Industry Trends

Businesses Need A Security Fabric That is Local AND Global

By Bill McGee | September 28, 2016

Security today relies on total visibility across the distributed network, as well deep insight into threats gathered and correlated from across the globe. But visibility isn’t enough. It needs to be combined with an integrated security architecture, such as the Fortinet Security Fabric, that can actively convert that visibility into actionable intelligence.

The Global Security Fabric

Over the past few months we have written a lot about Fortinet’s new Security Fabric framework that, for the first time, can correlate intelligence from network and security devices deployed across the network, and deliver a coordinated response to those threats. But that’s only half the story. Essential to the efficacy of the Fortinet Security Fabric is Fortinet’s “global fabric” ­ the collection, analysis, and dissemination of threat intelligence collected from millions of threat sensors distributed literally across the globe. These sensors identify and track threat events and intelligently communicate them Fortinet’s cloud-based analysis centers, where they are correlated and analyzed. The result is real-time intelligence of the entire global threat landscape that can be fed dynamically to every deployed Fortinet device.

For this to take place, we have had to sell and deploy millions of security devices to customers around the world who then opt in to allow us to analyze traffic and identify and track new and existing threats. Of course, there are a number of companies who claim to do this same thing, but they are limited either by the relatively low number of sensors they have deployed, or by the fact that the majority of their sensors have been limited to certain industries, regions, or organizations of a certain size. This is where Fortinet stands apart. Not only have our solutions been distributed across all regions and industries, but they cover every market size, from SMB to Enterprise to Service Provider customers.

A critical component of this global breadth can be attributed to Fortinet’s success designing and delivering powerful yet easy to manage security solutions to the SMB market. Delivering enterprise-level security effectiveness, networking performance and features at amazing value has made Fortinet far away the first choice for small and mid-sized businesses. And has also resulted in our consistent leadership position in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Unified Threat Management.

The threat intelligence collected and shared from the millions of devices located in small and medium-sized businesses serving as sensors - located in literally every corner of the globe - is key to the efficacy and accuracy of our global Security Fabric.

Fortinet’s UTM appliances are the most deployed security appliances on the planet, and each is part of Fortinet’s global security fabric. In fact, according to IDC’s latest Worldwide Quarterly Security Appliance Tracker report, Fortinet has now shipped over 2.7 Million security appliances, averaging nearly twice as many security devices deployed per year as any other vendor. Combined with such tools as honeypots and web crawlers, Fortinet has the largest network of threat collection sensors in the world.

Using machine learning, integrated systems, patented analysis tools, and hundreds of human threat researchers, Fortinet’s threat team converts this flood of global data into actionable threat intelligence. This has allowed us to do such things as identify more zero-day threats than any other security vendor, issue regular threat reports and updates to customers, consistently respond to threats with updated signatures in record time, and convert threat data into actionable intelligence that is used to dynamically update Fortinet security devices on a 24x7 basis with customized protection.

And that is another critical difference. Intelligence is only useful if it can be directly applied to your unique circumstances and environment. The communication protocols developed by Fortinet to support this automatic global network have enabled the creation of local security fabric architectures unique to each customer.  

The Local Security Fabric

The customized security intelligence collected and shared by Fortinet’s global threat team is directly shared with both UTM devices deployed in small businesses, as well as with the sophisticated Fortinet Security Fabric deployments at large enterprises. Seamlessly integrated security devices, designed to intelligently communicate real-time threat information, enables the next generation of protection and automated response across today’s widely distributed enterprise networks, from IoT to the cloud.

  • Leveraging the advances in intelligent communication protocols used in Fortinet’s global Security Fabric has enabled the creation of highly responsive local Security Fabrics that are unique to each customer.
  • An enterprise Security Fabric consists of tightly integrated, intercommunicating security, access, endpoint, and network appliances that are deployed across an entire infrastructure, from the edge to the core. This allows for the detection of sophisticated attacks and the ability to dynamically segment critical networks and data for ultimate, real-time protection.
  • The Fortinet Security Fabric can also consist of a single UTM device that is fully integrated with networking and wireless capabilities, providing both global and local visibility, and bringing the security protections and networking features of traditionally enterprise-grade security to SMBs. Which is why Gartner is consistently placed in Gartner’s UTM Magic Quadrant report.

Threat intelligence, both local and global, needs to be combined with the best security technologies available. With our reentry into the Wired and WLAN Magic Quadrant, Fortinet is now included in six Gartner MQ’s (Email, Enterprise Firewall, SIEM, UTM, WAF, Wired & WLAN), a significant accomplishment. Organizations of any size can confidently rely on the innovative Fortinet Security Fabric for the unified protection that today’s dynamic networks require.