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Fortinet’s Security-First Approach to SD-WAN Continues to Gain Momentum

Independent testing and new customers and use cases show the value of best-of-breed security and best-of-breed SD-WAN in a single integrated offering

SUNNYVALE, Calif. - 20/12/2018

John Maddison, SVP of products and solutions at Fortinet
“In today’s threat landscape, security can never be an afterthought in any network deployment. Fortinet’s focused innovations and evolution of best-of-breed SD-WAN with in-built next-generation firewall provides the advanced threat protection necessary for direct internet connectivity. Our philosophy of tightly integrating security and SD-WAN functionality together minimizes management complexity, ensures a safer deployment and helps reduce costs. It’s clearly resonating with customers and we’re seeing rapid adoption of FortiGate Secure SD-WAN.”

News Summary
Fortinet® (NASDAQ: FTNT), a global leader in broad, integrated and automated cybersecurity solutions, today announced recent customer, partner and market momentum, as well as independent testing results, of its FortiGate Secure SD-WAN solution.

Organizations Are Struggling to Secure their SD-WAN Deployments
Gartner has just recently released a report titled, “Survey Analysis: Address Security and Digital Concerns to Maintain Rapid SD-WAN Growth” detailing how security is the top WAN concern. According to that survey, “Customers continue to strive for better WAN performance and visibility, but security now tops their priorities when it comes to the challenges with their WAN. In fact, 72% of the respondents said that security was their topmost concern when it comes to their WAN.”1 Organizations are increasingly adopting direct internet access in their SD-WAN deployments, raising security concerns and requiring that CISOs be closely involved for a smooth transition of any SD-WAN deployment. At the same time, many SD-WAN vendors don’t provide the advanced security features required for these types of deployments. Gartner states, “Currently, most SD-WAN vendors support basic capabilities such as stateful firewalling and VPN; however, they lack and, hence, depend on security partners for, advanced functionalities such as, intrusion prevention system, malware analysis and sandboxing.” 1 As a result, many organizations are increasingly looking to incorporate best-of-breed enterprise-grade security at the WAN edge to improve their security efficacy and reduce costs by eliminating multiple vendors. The same Gartner survey found that “internet breakout security will see the maximum investment.”1

Fortinet Delivers Truly Secure SD-WAN
Fortinet’s FortiGate Secure SD-WAN solution delivers the functionality provided by pure-play SD-WAN vendors with advanced security built into one single offering. It’s backed by independent testing to deliver excellent quality of experience for voice and video, high VPN throughput and best price/performance. At Fortinet, SD-WAN functionality has been organically developed in-house and is a feature of every FortiGate Next-Generation Firewall. Purpose-built security processors and threat intelligence from FortiGuard Labs further ensure that security is an integral part of Fortinet’s SD-WAN solution.

Recent Fortinet Secure SD-WAN Highlights from Third-Parties:

  • Gartner Magic Quadrant for WAN Edge Infrastructure: Fortinet is positioned furthest for completeness of vision in the Challengers quadrant of the first Magic Quadrant for WAN Edge Infrastructure.*
  • Most Reviews in Gartner Peer Insights: Fortinet has the most reviews of all vendors in Gartner Peer Insights for the WAN Edge Infrastructure Market as of 14 Dec. 2018. More information here.
  • NSS Labs SD-WAN Recommended Rating: Fortinet was the only vendor with security capabilities to receive an SD-WAN "Recommended" rating in the first NSS Labs Software-Defined Wide Area Networking test report.

Security Best Practices Leveraging FortiGate Secure SD-WAN:
Organizations around the world are choosing Fortinet’s FortiGate Secure SD-WAN; here are four best practices customers have used to adopt a security-first SD-WAN deployment leveraging Fortinet’s solution:

  • #1: Enterprise-Grade Security for Direct Internet Access
    With increasing bandwidth requirements, many enterprise branches are moving away from MPLS in favor of broadband in order to reduce OPEX spending. This increases the security risk as critical applications are using direct internet access. FortiGate Secure SD-WAN allows customers to use enterprise-class next-generation firewall security to provide complete threat protection and detection along with providing high quality of experience for business intent applications.

  • #2: Deep Inspection of Encrypted Traffic to Support Digital Transformation
    Enterprises are adopting more SaaS applications to improve operational efficiency. However, with the change in application landscape, encrypted traffic has hit a new all-time threshold of over 72 percent of all network traffic. Hackers are taking advantage of this trend and hiding malware in encrypted traffic. FortiGate Secure SD-WAN is one of the only offerings with a purpose-built processor designed to provide deep SSL inspection with high performance at the WAN Edge to inspect malware traffic while also providing deep visibility into applications.

  • #3: Security for SD-Branch
    SD-WAN provides the application automation and agility required to simplify network operations, but lacks integration with other branch devices. Fortinet enables customers to extend SD-WAN to SD-Branch by using Fortinet’s secure access point and switches. Fortinet innovations continue to provide deep integration between FortiGate, FortiAP and FortiSwitch to allow customers to significantly reduce complexity by deploying unified security, visibility and management across the branch.

  • #4: Achieve Compliance with Security Rating Services
    FortiGate Secure SD-WAN provides the industry’s first ever security rating services for compliance to allow customers to continually take the pulse of deployed security postures, compare against industry peers and assess their effectiveness in managing the security risks of the enterprise branch with direct internet connectivity.

Customer Validation of Fortinet’s Approach to Secure SD-WAN:
“We have been on a journey to digital transformation using a cloud-first approach for several years. Throughout this journey, as systems have been upgraded or replaced, we’ve transitioned them to the cloud. The Ministry of Education Broadband Modernization Project, an initiative to transition all Ontario schools to SD-WAN, has meant that we had to accelerate this process while connecting each of our schools directly to the internet. After going through the vendor evaluation process, we selected FortiGate Secure SD-WAN because it provides best-of-breed SD-WAN and security features in one single offering. Our deployment allowed us to reduce the overall complexity at the school level and provided single-pane-of-glass visibility across all our locations, and is significantly reducing the total cost of ownership for our WAN.”
-- Chris Dale, Manager of Innovative and Collaborative Technology Services, London District Catholic School Board

“KPR wanted to reduce WAN cost by using an SD-WAN solution, however most solutions out there are expensive and do not provide the NGFW security capabilities we require. We chose Fortinet’s FortiGate Secure SD-WAN over competitors because it provides us with what we feel is the best SD-WAN solution that also provides superior security features in one simple offering. Not only did we significantly lower the WAN cost, Fortinet helped us reduce complexity and provided us with the visibility and prioritization of critical applications we required.”
-- Dan Fitzgerald, Chief Information Officer, Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board

“We wanted a solution that was built into a firewall for ease of deployment and cost savings. After evaluating all of the vendors, we ended up going with Fortinet - largely for the SD WAN offering. After doing a proof of concept, we found that using the SD-WAN solution actually resulted in less latency between sites compared to our MPLS. We were able to save at least $10k a month by removing the MPLS, which was a huge return on our investment. Not only was the SD-WAN offering great, but the entire package of Fortinet products paired together greatly improved our overall security posture and gave us more insight into our network.”
-- Network Engineer in Education Industry (Source: Gartner Peer Insights)

“Excellent solution, very flexible and easy to operate, with Fortigate SD-WAN we could remove our MPLS and simplify our operations worldwide.”
-- Global IT Security Senior in the Services Industry (Source: Gartner Peer Insights)

Partner Validation of Fortinet’s Approach to Secure SD-WAN:
“ePlus provides a broad services portfolio and supports a wide range of SD-WAN use cases to help our customers connect to and secure multi-cloud architectures. Fortinet-based secure SD-WAN deployments empower our customers to embed security into their SD-WAN rollouts.  We are impressed by Fortinet’s excellent independent testing results and ability to enable both SD-WAN and security features, such as SSL inspection, while maintaining enterprise-grade performance.”
-- Lee Waskevich, VP of Security Solutions at ePlus

“As a long-standing Fortinet Platinum partner, our goal is to offer the highest level of security and support to our customers. We’re seeing Fortinet’s FortiGate Secure SD-WAN take off because it delivers a unique combination of security, WAN networking, cost savings and single-pane-of-glass management. Fortinet has the right approach to SD-WAN, allowing us to provide our customers with best-of-breed SD-WAN and security for successful WAN transformation projects.”
-- Brent Baker, Director of Network Services at PowerMax360

Additional Resources

1 Gartner, “Survey Analysis: Address Security and Digital Concerns to Maintain Rapid SD-WAN Growth,” Nareesh Singh, 12 November 2018.

* Gartner, Magic Quadrant for WAN Edge Infrastructure, Joe Skorupa, Andrew Lerner, Christian Canales, Mike Toussaint, 18 October 2018. Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Network Firewalls, Adam Hils | Jeremy D'Hoinne | Rajpreet Kaur, 04 October 2018.

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Gartner Peer Insights reviews constitute the subjective opinions of individual end users based on their own experiences, and do not represent the views of Gartner or its affiliates.

About Fortinet

Fortinet (NASDAQ: FTNT) secures the largest enterprise, service provider, and government organizations around the world. Fortinet empowers its customers with intelligent, seamless protection across the expanding attack surface and the power to take on ever-increasing performance requirements of the borderless network - today and into the future. Only the Fortinet Security Fabric architecture can deliver security features without compromise to address the most critical security challenges, whether in networked, application, cloud or mobile environments. Fortinet ranks #1 in the most security appliances shipped worldwide and more than 375,000 customers trust Fortinet to protect their businesses. Learn more at, the Fortinet Blog, or FortiGuard Labs.

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