Industry Trends

Securing the Expanding Network Edge

By Fortinet | July 31, 2019

This is a summary of an article written for Network Computing by Fortinet’s John Maddison, EVP of Products & Solutions. The entire article can be accessed here.

The network perimeter is being replaced with new edge networks, such as SaaS applications, user-owned mobile devices, or directly connected systems that no longer backhaul traffic to the central network for inspection. As data moves between multi-cloud, IoT, SD-WAN and next-gen branch offices, and mobile devices, the challenge is ensuring consistency between these environments.

Security at Every Edge

Security solutions built around open standards allow the different edges to see all devices, share threat intelligence, and participate in coordinated threat response. However, they also need to be adapted to the unique requirements of each edge environment. Here are a few:

  • Multi-cloud: Security tools not only need to function natively in a cloud environment, but also interoperate with other versions of the same application running natively on other cloud platforms for consistent policy orchestration and enforcement across and between different cloud environments.
  • IoT: Most IoT devices are inherently insecure, unable to even be updated or patched. Network Access Control is needed to dynamically identify devices at the moment of access, apply policies and segmentation rules, and share those policies across the distributed network so their applications, transactions, and workflows are constantly monitored and secured.
  • OT: The convergence of IT and OT networks is not only expanding the attack surface, but exposing traditionally isolated and often highly vulnerable OT devices to IT-oriented attacks. These delicate and aging solutions are not only being exploited, but can be used as a platform to launch attacks on both OT and IT resources. Because of the delicate nature of many OT devices, Zero Trust combined with access control and intent-based segmentation can secure these newly connected applications, devices, and control systems.
  • WAN and Branch: SD-WAN combined with the next-gen Branch enables remote locations to enjoy the benefits of digital transformation without compromising on security. Protecting this emerging edge requires zero-touch deployment and a fully integrated suite of security tools to extend enterprise security functionality, performance, to each branch LAN.

What is Next

Second-generation security solutions can’t take us any further. Organizations need a third-generation security designed for today’s digital marketplace, built around high performance, adaptability, cross-device and cross-platform interoperability, and self-learning capabilities that not only see and respond to threats in real time but actually anticipate threats before they happen.


This is a summary of an article written for Network Computing entitled, Securing Today’s New and Varied Network Edges, written by Fortinet’s EVP of Products & Solutions, John Maddison, and published on the Network Computing website on June 11, 2019. 

Find out how Fortinet’s Security Fabric delivers broad, integrated, and automated protection across an organization’s entire digital attack surface from IoT to the edge, network core and to multi-clouds. 

Find out how Echoenergia and New Zealand Red Cross used Fortinet’s Security Fabric for end-to-end network protection.