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SD-WAN security for a modern, global network

JEN TOSCANO - Sr. Product Marketing Manager
February 06, 2019 - 4 min read

The prospect of moving an entire global network to the cloud has caused many a sleepless night for even the most experienced IT executive, especially with the added worry of security hanging over the entire project.

While making a successful move to the cloud might seem overwhelming, many businesses are undertaking this exact type of digital transformation out of sheer necessity. Ever-changing business requirements and ever-increasing speed are propelling organizations into the cloud era. The growing mobile workforce, cloud applications and services, and an increase in business conducted over the internet are just some of the forces creating the demand for a more scalable infrastructure that can grow and adapt along with the organization.

Cloud security plays a central role in enabling the transformation to the cloud, and with the constant barrage of cyberthreats, the need has become even more critical.

Just a few years ago, the Mondi Group found itself facing the need for its own digital transformation. A developer of innovative industrial and consumer packaging solutions for leading brands around the world, Mondi operates in over 100 locations in more than 30 countries. With such a global reach, Mondi realized that its existing network simply wasn’t meeting its needs.

Among its requirements, Mondi sought a more scalable network infrastructure with increased security. It had a hardware-based proxy, software-based URL filter, and a large number of firewall clusters—all managed by a small IT team, so it was seeking to reduce complexity. Finally, Mondi was searching for a solution that would provide secure internet access for its 10,000 workstation users.

In the end, all this pointed to the need to transform from a legacy hub-and-spoke network to a modern direct-to-cloud architecture that would enable Mondi to more easily meet all of its business requirements and adapt to its future needs—all in a secure way. After much research, the team at Mondi decided on an SD-WAN solution to intelligently route traffic and deployed Zscaler to enable security for all direct-to-cloud connections across the global enterprise.

Of course, a project of this size and scope presents challenges, especially once Zscaler enabled network-wide visibility into Mondi’s systems. Mondi quickly discovered that its employees had developed such things as their own regional firewalls and individual proxy servers to work on different projects. They also found that some offices never set up a local firewall. “Zscaler showed us a lot more than what we thought was going on, more than what we thought could be seen,” said Thomas Vavra, Manager Communication Networks at Mondi Group.

Despite the challenges, the project moved along smoothly and at a good pace. The Mondi Group saw its first sites go online with SD-WAN secured by Zscaler in just eight months, and the direct-to-cloud architecture across all 30 countries reached 95 percent completion in a little more than two years.

The cost savings alone made the transformation well worth the effort. Add in the improvement in the customer and employee experience, and this project can clearly be deemed successful.

Are you contemplating your own digital transformation? Do you have concerns about your network or about the security implications of a cloud-first strategy? Do you want to learn more about the Mondi Group’s transformation journey?

Watch our free webinar, in which Mr. Vavra shared details on his company’s successful transformation. Mr. Vavra discussed some of the best practices he and his team learned along the way and presented some tips for those about to undertake their own transformation. Mr. Vavra was joined by Naresh Kumar, Principal Product Manager at Zscaler, who discussed how Zscaler cloud security and SD-WAN security solution met Mondi’s needs.

No two transformation journeys are exactly the same and, like any major undertaking, they can often present unique challenges like those experienced by the Mondi Group. But the fear of big changes shouldn’t keep you from doing what’s in the best interest of your organization. After all, as Alexandre Dumas wrote in The Three Musketeers: “The merit of all things lies in their difficulty.” In other words, successful completion of your digital transformation will be worth it in the end. And Zscaler will help you get there, securely.


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Jennifer Toscano is a senior product marketing manager at Zscaler

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