Customer Stories

Transforming Networking and Security Infrastructure with Fortinet Secure SD-WAN and FortiSIEM

By Joe Robertson | December 11, 2020

Customer Perspectives

Government institutions face a variety of challenges when managing wide area network (WAN) security and operations. They must provide a high-performance network with almost 100% uptime, even as they support hundreds of remote locations. They are expected to secure citizen, business, economic, and user data in the face of rapidly evolving cyberthreats and unsecure network connections. If that weren’t enough, they must also proactively manage the network with limited staff and budgets.

Since implementing its WAN infrastructure in 2015, one European federal government ministry experienced frequent network outages and limited management capabilities and was dissatisfied with their chosen vendor’s lack of service and poor security vision. After numerous hardware failures that left citizens in remote locations without critical services, the ministry knew it was time to replace its existing networking and security infrastructure. It was looking for a comprehensive, integrated set of solutions that would deliver improved performance, security, and user experience, all while simplifying management and improving the total cost of ownership.

Supporting 750 Locations with Fortinet Secure SD-WAN and FortiSIEM

After the ministry’s contract with their existing vendor was terminated, they began their search for a new vendor that could support their 750 locations. They did not have to look far. After Fortinet successfully implemented a cluster of internal firewalls for this organization, the ministry’s networking and security departments got a taste of Fortinet’s advanced networking and security capabilities, as well as its centralized management features and attentive customer support. 

After their experience with Fortinet’s FortiGate Next-generation Firewalls and seeing several Proof of Concepts (PoCs) for key Fortinet solutions, the ministry decided that Fortinet was the right vendor to enable integrated, flexible networking and security capabilities to support their missions. They were impressed with Fortinet’s platform approach - called the Fortinet Security Fabric - in which all of the components are designed to work together.

With Fortinet Secure SD-WAN, the ministry was able to replace costly MPLS connections in favor of a solution that integrates networking and security into a single device to deliver business agility, security, best user experience, and high-performance WAN connectivity for the ministry’s 750 locations. 

Not only did Fortinet offer a Secure SD-WAN solution that met the ministry’s business needs, but it was also the only vendor to provide its own integrated Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solution. 

Fortinet’s FortiSIEM solution combines visibility, correlation, automated response, and remediation in a single, scalable solution to reduce the complexity of managing network and security operations. This would help the ministry effectively free up resources, improve detection, and prevent breaches. An added benefit of FortiSIEM is that it enables data collection and analytics from separate SOC and NOC silos to provide a single, comprehensive view of application security and performance.

Further, the Fabric Management Center—comprised of FortiManager and FortiAnalyzer—could provide automation-driven, single-pane-of-glass centralized management, visibility across the entire digital attack surface, high availability, and Secure SD-WAN provisioning and monitoring, in addition to managing the ministry’s existing FortiGates. Integrating all these functions reduces risk and enhances the ministry’s overall security posture. 

Improving Performance and Security with the Fortinet Security Fabric 

By leveraging Fortinet Secure SD-WAN, the ministry will improve network and security performance, reduce TCO, optimize connectivity, and ensure best user experience. Further, FortiSIEM will provide a much-improved information flow to the ministry’s SOC and the Fabric Management Center will help optimize network costs and performance through centralized management, best practices, compliance, and workflow automation. This integrated approach of the Fortinet Security Fabric proved to be just what the ministry needed to reduce complexity while delivering improved performance, advanced networking, and heightened security.

In the future, this organization plans to expand its Secure SD-WAN solution to Fortinet Secure SD-Branch by adopting our switching and WLAN technologies. This will enable the ministry to extend security to the LAN Edge while converging security and network access — extending the benefits of the Fortinet Security Fabric to distributed branch locations.

Take a security-driven approach to networking to improve user experience and simplify operations at the WAN edge with Fortinet’s Secure SD-WAN solution.