Access Policies and Automation – The Path to Digital Transformation and the Cloud

By Devang Bhatt | November 02, 2021

The inaugural Fortinet Security Summit, provided insights that has allowed many organizations to pause and question their approach to security. The summit was kicked off on September 14 with a keynote from Ruvi Kitov, CEO of Tufin, on “How Enterprise Access Policies Can Drive Digital Transformation and Enable the Cloud.” As a Fortinet Fabric-Ready Partner in Fortinet’s Open Ecosystem, Tufin provides an intelligent, unified security policy management platform that delivers the automation features required of both network and cloud security professionals. With support for the broad diversity of technology products, platforms, and services, Tufin is a natural Fortinet partner as we work together to secure the evolving network architecture and the changing threat landscape. 

Digital Transormation and the Cloud Bring Change in Organizations

Speaking on the topic of digital transformation and the approach required to ensure true change in organizations, Ruvi warns that this new dynamism comes with greater risk. Despite spending millions on security measures, many organizations are still struggling to implement a comprehensive security posture that meets the needs of increasingly diverse, fragmented IT and development environments. While infrastructure continues to evolve, virtualize and containerize, most organizations lack a system to effectively manage "who can talk to whom, and what can talk to what" across their entire IT infrastructure.

This brings a clear conflict. For every individual who has embraced the value of working from anywhere (WFA) or is excited about the increasing adoption of IoT, there is an equal number of security professionals warning about the growing number of access points and the exponentially larger attack surface. And for proponents of a least-privilege approach to Zero Trust, there are those who point to security teams as blockers of progress who are slowing business agility. Yet, it is very clear to executives running the enterprise that transformation cannot be done in a vacuum.

By 2024, most large organizations will have a hybrid network and use multi-cloud for IaaS/ PaaS. With exploding cloud consumption, will come the pervasive adoption of Kubernetes-based platforms. (According to a recent survey by Pure Storage, 68% of the enterprise said they increased their usage of Kubernetes as a result of the pandemic.) What does this mean for the enterprise?  Growing complexity as the mandate of digital transformation is echoed across every department. Most organizations are not poised to secure their new reality.

A New Approach is Required for Digital Transormation and the Cloud

Organizations must build a foundation for their security architecture with security policies that map access to Zero-Trust Access. This set of defined policies will ensure that all access and connectivity across fragmented networks is visible and provides the basis for validating changes to the environment. A comprehensive or unified security policy can ensure continuous compliance across business and regulatory standards (e.g. PCI-DSS, SOX, HIPAA, NERC CIP, etc.) and help identify risky configurations across multi-cloud, multi-vendor environments. When automation becomes a key component of ensuring or accelerating compliant changes, the path to digital transformation becomes clearer. Changes are made in minutes, not days and audit reports can be generated from a centralized view. Here are some examples of how automation has impacted organizations:

  • For a leading US credit card provider, redo rates were reduced from 25% to less than 3% by automating firewall changes. 
  • A large US federal agency automated 82% of their firewall changes and freed up 67% of the team bandwidth to focus on strategic projects and are now implementing changes in 1 hour instead of over 5 business days. 

In simple terms, it’s time to change the paradigm. Security can – and should – drive business outcomes. Leveraging the power of Fortinet’s open fabric architecture and automation framework built-into FortiManager and FortiGate firewalls with Tufin’s security policy management — the automation of network access and connectivity becomes that enabler. Organizations can ensure compliance across all infrastructure, automatically. New firewalls can be securely provisioned, automatically. And, the manual efforts that consume the efforts of network and security teams can be drastically reduced, automatically. Welcome to true transformation!

The value of Fortinet and Tufin partnership is clear. It has been demonstrated by financial services customers like TransUnion who was able to automatically analyze security policies and generate a report instead of spending up to 24 hours per audit, or global corporate giants like AT&T, who have built integrations for both Tufin Orchestration Suite and Fortinet FortiGate. To learn more, watch the replay of the keynote or learn more about how Tufin and Fortinet can help secure your heterogenous environment. 

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