Industry Trends

The Myth of the ”Platform” Security Strategy

By Daniel Cole | June 13, 2016

We all know about the challenges of having far too many security vendors deployed across our networks. 

In Fortinet’s most recent research, surveying over 1,000 CSOs across ten countries about their top concerns, 59% of respondents stated that the greatest challenge to achieving automated and consistent security policies across their networks was due to the numerous firewall solutions deployed within their network infrastructures.

Security managers monitor an average of 14 security consoles, and still often have to hand-correlate events and threat information to see and respond to threats. This is a strategy that clearly will not scale as the volume of traffic and number of devices on their network continues to grow.

In response, some manufacturers have begun marketing the advantages of standardizing on a single-vendor security “platform” strategy. Their argument is that a single large security vendor with multiple offerings will reduce management and deployment overhead, simplify patching and updates, and centralize orchestration and reporting.

Yet, according to our survey results, 61% of IT leaders said that the lack of “standardization of security technologies” from such vendors was still a barrier to re-architecting their infrastructures with the advanced security solutions they need to protect themselves. 

And it’s no wonder. While these vendors may offer a wide range of security tools, their solutions are hardly integrated. They often run on different operating systems, use different management tools, and cannot provide unified visibility, control, response, or reporting. And their lack of standardization makes integration with third-party solutions difficult if not impossible. 

This raises some important questions, such as: 

How effective and integrated are end-to-end security platforms, really, if IT leaders are still claiming that their most significant challenge is the failure of vendors to provide security standardization even across their own product lines? 

Is a single-vendor strategy really better if the resulting security deployment is just as complicated and resource-intensive as a multi-vendor approach?

And finally, what are we supposed to do? Because the evolution of dynamic, distributed, and fluid networking architectures is not going to wait for the security industry to figure out how to solve this problem. Which puts the entire emerging digital economy at risk.

Which is exactly why Fortinet has developed the integrated and collaborative Fortinet Security Fabric, which provides the following benefits:

  • The Fortinet Security Fabric’s core foundation is built on Fortinet’s Enterprise Firewalls, which are all interconnected by a single, unified operating system for simplified deployment and control. This architecture actually delivers the benefits of standardization claimed by “platform” vendors.
  • It provides a single pane of glass for centralized visibility, policy, and orchestration.
  • The Security Fabric provides a wide array of critical security technologies, from firewalls to content security to secure access points, designed to correlate threat information and coordinate threat response anywhere across the distributed network - whether local or remote, physical or virtual, wired or wireless, and in your domain or in the cloud.
  • These tools share common threat intelligence gathered from both the local environment as well as from Fortinet’s massive global threat intelligence collection and analysis database.
  • They are also built using advanced custom hardware designed to deliver market-leading scalability and performance, combined with deep content inspection, while keeping costs under control.
  • Fortinet’s Security Fabric is also designed around a set of open API’s, to support a rich ecosystem of third-party Alliance partners that extend its unified security strategy.
  • And it is available everywhere, providing powerful security designed for the most demanding enterprise environments. Fortinet Security Fabric-enabled technologies are the most widely deployed solutions in small to medium businesses and remote offices. And Fortinet is by far the single-most deployed security vendor in service provider and cloud environments.

The digital evolution, including the complete transformation of the network and computing environment, is well underway. Ironically, the weakest link in this evolution is siloed security solutions designed for yesterday’s networks, whether you are trying to deploy and manage a multi-vendor architecture, or a collection of disconnected and partially or non-integrated solutions from a single vendor.

What you need is a purpose-built, fully integrated security architecture designed to meet the demands of today’s most dynamic network environments and to address the challenges of tomorrow’s most sophisticated threats. Fortinet is the first security vendor to offer such a solution.