Securing the Internet of Things with ForeScout Technologies

By John Maddison | March 08, 2018

ForeScout Technologies offers a highly scalable, heterogeneous platform that provides Global 2000 enterprises and government agencies with agentless visibility and control of traditional and non-traditional devices, including Internet of Things (IoT) and Operational Technology (OT) devices, the instant they connect to the network. As a Fabric-Ready partner, Fortinet and ForeScout work together to deliver an integrated solution to solve the challenges of IoT and OT security in the enterprise.

Fortinet's John Maddison recently talked with Pedro Abreu, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, about ForeScout’s security priorities and the tools they use to keep customers’ information safe as organizations increasingly adopt IoT and OT technologies. 

Q: Tell us a bit about ForeScout’s business and the types of customers that you serve. What is the top IT challenge or concern that your customers face today?

A: As new devices continue to join networks every hour they can significantly expand the attack surface, yet are often invisible to many traditional security products. IoT and OT devices are increasingly being adopted within the enterprise and proliferate corporate networks at a rapid pace. Organizations today face the challenge of securing the IoT and OT while embracing the benefits they provide around innovation and productivity.

ForeScout is transforming security through visibility. We have pioneered an agentless approach to network security to address the explosive growth of mobile computing, IoT/OT and cloud computing. We are helping over 2,500 worldwide customers across a variety of industries secure their networks with agentless visibility, control and orchestration. 

Q: ForeScout recently joined Fortinet’s Fabric-Ready Partner Program. Can you share a bit about your history of working with Fortinet and why being an alliance partner in our program is important for your business and customers?

A: As part of our strategy to orchestrate security through technology integrations with more than 25 security vendors, ForeScout has a long-standing strategic partnership with Fortinet to automate, scale and reduce time to remediation for joint customers. Our base integration with Fortinet’s next-gen firewall and WLAN controllers are part of our agentless ability to identify and classify devices connecting to customers’ networks. Looking forward, we will continue to innovate with Fortinet to offer our joint customers comprehensive, automated protection for IoT, OT and industrial control systems (ICS). Together, we are working towards delivering a unique security solution that automates both the identification and segmentation of all devices on the network, including IoT/OT/ICS, and provides security without compromise. 

Q: Are you seeing a shift in IT, networking and cybersecurity buying criteria from your customers for solutions that are by nature more open, automated and able to interoperate with their existing infrastructure?

A: Customers are facing exponential growth in the volume and diversity of IoT devices connecting to their networks. In fact, when customers connect the ForeScout platform, they on average detect 30 percent more devices than they originally thought they had on their network. Recent research from Forrester Consulting revealed that 82 percent of organizations cannot identify 100 percent of the devices connected to their network. This puts companies at risk since each and every connected device on a network can provide a foothold for a cyber-attack. Enterprises are struggling to keep up and stay secure, while embracing the benefits of being a connected network. Simultaneously, organizations are dealing with resource and budget constraints as well as silos amongst multiple security solutions.

Given today’s businesses don’t run on standard, cookie-cutter networks and are instead dynamic and ever-changing, they need open, highly flexible, vendor-agnostic solutions. ForeScout offers heterogeneous security that provides agentless visibility across the network – ranging from devices within the campus and data center to workloads in software-defined data centers and private/public cloud environments. We have the ability to orchestrate and automate system-wide security using customers’ existing security tools like Fortinet.

Q: In an industry where continued technology innovation is a business driver imperative, how do coopetition and open collaboration across multi-vendor ecosystems, like Fortinet’s Fabric-Ready Program, give you a leg up to deliver what your customers demand today and into the future?

A: Enterprise networks contain a vast, increasing range of devices – computers, mobile computing devices, industrial controls, VMs, and other IP-connected ‘things.’ The diversity of these devices is accelerating hybrid IT environments and IoT is becoming more and more common on networks today. To improve organizations’ security postures, ForeScout cultivates its relationships with industry-leading technology alliance partners and embraces open collaboration within programs like Fortinet’s Fabric-Ready Program to ultimately benefit our joint customers. Our work with Fortinet and other technology alliances enable us to continue extending our capabilities through ForeScout modules to improve network security and support compliance efforts for organizations of all sizes.

Outdated policies, such as ‘block everything that is not owned by the organization’ stifle and disrupt business productivity. Instead, ForeScout lets customers:  

  • See and continuously monitor devices, people, applications, and risks on the network, including non-traditional, agentless devices, virtual servers, and cloud instances
  • Control access and device configuration in order to enforce security policies
  • Orchestrate the actions of a wide variety of deployed security, management and compliance tools, reducing the time it takes to deal with incidents

The integration with Fortinet’s Fabric-Ready program and the ForeScout platform further expands our see and control capabilities, enabling organizations to share contextual device data with third-party systems, automate policy enforcement across disparate solutions, bridge previously siloed IT processes, accelerate system-wide response and more rapidly mitigate risks.

You can learn more about the Fortinet and ForeScout joint solution that provides comprehensive protection for IoT in this solution guide.

Read more about the Fortinet Fabric-Ready Partner program online and news about the recent partner additions to the program.

This byline originally appeared in CSO Online