Gartner Research

When, Why and How to Encrypt the WAN

Published: 18 November 2015

ID: G00281355

Analyst(s): Sorell Slaymaker, Deborah Kish


Sensitive data is at risk not only at rest, but also in transit. This document identifies the drivers for encrypting data on the WAN and the associated best practices for business unit leaders when doing so, along with addressing issues that encrypting data in transit causes.

Table Of Contents
  • Key Challenges



  • Adopt and Adhere to Key Management Policies
  • 128-Bit Key Lengths Are Appropriate for Most Use Cases
  • Use WAN Encryption to Augment Application and Data Encryption
  • Utilize SD-WAN Overlay Solutions to Simplify the Administration of Encryption
  • Layer 1 and 2 Encryption Solutions Are Simple, Fast and Often Less Expensive Than Touching the Existing WAN
  • Ensure Cloud Services That Already Have Network Encryption Do Not Prevent Loss of Control of Your Data

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