Fortinet Strengthens Integration of Enterprise Security and Networking Controls

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Fortinet has made available a new version of its core FortiOS software that includes features the vendor says will help companies merge security and networking controls more tightly.

FortiOS 7.2 delivers 300 new features, including AI support to help stop network threats faster, sandboxing to help fight ransomware threats, and improved SD-WAN orchestration, branches and outskirts.

FortiOS is the vendor operating system for the FortiGate family of hardware and virtual components. FortiOS implements Fortinet Security Fabric and includes network security like firewall, access control, and authentication in addition to SD-WAN, switch, and wireless services.

“What we’re addressing with FortiOS 7.2 is the convergence of networking and security as customers run very fast to keep their digital networks running,” said John Maddison, executive vice president of product and CMO of Fortinet. “This digital convergence is creating many new network edges: the LAN edge, the edge cloud, and now a 5G edge. Networking and security can no longer be treated as separate strategies and this is the primary issue we address for customers.

On the security front, Fortinet is introducing AI and ML-based FortiGuard security services based on telemetry information gathered from its network, application. and security systems around the world.

A new service, Inline Sandbox, goes beyond the traditional sandbox detection capability where administrators had to thoroughly search for malicious traffic to put in the sandbox. It uses the collected intelligence to enable customers, in real time, to stop known and unknown malware, with minimal impact to operations, Maddison said. “The idea is that organizations can spot, stop and prevent problems as quickly as possible.”

Another new service, Advanced Device Protection, allows the Fortinet operating system to automatically discover and segment OT and IoT devices based on their unique network capabilities. 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 against OT companies, so this new service allows OT organizations to gain insight into outbreaks and stop them from causing problems faster,” he said. declared.

This service is offered on Fortinet NGFW and through integration with FortiNAC network access control software that can orchestrate automatic responses to network issues. Fortinet NGFW is also getting a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) to bring the service inline inspection of zero-trust network access traffic.

A new SOC-as-a-Service can offload Tier 1 security analytics, such as monitoring event logs or suspicious traffic, to Fortinet analysts to ease the burden on security administrators, said Madison.

Regarding network upgrades, Fortinet has added enhanced analytics support to its SD-WAN service that can measure the performance of connected voice and video applications. FortiOS 7.2 also adds automated deployment and orchestration features to simplify setting up, securing, and managing branch office networks.

New integration features support device discovery to enable the implementation of least-privileged access to the LAN edge, Maddison said.

In his month of November”MarketScape: Rating of SD-WAN Infrastructure Vendors Worldwide in 2021“, IDC wrote that Fortinet is known for having a tightly integrated network and security portfolio. Fortinet’s Secure SD-WAN consolidates SD-WAN, NGFW, advanced routing, and [Zero Trust network access] proxy functions in its FortiGate appliance. Fortinet also offers LAN and WLAN products and has implemented a channel partnership strategy that includes strong relationships with communication service providers, as well as managed SPs and VARs.

On the challenges side, Fortinet is primarily a security vendor and may need to work harder with customers looking to work with a vendor with greater experience in routing and networking, IDC said.

While Fortinet offers integration with third-party security tools, its core security solutions are offered by Fortinet itself; this can be a limitation for customers who want to use Fortinet for SD-WAN but integrate with third-party security tools.

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Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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