Customer Stories

Manufacturer Embraces Secure Hybrid Working with FortiSASE Secure Access Service Edge

By Satish Madiraju and Jaime Chanaga | June 22, 2022

Around the world, the way people work is changing dramatically. Increasingly, enterprises in a wide range of sectors recognize the advantages of hybrid working, a model where employees divide their working week between the home office and corporate facilities. Hybrid working offers a wide range of benefits to enterprises and employees alike such as a happier, more engaged workforce and the ability to reduce the cost of running an office.

The Security Challenges of a Hybrid Workforce

However, hybrid working also brings with it technical challenges, not least when it comes to cybersecurity. For one large aluminum can manufacturer and distributor based in Central America, cybersecurity was top of mind during its recent move to hybrid working. While keen on extending access to corporate applications to its users regardless of their physical location, the company was aware of the difficulties that this would bring.

First, with more remote users accessing the network, the organization’s attack surface would increase significantly unless protection was put in place between remote users’ devices and the public internet. Second, the company was aware that there was a lack of explicit application-level access control based on user device and identity. In effect, access to the network was based on implicit trust, leaving applications exposed. And third, there was a lack of consistent security policies on and off the network.

The company therefore put out a search for a security solution that could secure remote workers and protect devices with endpoint protection capabilities such as malware prevention and removable media control. The solution would also need to help the company move to a zero-trust network access (ZTNA) approach where application access would be provided on the basis of explicit trust for users based on user and device identity and context.

FortiSASE Secures the Hybrid Environment

Fortinet had an existing relationship with the company, having supplied it with FortiGate Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFWs) for edge security. Based on its positive experience with Fortinet technology and its excellent relationship with the team, the company asked Fortinet to propose a security solution for its remote workers.

Because most of the company’s relevant corporate applications are in the cloud, and since it is already a FortiGate NGFW customer, Fortinet’s proposed solution was to natively integrate the Fortinet Zero Trust Network Access using the FortiClient Fabric Agent with its FortiGate devices and a FortiSASE Secure Access Service Edge. FortiSASE extends networking and security capabilities beyond the corporate walls, allowing organizations to take advantage of firewall-as-a-service (FWaaS), secure web gateway (SWG), zero-trust network access, and other threat detection functions regardless of location.

Fortinet’s proposed solutions won out over competitors largely because it could provide a single agent for multiple use cases. The FortiClient Fabric Agent both ensures endpoint protection and redirects traffic to FortiSASE without having to go through the trouble and cost of onboarding multiple agents on their clients. This benefit proved decisive, and Fortinet was engaged to deploy its solution.

Consistent Security Anywhere

With Fortinet’s solution in place, the company now benefits from a secure hybrid workforce and work-from-anywhere environment. Security is consistently high for all users regardless of location—both on and off the network—and powered by a single operating system, which makes the company’s entire security infrastructure easier to manage. The company has now completed its shift from enabling users to access applications based on implicit trust to a ZTNA model where access is only based on explicit trust. This shift significantly enhances its security.

In addition to the security benefits that come with a best-in-class solution, the company also benefits from Fortinet’s simplified licensing model for FortiSASE. With Fortinet, the company only needs to manage one SKU (stock keeping unit) for the solution, services, logging, and management of the system, based on users. This approach makes it easy for the company to consume Fortinet’s services and allows it to future-proof its solutions as it is easy to add new services without adding complexity to the licensing agreement.

For many organizations, the move to hybrid working is a significant shift. However, with FortiSASE, the technical elements of this shift can be simplified, enabling businesses to deploy a remote workforce rapidly and securely.  

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.