The modern-day tech scene is teeming with stunning new technologies and software. The network that ties these together into a gigantic web, alive with cables and connections, is even more mind-blowing. Behind the scenes, the network straps together an infinite number of technologies, moving data continuously, often across geographical boundaries. It’s a world that we don’t get to see, but are all a part of.
The successes of these technologies depend on how fast or secure the underlying network is. Remote offices and workforces are constantly pushing the boundaries of the network as companies foray into new markets and territories. The impact of this is felt most on the operational and security levels.
The growth and expansion brought home nefarious threats and operational challenges that are not easily overcome. It’s an icky task to perpetually spot, mend and prevent security gaps, and yet keep everything working like clockwork.
Point solutions designed to address one or the other problem each presents a set of overheads of its own. Software-defined networking (SD-WAN), a widely-adopted approach to manage the Wide Area Network (WAN), facilitates connectivity between the resources and remote users. But as it integrates and becomes mainstream, network and security need to converge to form a single, larger unit that covers not one, but a wide array of capabilities. With a consolidated solution like this, the network can become ultimately resilient to new innovations.
At the Networking Field Day event in California, Fortinet presented a solution that simplifies the network, and secures it from cloud to on-prem. Rami Rammaha, Director of Product Marketing, presented Fortinet Secure SD-WAN that rolls next-gen firewall (NGFW), Advanced Routing, and Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) into one platform.
“One OS, One Management”
4 years a Gartner Leader in SD-WAN, Fortinet believes that a secure SD-WAN is foundational to organizations transitioning to SASE. For that, a converged security approach is essential.
“When it comes to convergence, you want to do it correctly. You want to have things done from the ground up, and not be bolting things together,” said Rammaha.
Designed from scratch, Fortinet Secure SD-WAN stitches together the most advanced NGFW with routing and ZTNA. The result is consistent security on and off network.
“What’s important here is that the same platform is actually used in both the network firewall and SD-WAN, with the same operating system,” he highlighted.
Built into FortiOS, which is Fortinet’s network security operating system that comes with a breadth of features like visibility, threat intelligence and response, Fortinet Secure SD-WAN implements a zero-trust policy that first and foremost, ensures secure connectivity to both hybrid and multi-cloud environments, and second, unlocks centralized orchestration.
Rammaha gave a breakdown of the key pieces and highlights. Secure SD-WAN packs all the advanced SD-WAN capabilities and can dynamically identify and steer over 5000 applications.
“We have another set of 3000 plus applications that we can identify for industrial signatures,” added Rammaha.
In the event of temporary and complete power loss, also known as brownouts and blackouts respectively, the solution can respond with features like forward error correction, packet duplication, sub-second failover and more.
NGFW capabilities like intrusion prevention, DNS URL filtering, sandbox and dual-mode Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) can be availed at minimum impact on the performance, thanks to Fortinet’s proprietary ASIC that powers the platform.
The third piece is a ZTNA App Gateway that enables a universal zero-trust access, and eliminates the need for multiple point solutions at the WAN edge. “It provides a way of enforcing the policies that you set in place for users when they are accessing the application,” he said.
The above three pieces are centrally managed by FortiManager, Fortinet’s network management software. Accompanying it is FortiAnalyzer that provides holistic insights about all device logs with real-time threat detection and event correlation.
To keep complexity from settling into eventual chaos and making way for a million-dollar breach, companies must arm themselves with solutions that allow them to eliminate siloes and consolidate units for better protection and improved efficiency. Fortinet Secure SD-WAN knocks down the wall that has stood between networking and security, making a real convergence happen.