Facilitating Digital Transformation with FortiGate’s Secure SD-WAN Solutions

By Nirav Shah | September 06, 2018

Across industries, today’s businesses are looking for new ways to add agility, expand capabilities, and lower overhead to their networks. In their digital transformation efforts, many of them are incorporating new and innovative cloud-based services into their core network infrastructures. Given the fact that more than 50% of global enterprises now rely on at least one cloud platform, your customers now need to extend their ability to directly control workflows, access their data, and process transactions into the cloud, while simultaneously increasing their ability to collaborate with others.

To achieve this, many organizations are also adopting cloud-based services like Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) to aid them in their expansion efforts. By adopting services like UCaaS, your customers are aiming to provide their employees with better enterprise messaging, presence technology, telecommunications, video conferencing, and more. However, the vast majority of their WAN infrastructures lack the capability to handle the added network strain these cloud-based services introduce—typically resulting in low bandwidth, poor visibility and control, poor user experience, and increased latency. However, in order to actually reap the full benefits of cloud-based services and overall digital transformation, those customers need to be able to adopt cloud-based solutions without hindering their operational efficiency.

These new business demands are the drivers behind the need for your customers to build adaptive SD-WAN frameworks. Today’s IT professionals need SD-WAN solutions that can not only support the overall goals of their organizations through the adoption of new technology, but also allow them to establish the effective security strategies needed to ensure consistent security posture across this extended network infrastructure. While most SD-WAN solutions provide useful tools for managing a distributed network, far too many rely on outdated legacy systems that actually limit visibility, hinder performance, reduce security, and lack the ability to adapt to an evolving WAN architecture.

With this in mind, Fortinet is proud to have received NSS Labs’ coveted “Recommended” rating for our Secure SD-WAN Solution in their first ever SD-WAN solution test. Fortinet received this score for quality of experience, video and voice service quality, and offering increased visibility into more than 3000 physical and cloud-based apps. For your customers, this third-party validation—combined with our integrated application steering, multi-path intelligence, and multi-broadband support—helps demonstrate your business’s ability to provide the kind of advanced and secured solutions that your competition simply cannot.

Securing SD-WAN Solutions

Establishing security strategies that remain effective as networks expand and evolve has proven especially challenging, especially given the limitations of most security and networking tools available to your customers. Given the complexity of today’s attack surface, every new device or cloud application introduced to a network provides opportunities for cybercriminals to exploit new attack vectors.

Additionally, the project-oriented approach to network expansion that your customers often take means that when they add new capabilities, they also introduce new siloed point security products in order to protect them. This sort of expanding security complexity makes overall security maintenance and management increasingly difficult. Adding to those security challenges, our Global Threat Landscape Report for Q2 of 2018 indicated that malware authors have begun leveraging agile development to counter traditional anti-malware point products.

In order to properly secure their networks, your customers need SD-WAN solutions that not only provide advanced networking capabilities and performance, but that also include integrated and automated threat tracking, analysis, and mitigation that can move at machine speeds, are designed to operate effectively within that SD-WAN environment, and at the same time can be seamlessly integrated with their core security infrastructure. 

Rethinking SD-WAN Standards for the Next Generation of Cybersecurity

Fortinet is committed to providing businesses and organizations with the security capabilities needed to combat modern cyberthreats while allowing for efficient digital transformation efforts. Our SD-WAN solutions bring a comprehensive array of next-generation capabilities to your customers, including:

·       Broad Application Awareness for Better Service Levels: Our SD-WANs incorporate an application control database that stays current even as the modern threat landscape, and your customers’ digital networks, evolve. Receiving ongoing updates from our FortiGuard threat intelligence services, your customers will be better equipped to identify and classify new applications—including encrypted and cloud app traffic—thereby enabling more efficient routing as well as real-time threat protection.

·       Automated Multi-Path Intelligence: Having the ability to collect granular WAN path data is critical to ensuring optimal business-critical traffic. With this in mind, our solutions make it easier for your customers to define SD-WAN service-level agreements (SLAs), providing them with the optimal link for any given application by leveraging the advanced networking capabilities built into our FortiOS 6.0 operating system.

·       Zero-Touch Deployment: Our solutions allow your customers to ship unconfigured products to the areas across their business or organization that need them most. When they are finally plugged in, FortiGate automatically connects to our FortiDeploy service, authenticates and connects the device to the FortiManager system within seconds, and receives remote configuration instructions for seamless self-deployment.

Leveraging FortiGate SD-WANs for as Part of an Integrated Security Strategy

Fortinet partners offering our Secure SD-WAN solutions have the ability to provide their customers with validated functionality and integrated end-to-end security that doesn’t compromise on network performance. Typically, competing products do not include true integration capabilities, and for those that do, the solutions they support either can’t provide the security posture needed for today’s threats, or compromise the performance of the network in doing so.

While SD-WANs are proven to improve both network performance and user experience across the network, failure to leverage a solution that offers integrated security leaves your customers’ networks vulnerable to attacks. Fortinet is the only vendor with an NSS “Recommended” designation for both SD-WAN and Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) solutions, demonstrating that our advanced SD-WAN offerings also provide complete integration with threat protection toolsets such as industrial NGFWs, anti-virus, intrusion prevention (IPS), and high-throughput SSL inspection.

Fortinet’s SD-WAN solutions are the first in the market to provide complete integrated security by replacing disparate WAN routers and security devices with a single integrated solution that can support and secure remote sites and users. For your customers, this unique approach provides exceptional cybersecurity while allowing them to deploy increased bandwidth applications, securely share cloud-based data, and automatically adapt to the evolving threat landscape—capabilities critical to successful digital transformation efforts.

Read more about the Fortinet Security Fabric and the Third Generation of Network Security

Visit Fortinet’s FortiGate SD-WAN homepage to learn more about this advanced security solution.