Fortinet’s OS facelift includes ZTNA, SD-WAN upgrades | Light Reading

Fortinet’s OS facelift includes ZTNA, SD-WAN upgrades | Light Reading

Fortinet has baked in 300 new features into its latest operating system update FortiOS 7.0 which will be available by the end of this quarter.

John Maddison, EVP of products for Fortinet, says as attack surfaces grow, the company aims to provide security for customers across their networks, endpoints, and into the cloud. Network edges are also expanding and front-of-mind with an increasingly remote workforce. In response, the security company provides its core suite of services the “Fortinet Security Fabric” which operates on FortiOS across multiple delivery models including physical appliances, virtually, via the cloud, and as-a-service applications, says Maddison.

“At the center of our platform fabric is FortiOS,” explains Maddison. “We have 30-plus products that all talk to each other through this FortiOS operating system. We’re releasing 300 features ranging from zero trust to SASE to cloud capabilities and it’s across the entire digital attack surface.”

Fortinet is also providing customers with new Security Operations Center (SOC) and Network Operations Center (NOC) updates such as the options of SOC-as-a-Service and NOC Best Practice Service. “We’re more and more providing applications as a SaaS offering so management, identity and SOC as a servicebecause customers are looking for different consumption models,” says Maddison.

Among the new features available in the 7.0 update are Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) capabilities; a firewall-based ZTNA provides users with a remote access alternative to traditional VPNs. The ZTNA requires that the user and device be verified for every application session. Other 7.0 features include self-healing capabilities in Fortinet’s Secure SD-WAN services to improve application performance, and central management for hybrid clouds such as auto-scaling of resources, dynamic load-balancing and application visibility.

Those self-healing features are supported by AI, explains Maddison: “With our AIops (artificial intelligence for IT operations) we’re taking information from endpoints, Wi-Fi, switches, SD-WAN, the WAN, 5G and applications in the cloud and correlating that to monitor performance. We recently acquired Panopta, which provides digital experience monitoring. So not only can we monitor end-to-end, but take that information and use AI systems to predict something breaking somewhereand have some actions to take.”

Current service providers that are utilizing Fortinet Secure SD-WAN to deliver managed SD-WAN services to their own enterprise customers include Orange Business Services, NTT West, Equinix, GTT, Spark NZ, SoftBank and Ooredoo. Fortinet plans to announce additional service provider partners later this quarter.

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— Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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