Fortinet Updates Security Line For SMBs

With small to medium-sized businesses becoming increasingly impacted by malware and other threats on information security, Fortinet has rolled out changes to its product line aimed at meeting the needs of a portion of the market that the Sunnyvale, California-based vendor considers to be underserved.

The new 200D series of platforms spans the FortiManager, FortiAnalyzer, and FortiMail product families, and it represents the next generation of the current 100C platforms for each of those product families.

The rollout is being announced in conjunction with UBM's XChange 2012 Conference, underway this week in Dallas, Texas. All updates are available immediately.

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"We are adding more power, density and functionality to the devices while at the same time driving a higher level of functionality into the small and medium markets," said senior product manager Kevin Flynn. "Sometimes the SMB segment ends up in a gap between very high-end devices designed primarily for large enterprises and very small systems that don't do everything they need. We are filling in that doughnut hole."

FortiManager is a centralized management appliance that enables control of Fortinet devices from a single pane of glass. The forthcoming version, FortiManager-200D, supports up to 30 licensed network devices, which quadruples the earlier capacity, according to Flynn. "If you don't have this, you'll need to manage a wide variety of different disparate products, which can be more difficult to do and builds more complexity into the system," he said. "There's a plethora of different security features that are available, including traditional firewall, application firewall, anti-spam, anti-virus, anti-malware, IPS, data leakage protection and the full gamut of Fortinet functionality, with full global policy support."

The FortiAnalyzer platform integrates network logging, analysis and reporting with centralized security event analysis, forensic research, content archiving, data mining, malicious file quarantining and vulnerability management. The updated version can accommodate 150 devices and up to 350 logs per second, up from 200 logs per second available in the 100C. "It sucks in all this information at 350 logs per second and gives you a very solid analysis of what's really going on," explained Flynn. "The problem is like the fog of war. If you don't have a real clear view of what's going on, it's very tough to deal with security situations. Bringing in all this kind of data in one view gives you much better visibility into a complicated situation."

NEXT: Mail And Mobile

The company's encryption-based messaging security platform, "FortiMail," is getting a performance boost from 80,000 messages per hour to more than 170,000. Additional memory and processing power has also been added, as well as IPv6 support, identity based encryption and enhanced server mode functionality.

"I think is interesting for this market because you can perform encryption functions on a specific group of users, which is an enterprise type of feature going into the mid and small businesses," explained Flynn. "So think of law firms, doctors' offices and similar businesses where the criticality of information and the criticality of security can be paramount."

The moves are expected to increase the channel's ability to serve SMB clients, extend their offerings into existing customers and attract new ones.

"Having such extensive functionality from a single pane of glass is very helpful," said Matt Cox, senior sales executive at Commercium Technology, Inc., a Rumson, N.J.-based Fortinet partner. "Bandwidth is getting cheaper, and I think that Fortinet is doing a good job of keeping up their product lines to avoid becoming a bottleneck on the firewall side. SMB used to be pretty much limited to the firewall, and this opens up the opportunity quite a bit. This gives the channel another upsell opportunity."

Meanwhile, Fortinet is also delivering new versions of FortiClient for Android and iOS Platforms. The updated application now supports both SSL tunnel mode and IPSec VPN connections to FortiGate appliances, thereby providing full encryption to traffic sent over a secure tunnel. As a network-based solution, Fortinet supports a variety of approaches to smartphone and tablet client security, including support for mobile device management (MDM), virtual desktop and third-party VPN clients.

"There is no per-user licensing on our products," added Fortinet's Flynn. "It's mostly about figuring out your bandwidth needs."


This story was updated on Aug. 20, 2012, at 4:15 p.m. PST, to reflect FortiClient availability, noting that the product is not "already available through the iTunes store and other venues" at this time.