Fortinet Adds NAC To FortiGate Appliance

The FortiGate-224B appliance is part of Fortinet's new line of integrated security and networking technologies devices, which enforce internal security policies at the network access layer to blunt the impact of attacks, said Richard Stiennon, chief marketing officer at the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company.

The FortiGate-224B is a 24-port, 4.4-Gbps switch with a unified threat management bundle of antivirus, firewall, VPN, intrusion prevention, antispam, antispyware, Web filtering and traffic shaping features. The appliance adds security to the mix in the form of clientless network access control (NAC) with port-based quarantine and self-remediation capabilities, Stiennon said.

The proliferation of internal threats is driving the need for embedded security technologies like NAC, and Fortinet is leveraging its ability to stack multiple capabilities into one platform, Stiennon noted.

"Switching and routing are commodities, but security isn't. Rather than add security onto a switch, we're adding switching onto a security device," said Stiennon, former chief research analyst at IT-Harvest, who joined Fortinet in November.

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Granular NAC policies allow administrators to regulate access within a company; for example, a company could give access privileges to the finance department that differ from those given to the administrative department, Stiennon said.

With the FortiGate-224B, Fortinet is targeting small and midsize businesses as well as branch offices, but the plan is to combine security and networking throughout the FortiGate line, Stiennon added.

The FortiGate-224B, available now, carries a starting price of $3,995.