Fortinet Strengthens Integration of Enterprise Network and Security Controls Computerworld

Fortinet adds security, SD-WAN, branch and zero trust features to its FortiOS platform.

According to Fortinet, the features added to version 7.2 of its FortiOS solution, now available, will allow companies to more closely merge security and network controls. FortiOS 7.2 adds over 300 services, including AI capabilities to stop network threats faster, sandboxing, anti-ransomware, and better orchestration of SD-WAN, branch offices, and the edge. The FortiOS operating system is dedicated to the FortiGate family of hardware and virtual components from Fortinet. FortiOS implements Fortinet Security Fabric and includes network security capabilities including firewall, access control, and authentication capabilities, in addition to SD-WAN, switch, and wireless services.

“What’s new in FortiOS 7.2 is that it converges networks and security, when customers need to get their digital networks working very quickly,” said John Maddison, executive vice president of product and chief Fortinet Marketing. “This digital convergence is creating a lot of new edge networks – LAN edge, cloud edge, and now 5G edge – so networking and security can no longer be treated as separate strategies and that’s the main problem that FortiOS 7.2 solves for customers,” Maddison added.

Prevent problems

On the security front, Fortinet launched AI and ML-based FortiGuard security services that draw on telemetric information gleaned from the vendor’s network, applications, and security systems across the globe. One of these new services, called Inline Sandbox, goes beyond the traditional sandbox detection capability, where administrators had to painstakingly identify malicious traffic that needed to be sandboxed. “Inline Sandbox uses the information collected so customers can stop known and unknown malware in real time, with minimal impact to operations,” said John Maddison. “The idea is for companies to be able to spot, stop and prevent problems as quickly as possible,” added Fortinet’s executive vice president of products and chief marketing officer.

Another service called Advanced Device Protection allows Fortinet’s OS to automatically discover and segment OT and IoT devices based on their unique network characteristics. “The service also maintains asset inventory and uses pattern matching to apply appropriate policies and automate remediation if needed,” Maddison said. “We’re seeing a lot of activity around attacks on OT companies, and with this new service, OT companies can gain insight into active campaigns and stop them from causing harm faster,” he said. yet declared.

Simplify element integration

This service is offered with the Fortinet NGFW firewall and through integration with FortiNAC network access control software, which can orchestrate automatic responses to network issues. Fortinet NGFW also features a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) that performs inline zero-trust inspection of traffic accessing the network on behalf of the service. A new SOC-as-a-Service can offload Tier 1 security analysis to Fortinet analysts, such as monitoring event logs or suspicious traffic, to ease the burden on security administrators. said John Maddison. As for network updates, Fortinet has added enhanced analytics support to its SD-WAN service, which measures the performance of connected voice and video applications. FortiOS 7.2 also includes automated deployment and orchestration features that simplify setting up, securing, and managing branch office networks. “Finally, new docking features support device discovery to enable the implementation of Least Privileged Edge LAN Network Access,” Maddison said.

In its November 2021 report, MarketScape: Worldwide SD-WAN Infrastructure 2021 Vendor Assessment, which looked at the capabilities of twelve SD-WAN infrastructure vendors and evaluated them against various common SD-WAN features, such as WAN routing, WAN link management, application-based policy controls, and application steering and prioritization, IDC wrote that Fortinet is known for its tightly integrated network and security offering. “Called Secure SD-WAN, Fortinet’s offering consolidates SD-WAN, NGFW, advanced routing, and zero-trust network access proxy functions into its FortiGate appliance. Fortinet also offers LAN and WLAN products, allowing customers to work with an existing vendor for LAN and WAN,” the report states. “The company has successfully implemented a channel partnership strategy that is built on strong relationships with communications service providers, and with managed service providers and value-added distributors,” the report continued.

Integration to be improved

Regarding the challenges, “Fortinet is primarily a security vendor and may need to work harder with some customers looking for a vendor that can demonstrate more established experience in routing and networking,” IDC said. “While Fortinet offers integration with third-party security tools, its primary security solutions are offered by Fortinet itself, which can be a limitation for customers who want to use Fortinet for SD-WAN and integrate with third-party security tools,” the IDC report further states.

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Fortinet Strengthens Integration of Enterprise Network and Security Controls Computerworld


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