Maximize WAN Optimization Security and Compliance

By Cisco Systems
Published June 2007; Posted November 2007


Although WAN optimization solutions accelerates data backup and maintain regulatory compliance over the WAN, most of these solutions pay little attention to protection of data locally stored in branch offices or data in transit over the WAN. This lack introduces security risks because organizations now need to manage two sets of data streams with unequal protection: new, accelerated data flows with little or no protection, and regular flows that are well protected with encryption, stateful firewall protection, and intrusion prevention systems (IPS).

Security administrators struggle to secure data consistently across multiple branch offices worldwide, whether it is data accessed through the LAN or accelerated data sent across the WAN. Many organizations question why they should compromise regulatory compliance certification and face the risks of steep fines to accommodate WAN optimization and whether they can trust WAN optimization over large-scale deployments.

Should optimized data carry higher risks and potentially accelerate the delivery of malicious data across the network? Should organizations face higher risks of not meeting regulatory compliance because of WAN optimization? Should optimized traffic be given equal protection?

This document helps to answer these questions. It describes the security benefits and capabilities offered by Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) and discusses several important criteria you should consider before investing in a WAN optimization solution and why these criteria can be important to your business.


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