Customer Stories

Large U.S. Equipment Dealership Secures Remote Workforce with Fortinet SASE

By Nirav Shah and Satish Madiraju | May 17, 2022

For many businesses, one of the persistent legacies of the pandemic will be the shift to hybrid working models, where people split the working week between home and office. However, embracing this new approach to work demands a very different take on enterprise networking and security.

Supporting the Shift to Hybrid Working

This was the realization of one fast-growing construction equipment dealership that operates in dozens of counties across the Southern United States.

Having coped with the move to remote working during the pandemic, the company was looking to support hybrid working over the long term. However, the company discovered that its legacy approach to network security was poorly suited to the world of hybrid working.

The company had been using different solutions to secure traffic generated by users on-premises and those working from home and other locations. Not only was this approach complex, but the organization also found that the security logging and troubleshooting capabilities for remote workers was lacking.

With its existing solutions up for renewal, the company decided to take a different approach and find a simpler comprehensive cloud-delivered secure web gateway approach to protecting their direct-to-internet traffic for remote workers and to provide granular web filtering, antivirus, and application control. The team was on the lookout for a solution that would be easy to onboard and inclusive of cloud management capabilities for securing remote workers.

Concurrently, the company also wanted to replace its legacy-managed network with a software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) solution managed by its own team. The network needed to connect 12 branches for site-to-site file sharing, active directory replication, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) as well as virtual private network (VPN) tunnels, content filtering, load balancing, and log retention and analysis.

FortiSASE Secure Access Service Edge

As part of a competitive evaluation, the company invited Fortinet to provide a demonstration of its FortiSASE (secure access service edge) solution. The demo convinced the company that FortiSASE could deliver the functionality it required, and Fortinet was signed up to partner with the client in its hybrid working journey.

The FortiSASE solution is a scalable cloud-based service powered by the FortiOS (operating system) and AI-driven threat intelligence from FortiGuard Labs. Combining firewall-as-a-service (FWaaS), cloud-delivered Secure Web Gateway (SWG), and zero-trust network access (ZTNA), FortiSASE protects all remote traffic into the internet, cloud apps, and the company’s corporate network. The company was thrilled that not only would it allow them to secure remote users, but also enable consistent security policies across its corporate network and remote users—a key differentiator with Fortinet’s solution.

Underpinned by Fortinet Secure SD-WAN, FortiSASE replaces the company’s collection of disparate legacy solutions with a single, comprehensive way to centrally provision, visualize, and manage all users within its networks on a per-device basis.

Key use cases for the client include advanced threat protection, endpoint protection, detection and response, logging and reporting, and ZTNA. In addition, Fortinet provided a FortiGuard AI-powered web security services bundle, which includes antivirus and malware protection, to further enhance the company’s security posture.

Comprehensive Security Made Easy

With Fortinet Secure SD-WAN in place, the company is now managing its own network, providing it with the visibility and control it lacked previously. Meanwhile, FortiSASE is providing a simple, cloud-first way to quickly and easily onboard remote users. Rather than having to contend with multiple vendors and solutions, the company can now manage its hybrid working network and security in one place, saving time and effort. Moreover, FortiSASE is highly scalable. Simple tiered licensing based on the number of devices, which are stackable to support more devices as needed, enables the company to easily add more remote workers without the need for infrastructure changes, helping it achieve its growth ambitions.

One of the first things to attract the company to FortiSASE is the solution’s intuitive user interface. Beneath this simple management layer sits a powerful cloud security system. From secure web access to precise web filtering and application controls to robust VPN capabilities, FortiSASE has provided the firm with the exact level of protection and oversight it required, significantly boosting its security posture for hybrid working while making troubleshooting easier with simple, cloud-based logging.

In addition to the features of the solution, the company has also been impressed with Fortinet’s flexible, collaborative approach to partnership. Fortinet worked closely with the client to ensure the FortiSASE solution was up and running before the company’s legacy solutions were retired.

Meanwhile, Fortinet’s cost points are proving to be a significant benefit for the company. Over three years, Fortinet is forecast to deliver a 50% reduction in total cost of ownership (TCO) compared to the legacy network and security system, largely as a result of enabling the client to move off the costly metered managed service model it had used previously. The solution also favorably shifts the balance from CapEx-heavy to OpEx consumption license models.

By opting for FortiSASE, the dealership has replaced a disjointed security infrastructure reliant on multiple vendor relationships and hardware upgrades with an agile, cloud-first approach that is constantly up to date and leveraging the latest threat intelligence to stay on top of security threats as they emerge. A company embracing the future of work is doing so by leveraging the future of secure remote working.

Learn how FortiSASE brings together the best in visibility, security, and orchestrated policy control for secure internet access to users anywhere, regardless of their location.