor  |  October 25, 2023

Enterprises have long fought with the constraints and vendor lock-in challenges associated with traditional LAN solutions. Legacy LAN architectures present operational difficulties, stemming from the need to integrate various point products, rigid configurations and the cumbersome, error-prone management of individual components.

Traditional LAN designs also rely on outdated perimeter-based security, trusting users implicitly and allowing unfettered access to network resources. This approach contradicts modern security best practices, which emphasize zero trust principles, involving continuous user authentication and limiting access to only essential resources. The growing prevalence of IoT devices is only widening the internal attack surface.

Enterprises need to transition away from traditional LAN solutions to better align with security and operational demands.

Enter Versa Networks and Versa Secure SD-LAN, a software-defined branch and campus LAN solution to deliver zero trust and IoT Security natively at the LAN Edge.

Versa Secure SD-LAN deploys Versa software on Ethernet switches and access points, delivering a unified package of switching, routing, security and network services. Versa Secure SD-LAN can coexist and work in conjunction with existing LAN products from other vendors in campus or branch settings.

This extension of Versa's Unified SASE platform to the LAN Edge gives enterprises comprehensive visibility and control, encompassing user, device and application awareness. The key is that every switch and access point become a zero trust enforcement point, continually evaluating the security posture of users, devices, and the network to identify and thwart both internal and external threats.

Here are more specifics on its key components:

The Versa Secure SD-LAN software is a software-defined architecture for campus and branch networks, combining L4-7 security with contemporary networking standards found in today's switches. This foundation supports in-line least privilege access and adaptive micro-segmentation, enhancing security while maintaining flexibility and agility for LAN deployments.

Versa Secure SD-LAN runs on certified bare metal appliances, such as the CSG3300 and CSG3500 Appliances, which consolidate routing, SD-WAN, SD-LAN and security into a single branch appliance, simplifying management and reducing total cost of ownership. The CSX4000 and CSX8000 Series Ethernet switches offer various network capabilities, including VXLAN, L4-7 security, IoT fingerprinting, and ZTNA.

Versa Zero Trust – Premises is a secure access solution that applies ZTNA principles to on-premises users, ensuring consistent and granular policy enforcement based on identity and ongoing assessments of user, device and network status. It can work in conjunction with Versa Secure Private Access to provide a unified ZTNA solution for both remote and on-premises users.

The software-defined adaptive micro-segmentation feature continuously assesses user behavior, utilizing AI/ML-based user and entity behavior analytics and device posture analysis to detect potential threats and isolate compromised devices in real-time, reducing the impact of potential attacks.

Finally, VersaAI, a set of AI/ML engines integrated into the platform, enhances operational excellence and identifies malicious behaviors in real-time. This technology simplifies configuration, provisioning, and management through a unified console and policy repository while enhancing visibility.

“With Versa Secure SD-LAN, we are transforming the campus and branch and bringing in-line Zero Trust, automation, and unmatched control and visibility to the enterprise LAN,” said Apurva Mehta, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer for Versa Networks.

With Versa Secure SD-LAN, businesses have a way to modernize their LAN infrastructure while maintaining a high level of security.

Edited by Alex Passett
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