Why the Fortinet Security Fabric Is the "Secret Sauce" for Managed Security Services Providers

By Stephan Tallent | January 30, 2018

To cut to the chase, the technical features of Fortinet solutions are only half the story when it comes to the Fortinet Security Fabric's unmatched ability to deliver managed security services. Its secret sauce for managed security services providers (MSSPs) is really about adaptability, integration, and automation, as expressed through six properties of Fortinet-based managed security solutions:

  1. Security Control Breadth. MSSPs are often required to combine offerings from several different security manufacturers to create an effective defense. This can be an expensive and difficult prospect to scale, especially when it requires building and maintaining custom tools that bridge the gap between separate solutions. The Security Fabric provides broad capabilities for defense across the attack surface from a single vendor, which reduces support costs and complexity.
  2. Single-Pane-of-Glass Visibility and Control. MSSPs and their clients can see and control all of their significant security vital signs across their infrastructure from a single, central interface. This unified visibility and control function extends beyond Fortinet-branded elements to include third-party security solutions integrated into the Security Fabric, as well as customer infrastructure.
  3. Shared Threat Intelligence and Automated Security Updates. Sharing threat intelligence between different Fortinet security technologies through telemetry reduces enterprise-wide response times while expanding breadth of coverage. Consolidating the update process speeds the change cycle, improves thoroughness and first-pass-success levels, and builds greater confidence that desired changes have in fact taken hold on remediated assets.
  4. Single Network Operating System. Service providers can use a common language to configure, control, and customize Fortinet solution elements.
  5. Native Multi-Tenancy. The Fortinet Security Fabric treats multi-tenancy as a matter of course, making it easier to set up and administer multi-client solutions while maintaining assured client confidentiality and compartmentalization.
  6. Scalability. Along with multi-tenancy, MSSPs can deliver solutions for client infrastructures of any size, from small-medium businesses to global multinational enterprises.

Note that four of the six MSSP secret sauce ingredients share “single” as a common theme. The “single” theme enables high degrees of process consolidation and unification. This reduces redundant wheel spinning in solution operations, increases operator/administrator productivity and effectiveness, and enables greater clarity of action in solution operations processes.

When MSSPs tap the varied possibilities offered by the Fortinet Security Fabric, a number of service outcomes emerge. These include:

Increased Situational Awareness. The ability to see what’s going on in an infrastructure in a near real-time basis serves as a precondition for detecting, diagnosing, and remediating behavioral anomalies that signal malfeasance in an infrastructure. This is increasingly important in a rapidly evolving threat environment where the most dangerous attacks are the ones that no one has seen before.

Broad Solution Reach. Native multi-tenancy and scalability work together to enable solutions for client infrastructures that cover private and public cloud environments, Internet of Things (IoT) devices and networks, and everything in between (e.g., data center, endpoint, mobile, etc.).

Rapid Attack Response. Today’s exploits can infiltrate an infrastructure, do their damage, and then disappear within minutes. Unfortunately, the vast majority of infrastructures suffer from detection and response latencies that are measured in weeks, months, or even years. Needless to say, radically stepping up the speed of detection, including inspecting secure sockets layer (SSL) traffic, and response is critical to enabling effective cybersecurity solutions.

Pervasiveness. Defenders need assurances that changes and updates execute quickly and completely, both on dedicated security solution elements and protected infrastructure. Incomplete execution of changes and updates can create unknown coverage gaps. Defenders can also waste a lot of time and resources re-validating and re-installing changes that should have executed when they were first distributed.

Inherent Security. At the very least, security solutions should never introduce new points of vulnerability into an infrastructure, whether through sloppy user access processes or unintentional backdoors. More positively, MSSP managed elements should be architected to facilitate least-privilege approaches to solution sign-on and resource access.

Developmental Headroom. In the here-and-now timeframe of MSSP design, implementation, operation, and maintenance solution elements should be easily adapted to meet customer requirements. Longer term, security solutions should anticipate the need to keep pace with dynamic (and often surprising) changes in the threat environment.

For clients of MSSPs, these service outcomes contribute to more cost-effective solutions and higher returns-on-expenditure. For MSSPs, these benefits translate to competitive advantages in winning new business, client satisfaction, and optimal profitability.

There’s one final X-factor that sets the course for MSSP solutions that use the Fortinet Security Fabric. Fortinet backs MSSPs with a strong partner program that we actively evangelize to customers and prospects. From the very beginning, Fortinet has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to a partner-centric sales and service business model and serves as a pillar of its customer value proposition.

With the Fortinet Security Fabric at the foundation of their strategy, MSSPs have a tremendous opportunity to enable their clients to turn security from an inhibitor of digital transformation to an enabler. For more information on how MSSPs can ride the service wave of digital transformation, check out our white paper, “How Digital Transformation Is Impacting MSSPs.” It’s truly an exciting time for MSSPs.



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