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Fortinet Bolsters IoT Security With New Network Access Control Tool

FortiNAC offers visibility into all endpoint devices on the network, automated authorization, and network lockdown through tag segmentation with the firewall.

Fortinet has rebranded and completed the initial integration of the network access control capabilities from its recent acquisition of Bradford Networks.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based platform security vendor said the initial integration into the Fortinet Security Fabric will provide increased visibility into all devices sitting on the fabric, according to John Maddison, SVP of products and solutions. Thanks to the integration, the tool can provide information back to the Security Fabric, at which point segmentation rules, device scanning, or policy posture can be applied.

The Bradford Networks product line has been rebranded as FortiNAC, Maddison said, and is now available for Fortinet's entire channel community to resell. Fortinet acquired Bradford Networks in June for $17 million plus up to an additional $2 million in earn-outs.

[Related: Fortinet: Firms Adopting Managed Security Services For Ease Of Use]

All of Bradford's existing install base - which is focused heavily on healthcare and education – will have the opportunity to migrate over to FortiNAC, Maddison said. Bradford has very strong technical and engineering talent, Maddison said, but will benefit from Fortinet's expertise in sales and marketing since the company had less of a footprint in that area.

Network access control was hot several years ago, and then cooled down before rising back to the forefront thanks to the increase in IoT-enabled devices, according to Mark Miller, vice president South Central at Phoenix, Az.-based Kudelski Security.

"I think it's a great addition for their Fabric story," Miller said. "It helps fill a gap they definitely had in their portfolio. It's a nice addition."

Kudelski sells Fortinet into a lot of education accounts at both the K-12 and university level, which Miller said is a space Bradford is also popular in. This should help facilitate sales of FortiNAC into Kudelski's existing Fortinet customer base, Miller said, as well as the rest of the Fortinet Security Fabric into existing Bradford customers.

"Bradford was a smaller but well-known company. They had a nice reputation," Miller said. "There's definitely going to be a place for it."

Licenses for FortiNAC will be made available at three levels: Basic, Plus, and Pro. The Basic license has a list price of $875, and offers visibility into all endpoint devices on the network, automated authorization, and network lockdown through tag segmentation with the firewall.

The Plus license retails for $3,500, and offers all the functionality of Basic plus more advanced network access controls and automated provisioning for users, guests and devices. The Pro license can be procured for $4,500, and provides real-time endpoint visibility, comprehensive network access controls, automated threat response, and the delivery of contextual information via triaged alerts.

Like virtually all Fortinet products, Maddison said FortiNAC will be sold as a standalone tool to provide customers with greater choice and flexibility. The most natural adjacencies to FortiNAC in the Security Fabric are Fortinet's next-gen firewalls for blocking threats, Maddison said, as well as access points and switching for increased visibility.

Although a handful of broader technology vendors and pure-play IoT security companies have a network access control tool, Maddison said Fortinet is now the only platform security company with such capabilities.

Fortinet differentiates its NAC capability from broader technology vendors by supporting a variety of switches, routers and access points from different vendors, Maddison said, and the more pure-play IoT security vendors thanks to its visibility into other technologies such as SD-WAN, cloud, next-gen firewall, and SaaS.

Going forward, Maddison said Fortinet expects to build out bi-directional integration between FortiNAC and the Security Fabric, making it possible to send instructions back to FortiNAC should something come in via the Security Fabric. This should provide stronger control and response across the board, according to Maddison.

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