Fortinet widens Security Fabric; defends enterprise access networks from IoT to cloud

Fortinet enhanced its Secure Access architecture of wired and wireless networking solutions to merge advanced security with enterprise access layers to provide seamless protections from IoT (Internet of Things) to the cloud.

Fortinet expands its Security Fabric with 14 new products to broaden its Secure Access Architecture solutions that weave together advanced security with the access layers to provide protections across the expanding attack surface. Secure Access Architecture solutions offer universal management and policy controls that simplify administration across wired and wireless infrastructures, enabling segmentation of devices from critical data.

Organizations are changing the way they deploy access networks, connect devices, and enable business applications to address a number of challenges, including the number and types of network-connected wireless devices and mobile applications continue to grow exponentially, presenting new vulnerabilities and increasing the attack surface. Users want fast Wi-Fi and smooth experience across wired and wireless networks, while IT needs reduced complexity of network management, application management, and device management.

Securing business communications, personal information, financial transactions, and mobile devices involves much more than network access control. It requires scanning for malware, preventing access to malicious websites, endpoint integrity checking, and controlling application usage. These flexible access solutions offer options for on premise or hosted deployments, controller or controller-less management, and technologies like 802.11ac Wave II speeds to suit the access and security needs for enterprises of all sizes.

The growth of connected devices and widespread IoT market has lead to security concerns. This year alone, research firm Gartner forecasts that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from 2015, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020.

Fortinet’s own survey results show that 76 percent of global enterprises already have IoT equipment in use within their business. While a majority of businesses are already leveraging the advantages of connected IoT devices, 92 percent of security professionals are concerned about the security challenges posed by these billions of devices. Many of these devices are “headless” offering few or no security or management controls. This has exponentially increased the attack surface and left IT struggling to manage IoT devices using complex architectures consisting of numerous point solutions.

“At the same time, the line between our private and our public lives, including our work lives, will continue to blur,” wrote Bill McGee, a Fortinet executive in a company blog post. “Because the network is the nexus point for this convergence, network borders are becoming increasingly porous, data it needs to process is growing exponentially, and the corporate network is interoperating with a variety of public cloud environments.”

Fortinet has addressed these challenges with its Secure Access Architecture solutions which encompass the entire access infrastructure across wired and wireless networks, while unifying within Fortinet’s Security Fabric through FortiOS. This enables the individual components to act and respond as one, managed through a single pane of glass and leveraging a single source of security updates. These advanced and intuitive capabilities arm IT with universal visibility and control over IoT devices and how they interact with critical enterprise networks.

Fortinet’s Secure Access Architecture offers advanced network applications support connectivity; integrated and comprehensive access application solutions that enable, among other things, guest access, presence, application visibility and device onboarding. Using Fortinet authentication applications that automate applications such as guest and employee device onboarding, single-sign on and certificate management to deliver onboarding and security to all users and devices.

It also comes with flexible options for on-premise and cloud solutions to choose at the access layer with controller, controller-less, cloud, multichannel, and single-channel deployment modes. Its FortiManager Secure Access provides comprehensive line of network security appliances offers integrated cybersecurity protection at the access layer.

The architecture delivers standalone and integrated wireless controllers to offer flexible deployment options that scale to enterprises of all sizes. Its enterprise-class secure access and data center switches provide high-performance, cost-effective access and data center switches with integrated security and universal management, while its WLAN access points support deployment options including controller, controller-less and cloud managed options, and are suitable for indoor and outdoor environments.

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