Industry Trends

Securing Network Access

By Bill McGee | May 11, 2016

Market analysts estimate that by 2020 each person will own 26 IP-enabled devices, and over 50 billion IoT devices will come online. Each of these will need to transmit and receive data, run applications, perform transactions, and access services. At the same time, the line between our private and our public lives, including our work lives, will continue to blur. Because the network is the nexus point for this convergence, network borders are becoming increasingly porous, data it needs to process is growing exponentially, and the corporate network is interoperating with a variety of public cloud environments.

Managing who, what, and how users and devices can access distributed corporate resources is a critical line of defense for protecting today’s networks. Which means that secure access needs to go beyond just traditional perimeter control. In a borderless network, connectivity can happen anywhere, so secure access needs to be pervasive. Networks and data centers need to be intelligently segmented to contain threats and control access. Security needs to follow data as it moves laterally and horizontally across the network. And security needs to function as an integrated system in order to identify advanced threats hunting across the network for data to hijack or systems to exploit.

Secure access today is about allowing any device, in any location, and at any time to have access to pre-determined sets of data, or to perform specific transactions, based on policy and context.

In such a dynamic environment, it is essential that your network and security infrastructure can automatically profile, classify, monitor, and block devices and applications the moment they touch the network. And this policy needs to follow this traffic as it moves across, or even in and out of the network.

At the same time, the network needs to be intelligently segmented in order to transparently control where data or applications can or cannot go, to contain threats from spreading across the network, and to better see and stop advanced threats. Which means that a border and access control strategy needs to be applied not just at the edge, but across the entire distributed network, from IoT to the cloud.

Fortinet’s Security Fabric Interweaves Security with Access Networks

Fortinet addresses these challenges with a suite of Secure Access Architecture solutions that cover the entire access infrastructure, providing consistent controls for both wired and wireless networks. Their single common operating system, FortiOS, allows these solutions to be intelligently integrated into Fortinet’s Security Fabric. This enables individual security components to identify and respond to threats as a single system, be managed through a single pane of glass, and leverage a single source of security updates.

These advanced capabilities arm IT with the broadest possible visibility and control over a constantly changing network, while allowing them to dynamically interact with and protect critical enterprise resources wherever they are.

Fortinet’s Secure Access Architecture:

Fortinet provides a wide array of high-performance, security-enabled access solutions that operate independently, or as an integral part of the Fortinet Security Fabric:

  • Access Applications enable guest access, presence, application visibility, and device onboarding
  • Authentication/End Point automate guest and employee device onboarding, single-sign on, and certificate management
  • Flexible Management provides choice at the access layer with controller, controller-less, cloud, multi-channel, and single-channel deployment modes
  • Next Generation Access Security provides industry leading, integrated cybersecurity protection at the access layer.
  • Standalone and Integrated Wireless Controllers provide flexible deployment options that scale to enterprises of all sizes
  • Enterprise-Class Secure Access and Datacenter Switches provide high-performance, cost-effective access and data center switches with integrated security and universal management
  • WLAN Access Points support all deployment options including controller, controller-less and cloud managed options, and are suitable for indoor and outdoor environments

For more information, please see the recent Fortinet Secure Access Architecture announcement