Business & Technology

Fortinet’s Security Fabric Expands With FortiOS 7.0

By John Maddison | February 04, 2021

Today’s networks continue to expand, further fragmenting the traditional edges at the data center, WAN, and LAN with things like off-network devices, distributed compute, multi-cloud, converged OT networks, LTE and 5G, the internet, and most recently, the home edge – all being added at a breakneck pace. 

This proliferation of new and unique edge environments has made today’s networks increasingly difficult to secure. Part of the reason is the rate of change. But the other is that much of this digital innovation has been piece-meal, without a unifying security strategy or framework. Most organizations have accumulated a wide variety of isolated security tools designed to protect this or that function in this or that segment of the network. And the resulting vendor and solutions sprawl has made maintaining network-wide visibility and consistent policy enforcement next to impossible, let alone trying to simply maintain and monitor the various security solutions that are in place.

The Fortinet Security Fabric Platform

The security industry for the most part has failed to deliver the kinds of platforms and services that today’s changing network requires. Instead, most security vendors are focused on delivering a single slice of security. And they’ll never be able to help organizations keep up with the complexity of today’s threat landscape with that approach. 

Fortinet addresses this challenge with the Fortinet Security Fabric, an integrated platform designed to span the extended network while providing consistent security and performance across all edges. This approach enables security to keep pace with networking and security changes, ensuring holistic visibility across the entire network, correlating and analyzing data from distributed networking and security devices to better detect threats, and leveraging all connected systems to launch a coordinated response to cyberattacks. 

The Fortinet Security Fabric does this by supporting more consumption models than any other solution, including physical, virtual, cloud, and as-a-Service environments. And it encompasses the industry’s broadest product portfolio, spanning network security, SD-WAN, switching and wireless access, network access control, authentication, public and private cloud security, endpoint security, and AI-driven advanced threat protection solutions – all built on a common operating system, FortiOS

FortiOS 7.0 – Critical Network and Security Advances

The challenges with rapidly expanding the network edge is that many of the technologies needed to make things work simply don’t work together. And isolated point security solutions can cripple an organization’s ability to expand their network and rapidly adapt to evolving business requirements. A zero trust solution, for example, requires leveraging a variety of components – a client, a proxy, authentication, security. But in most organizations, these are almost always provided by different vendors. That means they run on different operating systems and use different consoles for management and configuration. This makes establishing a zero-trust model across all of those vendors nearly impossible. 

Which is why Fortinet is proud to announce the release of FortiOS 7.0, a major new release in the most broadly deployed security operating system in the world. With over 300 new features and updates, FortiOS 7.0 further extends the Security Fabric to provide consistent security for all network edges including the end point, the network, the cloud and OT. But more importantly, this release is a continuation of our commitment to delivering an expansive and integrated cybersecurity platform designed to protect all networks, endpoints, and clouds. It empowers the expansive Security Fabric by providing a common framework for all critical security solutions, regardless of where they have been deployed.

7 Critical FortiOS 7.0 Updates

FortiOS 7.0 enables organizations to tackle some of the biggest security challenges they currently face, such as providing advanced cloud-based security and zero trust network access to remote workers and the new home office. Here is an overview of the key services and functions now included in FortiOS 7.0:

1. Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA)
FortiOS 7.0 enables any FortiGate customer to quickly and easily deploy Zero Trust Network Access, thereby ensuring validated and authorized access to specific sets of networked resources based on user role, device type, and similar contexts. ZTNA improves user experience by providing a better and more secure remote access solution, replacing traditional VPN connections. It also reduces the attack surface by verifying each user and device for every application session, as well as by hiding business-critical applications from the internet. 

ZTNA, powered by FortiOS 7.0, also simplifies management by enabling the deployment and enforcement of the same access policies no matter where users are, whether on- or off-network. Fortinet is the only vendor to deliver a firewall-based ZTNA solution, providing high performance, a common management and configuration interface, and support for critical consolidation efforts.

2. Cloud-based SASE

Fortinet’s new cloud-based SASE consumption (Security-as-a-Service) model, included in FortiOS7.0, extends Fortinet’s enterprise-grade security delivered on-premises to remote workers, hardening the weakest link in most security architectures. This provides end users with consistent protections and policy enforcement no matter where they are located. And for customers that prefer a lightweight, simplified branch, Fortinet also supports a thin edge solution via SASE.

3. Self-healing SD-WAN 
FortiOS 7.0 now provides self-healing capabilities through adaptive WAN remediations for Fortinet’s leading Secure SD-WAN solution, making the application experience much more resilient. Fortinet has also expanded passive application monitoring for SaaS and multi-cloud applications for better user-experience to support users working from anywhere.

4. 5G network connectivity
FortiOS 7.0 also extends network connectivity and security beyond the WAN Edge with innovations in 5G and LTE that improve wireless network performance and increase resiliency. With a diverse Wireless WAN and LTE solution in place, organizations can achieve secure, scalable, and highly available network connectivity anywhere, as a powerful backup solution, or as a primary connection service in remote locations where other services are unreliable or unavailable.

5. Adaptive cloud security
Organizations today struggle to ensure consistent security policy and enforcement, manage and optimize application access, and maintain overall performance across multi-cloud environments. With the introduction of FortiOS 7.0, Fortinet’s adaptive cloud security offerings provide optimized performance and security across multi-cloud, central management for hybrid clouds, auto-scaling for practical usage of resources, dynamic load-balancing, and application user experience visibility within and across multi-cloud environments.  

6. Augmented NOC/SOC
FortiOS 7.0 provides improved operational efficiency for NOC and SOC environments with new and expanded capabilities that provide network security teams of all sizes and sophistication more options for improving operational efficiency, including FortiManager/FortiAnalyzer integrations with the latest release of FortiSOAR as a container to fully orchestrate an organization’s security processes. New updates also simplify SaaS management and strengthen Fortinet’s ability to reduce the complexity of operations into a single management experience via FortiCloud.

7. FortiGuard Labs Threat Intelligence
The FortiGuard security service portfolio includes a rich set of advanced security capabilities for content, users, devices, web access, and applications protection. FortiOS 7.0 now extends that functionality with web protection optimized for work-from-home environments. It also includes the industry’s first video filtering service to provide even more granular protection for organizations and users with new video-intense content consumption patterns driven by the increase in work-from-home. 

FortiOS 7.0 is a Giant Leap Forward for Today’s Networks

The release of FortiOS 7.0 dramatically expands the Fortinet Security Fabric’s ability to deliver consistent security across all networks, endpoints, and clouds. It enables organizations to run their businesses the way they need to be run, so users and devices are able to access applications, resources, data, and services regardless of where they are deployed, from anywhere in the world. 

Because organizations can consolidate their security into a single, integrated platform, the Fortinet Security Fabric, powered by FortiOS 7.0, expands visibility and control, ensures the consistent deployment and enforcement of security policies, and enables centralized management across the entire distributed network – all without compromising performance or protection, limiting scalability, or putting the brakes on innovation. 

Discover how FortiOS 7.0 expands the Fortinet Security Fabric’s ability to deliver consistent security across all networks, endpoints, and clouds.