Network security company Untangle this week debuted its Network Security Framework, which includes its new micro-firewall and an SD-WAN router. That new platform also includes Untangle’s existing Linux-based next-generation firewall and its command center, which manages network traffic from a cloud-based console.
Dirk Morris, founder and chief product officer at Untangle, said the framework is a “new approach to network security orchestration, providing customers and partners with a suite of cloud-managed security and connectivity options that work together to fit the needs of small-to-medium businesses and distributed enterprises.”
The micro-firewall product is a lightweight, containerized firewall that runs in a Linux container. It also has an artificial intelligence (AI)-based routing service that uses historical patterns and machine learning to pre-determine network traffic paths. It is purpose-built for small network appliances and IoT devices.
The other addition to the framework is an SD-WAN router. The router is also a lightweight device that intelligently inspects and routes traffic to efficiently use WAN links and offsite security processing.
According to Morris, this is not a managed SD-WAN service, though it can provide secure SD-WAN to hardware providers.
The router can be deployed at a remote location and will route traffic to the next-gen Firewall in the public cloud or to the company headquarters for additional security processing. It also includes the micro-firewall (which provides Layer 7 packet steering to Layer 3 to process traffic) and Untangle Predictive Routing capabilities.
“Our belief is that SD-WAN services that require vendor cloud lock-in often end up costing customers more while increasing latency – ultimately providing limited, if any, value to customers. Instead, our approach is to enable our customers and partners to work with any WAN provider they choose,” he said. Morris added that the router works with other security technologies to provide additional layers of security, if needed.
SD-WAN’s Mounting Pressure on Security Vendors
Untangle is just the most recent security vendor to jump into the SD-WAN market in some regard.
Fortinet, Barracuda, Forcepoint, and WatchGuard all have recently gone to market with SD-WAN products. Masergy, which was traditionally a security vendor, also launched an SD-WAN service in 2016.
In nearly all these cases, the security vendors already had some form of SD-WAN security functionality. Untangle added support for SD-WAN architectures last June as part of its firewall software.
This trend is led by enterprise customers requiring security from their networking architectures, but also by the mounting pressure on security vendors to compete.
“SD-WAN is a huge market opportunity that will snatch business away from established router and firewall vendors and so they have to react to not be replaced,” said Mike Fratto, senior analyst at 451 Research. “If a vendor makes a border appliance and they aren’t adapting to SD-WAN, they will soon be out of business.”
For Untangle, Morris noted that it was venturing toward SD-WAN as network trends increase the complexity of securing the network edge. “Untangle is expanding its product offerings to include solutions for distributed organizations looking for new ways to leverage SD-WAN architectures to reduce complexity and achieve cost savings.”