SASE for Energy and Utility Companies

Energy and utility companies, typically including electricity, natural gas, and public services, are highly distributed in nature, with branch offices and remote sites widely spread out across distant geographies. The remote sites are connected by multiple networks leased from different network service providers. These networks are complex and heterogenous, made up of disparate purpose-built hardware for every networking and security function. As a result, centrally managing and maintaining all the sites is labor-intensive and highly time-consuming.

To survive market volatilities, aggressive profit margins, and ever-evolving government regulations, energy and utility companies are swiftly adding digital capabilities such as cloud, IoT, and other new operational technologies. In doing so, they can converge siloed IT (Information) and OT (Operational) networks, which enables them with better control over all branch offices and remote sites, considerably improving efficiency and profitability.

Preventing Outages and Delays

Going digital is a smart choice; however, if not supported by a resilient, secure, and cost-efficient WAN network, it can create more problems than solutions.

Legacy WAN networks running on MPLS are failing to offer reliable cloud access, responsive connectivity, and cost-effective bandwidth. Employees at branch offices trying to access mission-critical ERP and Office 365 applications are often met with delayed access, slow application performance. Using converged voice and data applications to communicate internally and with customers and suppliers involves long and tedious traffic backhauling leading to frequent outages and considerable service delays.

Given the complexity of global WAN networks that leverage multiple vendor services, securing all endpoints is a challenge. Adopting cloud and IoT technologies has further created more network vulnerabilities and security gaps, making the energy and utility sector a lucrative target for cybercriminals.

Time and again, major corporations have been hit by dangerous APTs (Advanced Persistent Threats), ransomware, and malware attacks. The repercussions of a security breach are severe—deep financial loss, business disruption, impact to everyday public services, and regulatory penalties.

Further, the legacy WAN’s hardware-centric architecture makes network management and new branch deployment an endless struggle, taking as long as three to six months, awfully slowing down time-to-market.

Lighting Up Cost Efficiency and Performance with SASE

Energy and utility companies running on tight budgets cannot afford to modernize their legacy infrastructures with a “rip and replace” model.

Nonetheless, they can resolve networking issues cost-effectively and increase operational efficiency significantly with a Secure SD-WAN solution. Secure SD-WAN is a powerful enabler of digital transformation. It can help energy and utility companies seamlessly adopt new technologies to deliver a consistent and seamless quality of experience across all branch locations.


Always Available Network

Secure SD-WAN reduces bandwidth costs by aggregating multiple connections of any type, such as MPLS, broadband, wireless 4G, and LTE. Leveraging all available bandwidth, and automatically adapting to network conditions, SD-WAN directs traffic to the best path at any moment in time. This increases application reliability and enhances the quality of user experience. Secure SD-WAN allows energy and utility companies to support more traffic volumes and ensure applications run smoothly, without being adversely affected by underlying network issues. This enables IT to spend less time dealing with network complexities, and have more time and focus applied to business applications and services.


High Application Performance

Secure SD-WAN architecture embeds application intelligence, enabling deep packet beyond source and destination. It understands the application requirements and the associated business-intent, routes it across the most optimal transport route to delivers fast, reliable, and secure application access, regardless of network conditions. Secure SD-WAN’s application awareness and prioritization help ensure remote sites operating critical SCADA systems do not experience network downtime or bandwidth shortage.


Secure Connectivity

Secure SD-WAN with integrated, end-to-end security and advanced features such as next-gen firewall, contextual awareness, and more, helps energy and utility companies robustly secure all their WAN edges. It also offers deep granular visibility into applications, devices, and users to detect anomalies and fix them immediately. Secure SD-WAN ’s segmentation enables IT to securely consolidate disparate physical environments into a single network. In doing so, energy and utility companies can support diverse lines of service with priorities defined for each across a shared infrastructure, while retaining management and control. With such advanced security capabilities, they can build resilient security into their networks.


Centralized Management and Control

With centralized management and control, Secure SD-WAN dramatically simplifies WAN deployment and monitoring. Using simple, template-driven workflows, it eliminates tedious, error-prone configurations. With zero-touch deployment, the IT team can deploy patches, roll out policy updates, and strictly adhere to regulatory mandates across all branch locations from a single central orchestrator in one-go. Secure SD-WAN also offers deep granular visibility into applications, devices, and users to immediately detect and fix anomalies. With a cloud-based SD-WAN and zero-touch deployment, energy and utility companies can effortlessly maintain their complex networks, quickly propagate new remote offices (in less than a month!), and simply plug-in to instantly connect to cloud services.