ENGIE Italia Securely Connects 120 sites including offices, operational and plant locations with Fortinet
Giovanni Vismara, Network Special Projects Coordinator, ENGIE Italia
“Our growth as a business throughout Italy and the ongoing convergence of OT and IT networks has spurred the need for a rapid digital transformation of our various locations which have almost doubled recently. In addition, as we expand services in the cloud, more network edges are created, even at the branch level. This has expanded our potential attack surface, making security an even greater concern. Fortinet’s security-driven networking approach with Secure SD-WAN and SD-Branch enabled us to reduce our connectivity costs and increase the level of security and visibility of both our remote branches and industrial networks.”
Fortinet® (NASDAQ: FTNT), a global leader in broad, integrated, and automated cybersecurity solutions, today announced that ENGIE Italia, a global energy and services group, has implemented Fortinet Secure SD-WAN and SD-Branch to securely connect 120 offices and operational sites. Further, Fortinet, a leader in operational technology (OT) security, was able to help ENGIE Italia improve its OT team’s visibility and control across the entire network, resulting in better collaboration between the IT and OT teams, quicker response times to incoming threats, and a seamless approach to network security across the branches in Italy and abroad.
The Challenge of Exponential Branch Site Growth
ENGIE is global energy player whose mission it is to accelerate a carbon neutral economy. Remote sites are an important asset to the business and it is a larger national infrastructure with more than 120 remote branches.
ENGIE’s existing MPLS network structure was complex and inhibited overall visibility of the network. Collaboration between the IT and OT teams was a challenge due to the remote nature of some of the sites and the merging of new teams. Therefore, ENGIE looked to Fortinet Partner Wellcomm Engineering S.p.A. to help standardize the network and security of these remote sites. The goal was to handle the shift of services to the cloud and reduce traffic backhauling to the data center in favor of local internet breakouts and more IT/OT team collaboration.
The Power of Convergence with Security-driven Networking
To solve these challenges and improve the visibility and security of their remote branches and industrial networks, ENGIE chose to implement Fortinet Secure SD-Branch with help from Wellcomm Engineering S.p.A. This new branch architecture consisted of FortiGate Next-Generation Firewalls, FortiAP access points, and FortiSwitches.
By deploying FortiGate NGFWs, FortiAPs and FortiSwitches at the central sites of Milan and Rome and in the branch offices across other regions, ENGIE provides local internet access at remote sites and leverages integrated Secure SD-WAN capabilities to give remote users the ability to directly access trusted cloud resources such as Microsoft Office365 and Salesforce.
The Fortinet SD-Branch solution also enabled ENGIE to simplify its hardware ecosystem, centralizing and automating remote management of both security and networking with FortiManager and FortiAnalyzer.
More Visibility and Collaboration for IT and OT Teams
As a result of this centralized management, ENGIE was able to balance traffic flows through the local firewall at the first pilot site in Bari, in both the branch office and call center. With more visibility across the remote branches, ENGIE can now separate out the guest network from its internal IT network, mitigating risk and allowing the detection of suspicious activities in real-time. ENGIE was also able to dismantle the secondary MPLS carrier in late 2019 to reduce wide area network (WAN) costs.
In addition, the OT team is also able to leverage the IT infrastructure, gaining more insights than ever before. The teams are now able to identify devices on the network much faster and troubleshoot issues in seconds thanks to the perspective FortiManager and FortiAnalyzer have given them. These changes have facilitated better collaboration and information sharing between ENGIE’s IT and OT teams, resulting in quicker response times to incoming threats and a seamless approach to network security across its branches in Italy.
By designing security into its infrastructure and centralizing management via Fortinet Secure SD-Branch, ENGIE’s IT and OT teams alike can ensure faster and more efficient workflows in their increasingly connected OT environment.
John Maddison, EVP of Products and CMO at Fortinet
“As organizations like ENGIE Italia look to enable their remote branches and locations with all of the power and potential of digital transformation, they often find that they need to rethink their WAN strategy. Fortinet’s SD-WAN and SD-Branch solution, which converges security and networking, was able to help improve connectivity between branch sites, but also enable IT and OT team collaboration which was important in order to minimize security risks.”
About ENGIE Italia
Our Group is a global leader in energy and low-carbon emission services. Our objective ("raison d'être") is to help speed up the transition to a carbon-neutral world, through the reduction of energy consumption and more environmentally friendly solutions which reconcile economic performance with a positive impact on people and the planet. Our endeavours are based on our core businesses (gas, renewables, services) to deliver competitive solutions to our customers. With our 170,000 employees, customers, partners and stakeholders, we are a community of Imaginative Builders, committed every day to more harmonious progress. In 2019, company turnover amounted to €60.1 billion euro. The Group is listed on the Paris and Brussels stock exchanges (ENGI) and is represented in the key financial indicators (CAC 40, DJ Euro Stoxx 50, Euronext 100, FTSE Eurotop 100, MSCI Europe) and non-financial indicators (DJSI World, DJSI Europe and Euronext Vigeo Eiris - World 120, Eurozone 120, Europe 120, France 20, CAC 40 Governance).
In Italy, we present comprehensive offers across the entire energy value chain, from supply to services, with focus on the development of renewable energy and energy infrastructures and on innovative digital solutions.
With over 3,800 employees in more than 60 offices throughout the country, we are the number one operator as regards energy services, the second in gas sales (wholesale market) and the third in centralised district heating and public lighting. ENGIE is present in all segments, from residential to tertiary, public and private, up to small and large industries.
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