Industry Trends

Channel Focus: Solving Security’s Growing Pains with Scalability

By Amy Thompson | March 31, 2017

Going wireless with a customer’s network and cloud was once a leap. Now it’s simply the next step. According to Cisco’s latest Global Cloud Index, 92% of workloads will be processed in cloud data centers by 2020, and research from IDG shows worldwide spending on public cloud service will grow to more than $141B by 2019.

As the use of the cloud grows, however, the potential attack surface becomes substantially larger and organizations are exposed to new risks. But that’s not all. While technology is evolving, so are customer expectations. Customers expect companies to keep their data safe, and if there’s a breach, the company’s reputation is on the line. In fact, 71% of consumers believe businesses lose reputation points when they are the victim of a cyber security issue.

What does this mean for the channel? Businesses will continue to face new challenges, and solution providers need to offer a scalable security solution so their channel partners can foster growth and maintain customer satisfaction with their own customers.

Let’s take a look at a few of the growing pains that businesses are experiencing in today’s evolving landscape, and how Fortinet partners can help redefine cybersecurity with the Fortinet Security Fabric.

Company Growth

The harsh reality of working in the cyber security industry is that falling behind can be a death sentence. The digitization of the professional world has placed platforms and security solutions at a disadvantage. While data growth demands increased network power and performance, far too many systems that have been in place for decades aren’t able to keep up.

As the business grows, employees utilize more devices, new data is added, new servers are required to store the data, and most importantly, all of this need to be secured.

Outdated networks are forced to grow upwards instead of outwards, complicating potential security solutions. Without a scalable security solution, your customers will be unable to keep up with their overall network and data center growth. Additionally, without the proper security infrastructure in place, growth will mean becoming more susceptible to attacks.

Speed of Technology

The shift to the cloud has enabled companies to develop and deliver new and highly scalable applications at record speed. As these new applications are created and implemented, however, new vulnerabilities can arise. For businesses, this requires adding new layers of security, leading to a different challenge -- integrating new security with existing security technology.

For years, businesses have attempted to bolster their security environment by adding more and more individual technologies and solutions to their pre-existing platform environments. While a platform has the ability to grow upwards, absorbing a variety of devices and applications, each layer that is added to the platform leads to connectivity and communication issues due to the increased pressure that is placed on each entity, and further isolates it from platforms in other places in the network that are deploying different solutions.

As a platform begins to stack new data, devices, and compatible applications, connecting them through a central management console becomes challenging.  Even when that can be successfully achieved, they remain vulnerable to a time delay in communicating security threats between traditionally isolated security components – a delay that could compromise the system. As a result, the attack surface becomes increasingly vulnerable as the platform grows congested and communication continues to be limited.

When security technologies operate in siloes and communication is hindered, the overall effectiveness of a security strategy is diminished. That’s where a fabric comes in.

Instead of growing upwards, like platforms of the past, the fabric is an interwoven network that grows outwards, expanding into every part of the increasingly distributed network. It allows every element to communicate in real-time, eliminating the opportunity for a threat to go undetected, and hardening previously vulnerable areas of the attack surface.

Unstacking each piece of a platform and spreading it out along a unified security plane fills communication gaps that will enable running a smooth and safe network. Without having proper security woven throughout the network, businesses risk being the next security breach headline.

Increasing Threat Landscape

When cloud computing was introduced in the tech industry, questions about security, performance, and data privacy were in need of answers. The rise of IoT has taken that to the next level, and it’s no longer just playing a role in IT departments.

The IoT and related devices can be found in the ER, on manufacturing floors, in your mobile banking app, in your car, in your kitchen and living room, and even around your wrist. Technology is connecting seemingly everyday things, but this connectivity could also be opening doors for cyber criminals to take a deeper dive into not only your personal life, but your professional life as well. 

Fortinet’s Security Fabric allows our partners to deliver a flexible, scalable, and integrated solution across all networks, from IoT to the cloud. It allows the web of security to dynamically expand and adapt as more servers, applications, and data are added. At the same time, it can seamlessly follow and protect everything that is housed in the cloud as it moves back and forth between IoT, smart devices, and cloud environments distributed throughout the network.
The development of IoT has introduced a variety of largely unsecured wireless devices to pre-existing platforms, and it has led to new weaknesses that cybercriminals can, and will, exploit. The fabric is engineered to provide a flexible, secure infrastructure that will provide the maximum integrated and automated protection that every enterprise expects.

Final Thoughts

Going forward, IoT is accelerating the world towards a time when connectivity through the cloud is simply expected for devices and data in all areas of life. At Fortinet, we are always looking for new ways to innovate security to meet the evolving demands of the technology that we are weaving into our businesses and lives. In order to fulfill the needs of each user we have built a architectural-based system that is able to provide scalable security and extend it into all depths and breadths of growing cloud-based environments.

This focus on scalability, flexibility, and interoperability has provided Fortinet and our partners with a unique opportunity to zero in on the specific needs and goals, both short-term and long-term, of customers, providing them with the opportunity to securely and confidently grow into the company that they are striving to become.