Business & Technology

New Fortinet Cloud Security Offerings for Microsoft Azure

By Daniel Schrader | November 04, 2019

Today, Fortinet announced the expansion of our cloud security integration with Microsoft Azure with three new or updated offerings being featured at this week’s Microsoft Ignite event in Orlando. In this blog we will take a look at each of these. But first, let’s step back and look at the bigger picture.

The Fortinet Security Portfolio of Microsoft Azure

Fortinet now has 12 different security products designed for Microsoft Azure. This represents a breadth of security solutions that is unmatched.

The list includes:

Even more impressive, most of these solutions also work across multiple clouds, virtual networks, and physical and virtual datacenters. This enables organizations to uniquely build and deploy a fully integrated and powerful cloud security fabric that can span even the most distributed network environments.

The Need for a Robust Cloud Security Portfolio

Of course, some may ask, “why do we need so many security solutions for Azure, since Microsoft (like all cloud vendors) has a security story all of its own?” But the answer lies in the shared security responsibility model which I have written about previously. According to this model, Microsoft is only responsible for securing its own elements, such as physical access to the Azure datacenters, infrastructure security, and the like. The cloud customer is still responsible for securing all other elements of their cloud environment.

However, this question also reflects the fact that security is a specialty field requiring highly-evolved technology – such as the AI and machine learning used by FortiWeb and FortiSandBox – that are only offered by a organization like Fortinet that specializes in security. And at the same time, truly effective security also requires tools that work together across datacenters and clouds to deliver seamless and consistent protection and management across multiple network ecosystems, not just the cloud. The truth is, security is hard, relying on isolated point or platform-specific security solutions makes it even harder.

Fortinet’s Three Azure Announcements

  • FortiGate Secure SD-WAN now integrates with Azure Virtual WAN to accelerate cloud on-ramp by improving customer QoE and security. This is done through product integration and automation that simplifies connectivity to the Azure Virtual WAN using Fortinet’s Secure SD-WAN offering. This integration automates the creation and tear down of branches connected to Azure Virtual WAN, and provides centralized management of connected clouds across offices and regions. The FortiGate Secure SD-WAN’s integration with the Azure Virtual WAN also ensures optimal performance and security at the branch for customers accessing applications on Azure.
  • Fortinet is also delivering FortiWeb Cloud WAF-as-a-Service through the Microsoft Azure Marketplace. Organizations protecting their web applications are struggling to find a working balance between operational overhead and security effectiveness. FortiWeb WAF-as-a-Service offers the ideal combination by exposing pertinent configuration parameters for ease of management, while automating the provisioning of protection resources and fine-tuning security policies. Customers can now activate Fortinet’s Cloud WAF solution instantaneously, enabling the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution to automatically provision resources directly through the Azure marketplace. Fortinet’s Cloud WAF SaaS solution does not require administrators to possess specific web application security skills, thereby enabling rapid application deployment.
  • Fortinet FortiCWP’s (cloud workload protection) integration with Azure provides customers with increased visibility into and protection for their cloud workload activities and configurations. It also provides the ability to conduct deep analysis of data stored in Microsoft Azure blobs. By leveraging deep integration with Azure combined with utilizing FortiGuard-based threat intelligence, customers get comprehensive and up-to-date protection of their cloud data and workloads. FortiCWP works across clouds and leverages cloud providers’ APIs to gain a comprehensive view across workloads in any cloud region, enabling customers to detect threats and subsequently deploy necessary protection to mitigate these risks.

Essential Cloud Workload Protection with FortCWP

FortiCWP is a relatively new solution, so it warrants a closer look. FortiCWP is a cloud workload protection solution that hunts for and resolves security issues (misconfigurations, anomalous behavior, malicious content, etc.) in cloud-based workloads – not just in Azure, but in the AWS and Google Cloud Platforms as well. It also can scan for sensitive data and malware in places like cloud storage environments to check for compliance with common regulatory frameworks such as HIPAA, SOX/COBIT, and PCI/DSS. FortiCWP is designed specifically for infrastructure as a service (IaaS) deployments. Fortinet’s sister solution, FortiCASB, monitors SaaS applications such as Office365 and Salesforce to provide complete cloud-based application protections and secure the network from things like shadow IT.

One of the key ways FortiCWP performs its magic is through deep integration with the Azure Security Center. FortiCWP uses Azure-specific APIs to interrogate Azure Network Watcher, NSG Flow Events, Activity logs, and more to gain insight into security configuration and events as well as into data on user behaviors and traffic flows.  For this to happen, you do need an Azure account with the proper rights. Make sure your role is "Global Administrator" and that you have the AzureAD "Premium P2" license. Without the AzureAD "Premium P2" license, FortiCWP's Discovery feature cannot see user entitlements. A Storage account with blog log monitoring enabled will also be required.

This API level integration provides FortiCWP with the data it needs to monitor user activity, check configurations, and scan data blobs. FortiCWP also monitors user activity over time for risk assessment. This technique, called, “User Entity Behavior Analytics,” is a security process that monitors the normal actions of users and other entities combined with risk scoring techniques and advanced algorithms to detect anomalies over time.

The Fortinet Security Fabric Seamlessly Extends Your Network Security Strategy

Enabling comprehensive security with a cloud infrastructure environment like Microsoft Azure can be challenging. It is even more so when that security strategy needs to be extended across a multi-cloud network or span extended physical, virtual, and cloud environments. Fortinet provides the widest array of security solutions in the market, designed to operate natively within all major cloud environments, and function seamlessly across and between a variety of networked ecosystems. Rather than complicating an organization’s security footprint through vendor and solutions sprawl, this approach enables organizations to build, deploy, manage, and optimize a single, integrated security fabric that can operate consistently and seamlessly across even the most dynamic and highly distributed network environments.

Learn more about how Fortinet’s dynamic cloud security solutions give organizations the confidence to deploy any application on any cloud infrastructure. 

Read these customer case studies to see how Cuebiq and Steelcase implement Fortinet’s dynamic cloud security solutions for secure connectivity from data center to the cloud.