SD-WAN and SASE: Revolutionizing Cybersecurity

As the world has gone digital, more and more organizations are undergoing digital transformations to become digital enterprises. Digital transformation goes beyond business evolution—it prioritizes technology and harnesses innovation to drive business outcomes, deliver a better customer experience, and protect their most valuable assets. Here are 3 simple concepts to consider with Zero Trust.

The next generation of digital transformation will revolutionize how businesses operate, communicate, and secure their networks. And two crucial tenets that will drive digital transformation are Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) architectures. They can help you become a robust digital enterprise.

What is SD-WAN?

SD-WAN technology lets enterprises use any transport service combination—like MPLS, broadband, and LTE—to connect branch offices, data centers, and cloud applications securely. It simplifies network management, reduces costs, and improves application performance.

SD-WAN also provides network resources orchestration and centralized control. It can dynamically route traffic based on business policies and network conditions to reduce ‘traffic jams’ in the network.

What is SASE?

SASE is a cloud-native architecture that combines network security and access control into a single platform. It brings multiple security functions—firewall, web filtering, intrusion prevention, and zero-trust access—into a single service to provide secure access to cloud applications and data from anywhere, on any device. And it’s all secure.

The Cybersecurity Dream Duo

In 2019, Gartner proposed the SASE architecture as a converged SD-WAN and cybersecurity model to address security vulnerabilities introduced by SD-WAN. Since then, SASE has become the standard framework for bringing together security and networking, using:

  • SD-WAN
  • Secure web gateway (SWG)
  • Next-generation firewalls (NGFW)
  • Zero-trust network access (ZTNA)
  • Cloud security
  • Security orchestration and automation (SOAR) 

When they work together, SD-WAN and SASE allow organizations to create a secure digital enterprise. SD-WAN provides a flexible and resilient network optimized for cloud-based applications; SASE delivers secure access and protection against advanced threats.

These two technologies provide an agile, scalable, and secure solution essential for businesses to remain competitive in today’s digital economy. Here’s how:

  1. Improved application performance. SD-WAN lets enterprises prioritize critical applications and optimize their performance, resulting in a better user experience and increased productivity.
  2. Enhanced security. SASE offers advanced security features such as zero-trust access, web filtering, and malware protection—all are critical for securing the network against cyber threats.
  3. Reduced costs. SD-WAN can reduce network costs by leveraging less expensive transport services, while SASE eliminates the need for multiple security products, reducing overall security costs.
  4. Simplified network management. SD-WAN and SASE provide centralized management and orchestration of network resources, simplifying network management and reducing administrative overhead.

Why you should replace your WAN with SD-WAN

Historically, enterprise WAN was built using dedicated circuits like MPLS, which are expensive and rigid. But with the rise of cloud computing and the growing need for distributed applications, traditional WAN architectures simply aren’t cutting it anymore. 

SD-WAN, however, solves traditional WAN shortcomings. It allows businesses to build a more flexible, cost-effective WAN that you can optimize for cloud-based applications. There are many benefits‌:

  1. Improved application performance. SD-WAN helps businesses prioritize critical applications and route traffic over the most appropriate transport service based on real-time network conditions. This ensures optimal application performance, resulting in a better user experience and increased productivity.
  2. Increased flexibility. SD-WAN lets businesses leverage multiple transport services, including broadband and LTE, to build a more flexible and resilient network. The result? Reduced costs, increased availability, and a more scalable and adaptable network infrastructure.
  3. Simplified network management. SD-WAN provides a centralized management platform that allows businesses to easily configure and manage their network resources. It simplifies network management and reduces administrative overhead.
  4. Enhanced security. SD-WAN offers a range of security features, such as VPN encryption, next-generation firewalls, and intrusion detection and prevention systems. These layers of security create a more secure network infrastructure that better protects against cyber threats.

SD-WAN is essential for businesses requiring a more flexible and cost-effective WAN infrastructure optimized for cloud-based applications. It has a lot of benefits, including improved application performance and flexibility, simplified network management, and enhanced security. SD-WAN is a non-negotiable for digital enterprises.

Components of SD-WAN Networks

Several components work together in an SD-WAN network to provide a flexible, resilient, and secure network infrastructure. These components include: 

  1. SD-WAN edge devices are physical or virtual devices deployed at the network edge (like branch offices or data centers). They provide a range of functions, including traffic management, application optimization, security, and monitoring.
  2. SD-WAN controllers are centralized management platforms that allow for configuration, orchestration, and control of your SD-WAN network. They let administrators manage the network, create policies, and monitor traffic flow.
  3. Transport services. SD-WAN networks can use many transport services, including broadband, LTE, and MPLS. The SD-WAN network dynamically routes traffic over the most appropriate transport service based on real-time network conditions.
  4. Cloud services. SD-WAN networks can also leverage cloud services, such as cloud-based security or application delivery, to optimize network performance and security.
  5. Security services. SD-WAN networks have a range of security features, such as VPN encryption, next-generation firewalls, and intrusion detection and prevention systems. These features help secure the network against cyber threats and protect sensitive data.
  6. Analytics and monitoring. SD-WAN networks provide real-time analytics and network traffic monitoring, enabling administrators to identify and troubleshoot issues—ensuring the network operates at peak performance.

Each component of an SD-WAN network works together to provide a more flexible, resilient, and secure network infrastructure optimized for cloud-based applications. SD-WAN can help you build a more agile and cost-effective network that adapts to changing network conditions and application requirements, providing a competitive edge.

Top SD-WAN Providers

As SD-WAN has grown in popularity, more and more companies offer it. We’ve rounded up a few of the top providers.

  1. Palo Alto Networks offers an SD-WAN solution—Prisma Access—that features NGFW, cloud access security brokers, and advanced threat protection, all integrated with SD-WAN capabilities.
  2. VMware has a popular SD-WAN solution—VMware SD-WAN—that includes a range of features, from traffic steering and optimization to security. You can deploy VMware SD-WAN on-premises or in the cloud.
  3. Aruba (Silver Peak) is a specialized SD-WAN provider that offers a range of features, including WAN optimization, dynamic path control, and application visibility and control. Silver Peak is known for its ability to optimize performance for cloud-based applications.
  4. Fortinet is a provider of cybersecurity solutions. Its SD-WAN solution, Fortinet Secure SD-WAN, includes a suite of security features like next-generation firewalls, intrusion prevention, and web filtering.
  5. Cisco is a leading provider of networking solutions. Its SD-WAN solution—Cisco SD-WAN—offers comprehensive features and functions, including security, application optimization, and policy-based routing.

These are just a few of the many companies offering SD-WAN solutions. At Lightstream, we also provide SD-WAN and managed services to ensure you have a smooth transition to SD-WAN and create a fully secure environment. 

Ready to get started? Contact us.

Want Less Noise in Your AWS Security Hub Console? We’ve Got Good News!

AWS recently changed its underlying alert creation in Security Hub. If you enabled more than one control, you’re likely getting repeats of the same alert from the different controls. With AWS’s new feature, you’ll receive one standard alert—even if it violates multiple controls.

This new feature introduces a single control ID across all standards. For example, before the new feature you would get three different alerts:

  • The CIS standard will report “CIS 2.5”
  • The PCI will report “PCI.Config.1”
  • The AWS FSBP will report “Config.1”

And if you enable de-duplication, all standards will report a single consolidated finding of “Config.1”

De-duplication isn’t automatically enabled for existing implementations, and you’ll want to consider a few things before turning on the new feature. However, any new implementations will already have it enabled by default.

Here are a few things to watch out for before enabling de-duplication:

  • If you have an existing implementation and use any automation—either custom through CloudWatch or Automated Security Response— you’ll need to change your rules to reflect the new finding sID.
  • Automated Security Response doesn’t currently support the new finding IDs. Wait until it updates.
  • If you’re integrating into an SIEM, check with your SIEM team to ensure it supports the new finding IDs.

A few other things to note:

  1. If you’re running Security Hub (centralized in an organization), you’ll update it in the centralized account. It will roll out to existing accounts automatically.
  2. Creating a new account in an organization with an existing account? It will be configured the same as the master account.

AWS’s new de-duplication feature can help if you’re struggling with the number of alerts in Security Hub by reducing them and streamlining updates.

Lightstream names Joe Vadakkan as Chief Revenue Officer

Salt Lake City-based Lightstream appoints transformational cybersecurity leader Joe Vadakkan to Chief Revenue Officer.

Salt Lake City, UT, February 28, 2023–Lightstream, a leader in secure digital transformation that provides fully integrated cloud, security, and network connectivity services to its global clients, recently named Joe Vadakkan as its Chief Revenue Officer.

Previously, Vadakkan served as Lightstream’s EVP of Sales and Engineering, achieving sales growth and alignment in the engineering organization to drive growth and service clients’ continuous secure digital transformation needs to meet global demands.

Vadakkan is a proven transformational cybersecurity industry leader with a track record of scaling functions for growth and profitability. In his new role as Chief Revenue Officer, Vadakkan will play a critical role in Lightstream’s global growth in the convergence business of network, cloud, and security. He will set the hyper-scale strategy and execution with the sales, brand, and distribution channels while focusing on expanding the partner ecosystem to address complex enterprise challenges.

In a joint statement, co-CEOs Rod Stout and Jim Cassell said:
Please join all of us at Lightstream in congratulating Joe Vadakkan on his appointment as Chief Revenue Officer. We are very excited to have Joe continue to provide a structure and cadence to allow Lightstream to take advantage of its highly differentiated service offerings and excellent reputation in the market.

Joe is a proven transformational cybersecurity industry leader known for his ability to scale businesses, create value for the ecosystem, and expand a customer-first sales organization.

We look forward to working alongside him to further our mission of helping customers innovate to achieve business outcomes through our solutions and services.

Vadakkan is an industry leader with over 20 years of experience in global infrastructure and security. He led the Lightstream sales and engineering teams, ensuring alignment to help Lightstream better serve its clients and grow its business. Building on his experience guiding startups, venture capital and private equity firms, and Fortune 2000 companies, Vadakkan is ready to lead the Lightstream organization as its Chief Revenue Officer.

About Lightstream

Lightstream is a fully integrated cloud, security, and network connectivity services business specializing in building and managing secure cloud environments and network solutions. They help control operating expenses, mitigate security risks, and reduce system complexity to increase operational effectiveness so organizations can focus on business growth and innovation.

Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Salt Lake City, UT, Lightstream partners with leading enterprise and SMB organizations in restaurants/hospitality, retail, fintech, healthcare and automotive to provide network and cloud solutions. Passionate about solving complex technology challenges, Lightstream also delivers fanatical customer service.

Lightstream has received multiple Palo Alto Networks Public Cloud Partner of the Year awards and is an AWS Security Competency Partner, AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, and Microsoft Cloud Platform Gold Partner with Security Competency. To learn more about Lightstream, visit our website or LinkedIn.

Media Contact

Dan Davenport /


Modern security solution helps businesses prevent unnecessary and costly technology purchases

Lightstream ensures future-proofing of existing ecosystem

Business Challenges

A nearly 30-year-old financial services company that provides consumer financial solutions for automobile dealerships needed a modern security solution with complete visibility and control over all cloud resources. It utilizes artificial intelligence to look beyond a borrower’s credit score and factor in additional external criteria to offer competitive financing on new and used vehicles to customers who might otherwise qualify only for high-down-payment loans.

The company is recognized throughout the industry for its innovative lending programs and needed a modern, future-proofed cloud security solution.

Detect & Prevent Threats
A sophisticated security solution is crucial to the success of this business in order to detect and prevent threats across its complex multi-cloud resources. It needed a solution to protect applications as part of an ever-changing environment. Unique security requirements for each native application made consistent workload protection a challenge.

Blind Spot Risk
The company’s diverse architecture restricted visibility, threatening the risk of blind spots in its security and creating numerous protection challenges.

Leadership Change
The company recently had a change in leadership and the new leadership needed guidance to understand the status of its cloud security. The team discovered a lack of visibility into its current capabilities and infrastructure. This prompted the company to begin sourcing software solutions outside of the Prisma Cloud line of products.

The Lightstream Solution

Handling the complexity of securing a multi-cloud environment, Lightstream provides a modern security solution that allows a top financial services organization to gain complete visibility and control over all its cloud resources while preventing additional spend on unnecessary technology.

Full-Scope Solution
Lightstream’s team of experts configured a full-scope solution and educated the company as to what it had in terms of security, what it could utilize and what it needed to address.

Preventing Unnecessary Purchases
Lightstream helped the financial services company capitalize on its existing security solutions, preventing the purchase of unnecessary tech. It met with the company’s leadership to help them gain visibility into the current state of its ecosystem and guide them through different security offerings available as part of the programs it already had in place.

Unmatched Risk Clarity
Lightstream set up Prisma Cloud Security Posture Management to ensure the company is covered across its different clouds. It gives the company’s security team continued comprehensive visibility across its cloud infrastructure. It also provides insight into new and existing assets and potential threats. Using CSPM, the company has unmatched risk clarity and operational insight.

Protection from Unwanted Threats
The company runs a complex environment susceptible to blind spots in security. It needed Cloud Workload Protection (CWP) to address its constantly changing environment. CWP safeguards the company’s applications from unwanted activity and threats and ensures the company’s hosts, containers and serverless applications are secure.

Rapid Deployment
Lightstream had the company’s entire cloud infrastructure covered by Prisma protections in less than a week. That meant less downtime and disruptions in day-to-day operations.

Business Outcomes

Minimal Disruptions
Lightstream quickly deployed secure cloud infrastructure while maximizing the value of the company’s Prisma usage and minimizing disruptions in business operations.

Security Breach Protection
Continuous monitoring of the company’s workspaces will help minimize, if not avoid, security breaches.

Protection for the Future
Lightstream provided a modern, future-proofed cloud security solution. Life cycle management will monitor and address new instances as well as possible abandoned instances in need of new security patches.

Find Your Modern Security Solution

Lightstream can help your business capitalize on its existing security solutions and prevent the purchase of unnecessary technology. To get started with a cost efficient and modern, future-proofed cloud security solution, contact us today.

Government consulting group implements Lightstream cloud solution with minimal disruption and achieves massive cost savings

Prisma Cloud Security Accelerator deployed in two weeks saves time and costs while addressing crucial security and compliance needs

Business Challenges

A national consulting group, specializing in environmental consulting, provides community relations and geographic information systems (GIS) support on environmental and military munitions projects. Its primary source of business is government consulting contracts. They faced an issue many businesses can relate to: How can we transition to the cloud without serious impact to day-to-day operations and with limited internal resources?

Lack of Resources
Following the decision to migrate to the cloud, the organization was met with compliance concerns and security issues that it desperately needed to address, but lacked the internal resources to navigate.

Compliance Concerns
The group knew it wanted to transition to the cloud as it looked to the future. Its decision raised concerns and questions about compliance and security control. There was an added layer of dealing with significant government oversight. Time was of the essence to have required standards in place.

Tight Timeline with Minimal Downtime Requirement
Usually when an intricate system is implemented, businesses often need to slow or even halt day-to-day activities. It can have a major impact on revenue. The group needed a unique solution offering the strongest compliance and security strategy possible with minimal impact to daily operations and revenue.

The Lightstream Solution

Lightstream provides a crucial strategy, executing a security and compliance solution aligned to fit unique business practices and industry goals. The implementation, taking just two weeks, ensured massive cost savings and minimal interruptions to business operations.

Custom Plan
Lightstream’s signature Prisma Cloud Security Accelerator designed a custom plan for this consulting group. A team of experts studied the group’s overall business structure and mission to better identify business outcomes that allowed for the introduction of technology to further its goals. Lightstream also formulated a plan for seizing on those opportunities, focusing on the group’s existing infrastructure and practices.

Detailed Assessment
Lightstream provided a detailed assessment analyzing how the group’s environments were built. Our expertise was then used to guide our client to a cloud security and compliance solution tailored to its unique needs.

Rapid Deployment
The Prisma Cloud Security Accelerator lived up to its name, providing a best-in-class solution in two weeks with minimal interruptions to business operations. Typically, for a majority of solutions providers, this process would take one to two months to configure.

Our reliable model delivered a best-in-class solution, in just two weeks. As a comparison, implementation for such a comprehensive and intricate system typically takes other solutions providers one to two months.

Business Outcomes

Reliable Plan
Lightstream’s Prisma Cloud Security Accelerator allowed the consulting group to achieve a reliable, workable plan targeting its cloud security and compliance needs. Lightstream studied its business model in detail, flushing out outcomes that could be further streamlined. It strategically designed the process for implementing technology solutions to utilize the group’s existing infrastructure and resources it already had in place.

Cost Savings
The consulting group was able to resume operations with minimal impact to its day-to-day operations and revenue stream. Lightstream’s reliable model allowed for massive cost savings.

Tailor-Made Solutions
Lightstream’s Prisma Cloud Security Accelerator has an emphasis on customer service and attention to detail. It resulted in tailor-made solutions aligned with the organization’s unique needs and business practices.

Contract Information

Lightstream’s reliable model delivers a best-in-class solution that typically allows for massive cost savings and minimal interruption to business operations. When you need a complex, custom cloud solution to meet unique business needs, Lightstream is a partner of choice.

For more information on how Lightstream and Prisma Cloud Accelerator can create a winning solution for your business, visit

Lightstream recognized as a top provider in MSSP Alert’s Annual Top 250 MSSPs List

Lightstream, a fully-integrated cloud, security, and network connectivity services provider, has been named a top managed security services provider by MSSP Alert for 2022.

Salt Lake City-based Lightstream makes MSSP Alert’s annual Top 250 list as a recognized top managed security services provider.

(Salt Lake City, UT. September 23, 2022) – Lightstream, a fully-integrated cloud, security, and network connectivity services provider, has been named a top managed security services provider by MSSP Alert for 2022. Known for their fanatical customer service and superior expertise in the cloud, security and network space, Lightstream ranked among other top providers on the annual Top 250 MSSPs list that tracks quality managed security services providers.

“Our customers at Lightstream partner with us knowing our world-class expertise and team of trained professionals will put their needs first, always ensuring they’re in good hands, and always focused on outcome-based solutions” said Jim Cassell, co-CEO of Lightstream. 

“Our obsessive focus on security when building, monitoring, and managing our customers’ cloud environments and networks gives them the peace of mind they need to focus on other areas of the business. Ranking as a top managed security service provider recognizes our approach to our customers and their security.” said Rod Stout, co-CEO of Lightstream. 

MSSP Alert is a CyberRisk Alliance resource that acts as the voice for managed security service providers. It provides the resources MSSPs, security-minded MSPs, and MDR providers need to build their way to managed security success.

The Top 250 MSSPs list is based on annual recurring revenues, profitability, business growth rate, cyber professional headcount, and managed security services offered. Those recognized on the list continue to grow faster than the overall managed security market.

To view the complete list, visit To contact Lightstream, visit our contact page.

About Lightstream

Lightstream is a fully-integrated cloud, security, and network connectivity services business, specializing in building and managing secure cloud environments and network solutions. The organization helps control operating expenses, mitigate security risks, and reduce system complexity to increase operational effectiveness so company’s can focus on business growth and innovation.

Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Salt Lake City, UT, Lightstream partners with leading enterprise and SMB organizations across the US and the globe to provide network, security and cloud solutions. They are passionate about solving complex technology challenges and delivering fanatical customer service.

Media Contact

Dan Davenport /


Lightstream Names Joe Vadakkan as Global Executive Vice President for Sales and Engineering

Cloud security veteran and key strategist joins emerging service provider to drive growth

Salt Lake City, UT, January 19, 2022– Lightstream, a leader in cloud security, digital transformation and managed services, today announced the hiring of Joe Vadakkan as the company’s new executive vice president for global sales and engineering. As an IT, cloud and security thought leader, Joe will lead Lightstream’s global cloud security engineering and sales organization to drive execution of customers’ cloud security strategies and elevate their innovation at scale.

“Joe is a prominent industry veteran with extensive leadership experience in cloud security sales and innovation, having driven many of the industry’s successful, secure digital transformations,” said Lightstream Co-CEO, Jim Cassell. “I’m excited to welcome him to Lightstream’s executive team, and I look forward to working with him on our mission to enable our global customers to progressively innovate and grow effectively with Lightstream’s cloud security solutions.”

“We are very excited to have Joe join the Lightstream team,” stated Rod Stout, Co-CEO of Lightstream. “His unique ability to help customers realize value and achieve desired business outcomes is unparalleled. With his in-depth knowledge in partner distribution strategies and his success in building and growing world class organizations, Joe will help Lightstream bring continuous value to its customers and achieve our growth objectives.”

Joe has over 20 years of technical and business leadership experience in the areas of global infrastructure and security, most recently having served in a strategic services leadership role at Optiv, a pure play cybersecurity firm. Prior to that, he was responsible for building and running Optiv’s cloud security organization. He has also held leadership roles and provided strategic guidance for startups, venture capital and private equity firms and Fortune 2000 companies.

“I am very excited to join the Lightstream team and look forward to taking the company’s technology and services innovation to the next level to fuel future growth,” said Joe. “Lightstream has a great business model and a talented team that are fast movers on solving customer needs. I believe it is uniquely positioned to accelerate secure client innovation through its Lightstream Connect platform for Microsoft Azure, AWS and Google and integration with a security partner ecosystem that enables it to compete in today’s global market.”

About Lightstream

Lightstream provides full-service cloud, connectivity, and security solutions to enterprises worldwide with a focus on managed services for all three, as well as cloud infrastructure implementation, security, and support.

Lightstream has been named multiple times as a Palo Alto Networks Public Cloud Partner of the Year, and is an AWS Security Competency Partner, an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, and a Microsoft Cloud Platform Gold Partner with Security Competency. Visit us at or LinkedIn.

Media Contact

Cynthia Lawton / / 843-300-8445