Business & Technology

Furthering the Convergence of Networking and Security with FortiSASE

By Nirav Shah and Satish Madiraju | October 18, 2022

Today’s networks are nothing like the ones most security solutions were designed to defend, nor are they confined to four office walls. Modern networks are more than just perimeterless. They’re expansive and constantly evolving to support an organization’s digital acceleration efforts, work from anywhere (WFA) strategies, and other top business priorities.

In response to these rapid changes, many security and IT teams have become accustomed to overlaying point security solutions onto their hybrid networks. Yet doing so has led to increased management complexity, performance bottlenecks, poor user experience, and the potential introduction of new exploitable gaps or vulnerabilities. But hybrid, rapidly evolving networks are here to stay, so a better approach to security and networking is needed.

Instead of simply consolidating solutions and vendors, networking and security convergence can deliver many benefits for security and IT teams that for so long have felt like a pipe dream. The result is that organizations can provide a reliable and consistent user experience while improving security, reducing complexities, and finding efficiencies.

Fortinet was founded on this principle of convergence, and we have an ongoing commitment to deliver strong networking capabilities and robust cybersecurity controls in a single operating system (FortiOS).

Single-Vendor SASE is More Critical Than Ever

Not just secure access service edge (SASE), but “single-vendor SASE” – the delivery of networking and security capabilities from one vendor in a unified solution – has emerged as a critical example of convergence that is helping teams drive operational efficiency, cost reduction by reducing vendors and point products, and reduced complexity. In fact, Gartner predicts that “by 2025, one-third of new SASE deployments will be based on a single-vendor SASE offering, up from 10% in 2022.” 1

FortiSASE, driven by Fortinet’s single-vendor SASE approach, delivers a comprehensive SASE solution that extends the convergence of networking and security from the edge to remote users. FortiSASE seamlessly converges cloud-delivered networking (SD-WAN) and cloud-delivered security (SSE comprised of secure web gateway, universal zero trust network access, cloud access security broker, and Firewall-as-a-Service). A single operating system (FortiOS) and single agent (FortiClient), with AI and ML layered across, drive operational efficiency.

FortiSASE Supports Three Main Use Cases

FortiSASE’s cloud-delivered security and networking capabilities deliver enterprise-grade security and superior user experience to remote workers in a single, integrated solution to support organizations in shifting from a CAPEX to OPEX business model and enable the following use cases:

  1. Secure Internet Access – Securing all user traffic to/from the internet
  2. Secure Private Access – Secure and reliable access to privately hosted applications
  3. Secure SaaS Access – Comprehensive visibility and control for SaaS applications

Introducing Greater Flexibility for Secure Private Access and Enhanced SaaS Access

Organizations of all sizes across all industries—from aluminum manufacturers to fast food chains—rely on FortiSASE to enable Secure Internet Access that is fast and ensures consistent security for all user traffic to and from the internet. This is a critically important advantage as more users join a remote workforce, SaaS applications see rapid adoption, and data moves rapidly among data centers, branch offices, and hybrid- and multi-cloud environments.

We've recently introduced several enhancements to our converged offering, including:

  • Secure Private Access: Organizations currently leveraging Fortinet Secure SD-WAN and/or FortiGate Next-generation Firewalls now have instant access to cloud-delivered SD-WAN connectivity for their remote users. This means they can take advantage of our existing capabilities of granular application access with Fortinet Universal ZTNA and now deliver broader application access with cloud-delivered SD-WAN. This makes FortiSASE the most flexible secure private access solution, supporting the most comprehensive set of private applications running in the data center or public cloud.
  • Secure SaaS Access: FortiSASE delivers comprehensive visibility and control for all SaaS applications running in an environment, now enhanced with next-generation dual-mode Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) capabilities. Using both inline and API-based CASB support, FortiSASE enables full visibility into sanctioned and unsanctioned applications. This enhancement will help security teams address shadow IT and data exfiltration challenges.

These FortiSASE use cases allow our customers to enable consistent security and user experience throughout their organizations, no matter where their users and applications are distributed.

Supporting Your Organization’s Digital Acceleration Journey

Security and networking must continue to converge to allow organizations to adapt to today’s rapid pace of new priorities and evolving business needs. And with WFA being the new normal, businesses that haven’t started moving toward converged networking and security solutions will soon need to do so.

Every organization has a unique digital acceleration journey. Some are implementing controls inside data centers and in the cloud, and are offering secure connectivity across branches, campuses, and manufacturing facilities. Many are implementing SD-WAN for application-steering needs, while others are taking the next step and adding secure remote access through SASE. Wherever you are on your digital acceleration journey, our goal is to help unify your security and networking solutions because converged technologies like single-vendor SASE are the best way to reduce complexity, increase security effectiveness, and ensure a reliable user experience across today’s expanding networks.

Learn more about FortiSASE and Fortinet’s ability to deliver single-vendor SASE that enables consistent security and user experience no matter where users and applications are distributed.

1 Gartner, Market Guide for Single-Vendor SASE, 28 September 2022, Neil MacDonald, John Watts, Jonathan Forest, Andrew Lerner.

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