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5 Hot New Fortinet Products And Features

Michael Novinson

Here’s a look at some of the most impressive capabilities of the new FortiOS 6.4 operating system as well as the first-ever firewall powered by Fortinet’s seventh-generation network processor.

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Talkin’ About Our Generation

Network security companies have in recent years grappled with the disappearance of the traditional perimeter and the need to deliver protection across the entire infrastructure, according to John Maddison, Fortinet’s CMO and executive vice president of products. As a result, Maddison said vendors must be able to deliver high-performance security and networking from a single system.

Companies must also automate workflows across their entire infrastructure to ensure that a threat in a customer’s factory doesn’t result in access to its data center, Maddison said. A platform approach like the one adopted by Fortinet provides customers with a holistic view across their infrastructure as well as the ability to respond to issues found anywhere in the infrastructure in an automated manner, he said.

Fortinet planned to debut the first-ever firewall powered by its seventh-generation network processor as well as more than 350 new features on its FortiOS 6.4 operating system at Accelerate 20 in Barcelona this week. But the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based platform security vendor ended up canceling the event due to health and safety concerns associated with the coronavirus, and debuted the capabilities separately.

Here’s a look at five of the coolest features introduced as part of Fortinet’s new FortiOS 6.4 operating system and its new FortiGate 1800F next-generation firewall.

5. Secure Cloud Infrastructure And Applications

Fortinet has ramped up its capabilities around Office 365 as well as its ability to integrate FortiMail, FortiCASB and Active Directory into Microsoft Azure, Maddison said. Outside Microsoft, Maddison said Fortinet has debuted additional capabilities for the cloud on-ramp for AWS Outposts and Google Cloud Platform Anthos.

The company’s SD-WAN heritage has simplified the integration process since it’s a hybrid scenario where customers are putting systems in the data center and then connecting back into the cloud, Maddison said. As part of the hybrid setup, Maddison said Fortinet might be an appliance in the data center as well as a virtual machine and the same operating system, provisioning system and API.

Beyond the public cloud providers, Maddison said the company has debuted WAF-as-a-Service, additional workload protection capabilities around FortiCWP, and more remediation capabilities for FortiGate VM Cloud IDS.

4. Enhanced SD-WAN And SD-Branch Capabilities

Fortinet has rolled out SD-WAN enhancements around application performance criteria, the new orchestration system inside FortiManager, and more analytics, reporting and monitoring inside FortiOS, Maddison said.

From an SD-Branch perspective, Maddison said Fortinet has enhanced the Wi-Fi controller, rolled out more Wi-Fi 6 models, fully integrated the FortiExtender, and streamlined the ability to provide 4G LTE backup connectivity for small and large organizations. Integrating FortiExtender into the controller and running it inside FortiGate will give the company a leg up as service providers debut 5G, Maddison said.

As a result, Maddison said FortiExtender now appears on a topology map as part of the Fortinet Security Fabric, making monitoring and configuration easier for customers. The company also rolled out a new IPS administration console on the firewall and has added features on the security gateway, according to Maddison.

3. Better Discovery Of IoT And Endpoint Devices

FortiNAC (Network Access Control) has now been added to the company’s topology map, making it easier to discover all the IoT devices and endpoints within the Fortinet Security Fabric as well as access those systems using API technology. Maddison said FortiNAC can integrate with every single switch vendor, access point vendor and firewall vendor while providing unmatched visibility.

Customers have taken a major interest in FortiNAC given the lack of visibility they have from their current systems into factories that are IP-enabled, according to Maddison. As a result, he said Fortinet has been focused on rolling IoT security back into the Fabric to provide enhanced profiling and robust services.

In addition, Maddison said FortiAuthenticator has been fully integrated into FortiManager, bringing together the authentication, tokens and single sign-on.

2. Evolving Endpoint Security Beyond Protection

Fortinet upped its endpoint security game by acquiring EnSilo (now called FortiEDR) to deliver everything from ransomware detection to dynamic threat hunting to trapping and diffusing threats, Maddison said. The tool leverages machine learning to automatically generate threat signals and come up with the optimal response, according to Maddison.

Over the next three years, Maddison expects FortiEDR to come together with the company’s existing FortiClient endpoint security offering with a single client and agent as well as a presence on the company’s topology map and in its Security Operations Center (SOC). FortiEDR will have a dual road map of being a best-of-breed stand-alone product as well as being inside Fortinet’s security platform.

The breadth of Fortinet’s portfolio around the SOC supports partners wanting to build out MSSP capabilities by delivering everything from firewall, wireless access and network access control to SD-WAN, data center and cloud, he said.

1. Debuting New Network Processor And Firewall

Fortinet upgraded its network processor for the first time since 2012 to provide the building block for hyperscale applications, delivering performance and fast connections across the board, Maddison said. In fact, the FortiGate 1800 firewall with NP7 (network processor 7) technology is 14 times faster than the industry average for products at a similar price point, according to Maddison.

Firewalls traditionally sat on the perimeter of the network and were focused on protecting a single port at low speeds, processing information line by line to ensure rules were being applied consistently, Maddison said. But NP7 is able to speed up the Fortinet 1800F to the point where it’s able to sit at the core of the network and support VXLAN by running every single port at light weight, Maddison said.

Fortinet started with the 1800F since it’s a midrange system with a single CPU and a single console, but as the company goes forward, it will move beyond the midrange systems and start to implement it across all firewalls. As that process begins over the next four months, Maddison said customers will be able to put firewalls in places they’ve never been.

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