Windstream Enterprise’s software defined wide area network (SD-WAN) offering is now compliant with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS). In an interview with Telecompetitor, Yulia Duryea, director of product management at Windstream, said Windstream SD-WAN PCI DSS compliance simplifies the annual compliance process for customers that accept payment by credit card.

“Customers that do credit card transactions are required to go through an audit of their environment,” said Duryea. “This is one piece of the environment.”

Windstream SD-WAN PCI DSS Compliance
Windstream SD-WAN PCI DSS compliance was issued by a third-party qualified security assessor, the carrier noted in a press release. Windstream said it will provide retail customers with an attestation of compliance (AOC) for the carrier’s SD-WAN service.

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Retail customers are adopting SD-WAN service for several reasons, Duryea said.

“A few things really resonate with them,” she explained. One of these is reliability and uptime, she said, because “it’s very important to be able to process credit card transactions on the spot.”

Retail customers also are “very price conscious” and are looking for fast, repeatable deployment, Duryea noted. Some retailers have hundreds of sites and do not have information technology expertise at every site.

“They want to purchase [service] in advance and know exactly what that deployment will encompass,” she commented.

SD-WAN service uses two or more wide area network connections and dynamically routes traffic over one connection or another based on pre-established parameters such as traffic type. SD-WAN customer retail locations typically are connected by either two broadband connections, broadband plus cellular broadband or two broadband connections plus cellular broadband, Duryea said. The cellular broadband connection generally is used for backup.

Some retail customers move to SD-WAN from MPLS or MPLS plus cellular when traffic grows to a point that a speed upgrade would be required and the customer makes the determination that augmenting MPLS would be cost-prohibitive, Duryea explained.

SD-WAN customers can purchase broadband connectivity from Windstream or from another service provider, Duryea said.

Windstream has been very aggressive on the SD-WAN front over the last year or two. Windstream CEO Tony Thomas said last year that he views SD-WAN and unified communications-as-a-service as key growth drivers for the company’s enterprise business – and the company has emphasized the enterprise side of its business for several years now.

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