Fortinet Expands Integration of Cloud Security Offerings with Microsoft Azure to Provide Advanced Protection

Fortinet® (NASDAQ: FTNT), a global leader in broad, integrated and automated cybersecurity solutions,today announced the expansion of the Fortinet Security Fabric’s dynamic-cloud security offerings with Microsoft Azure, providing customers with an easier way to connect, manage and protect their cloud workloads on Microsoft Azure.    

Organizations turning to Azure want to take advantage of the public cloud benefits without compromising security. While Microsoft secures the Azure infrastructure and isolates the tenants, customers are responsible making sure their cloud configuration is secure. Fortinet provides customers that utilize Azure with the confidence to deploy any application in the cloud while maintaining a consistent operational model and managing risks. The Fortinet Security Fabric’s dynamic cloud solutions help Azure users connect and protect their cloud workloads and offers security capabilities that are delivered from the cloud.

“Fortinet is helping our customers protect, consume and deliver cloud through our dynamic cloud security offerings. Using Microsoft Azure allows our customers to implement broad protection across their cloud deployments as well as on-premises infrastructure,”said John Maddison, EVP of product and CMO at Fortinet. “Today’s announcement strengthens our collaboration as we work together to provide end-to-end security across the expanding digital attack surface.”

Delivering dynamic-cloud security solutions

Fortinet is working with Microsoft to enable joint customers to reap the benefits provided by cloud environments without compromising security. Today’s announcement includes: 

  • FortiGate Secure SD-WAN now integrates with Azure Virtual WANto accelerate their cloud on-ramp by improving customer QoE and security. This is done through product integration and automation that simplifies connectivity to Azure Virtual WAN using Fortinet’s Secure SD-WAN offering. This integration automates the creation and tear down of branches connected to Azure Virtual WAN and provides centralized management of connected clouds across offices and regions. FortiGate Secure SD-WAN’s integration with Azure Virtual WAN also ensures optimal performance and security at the branch for customers accessing applications on Azure. 
  • Fortinet FortiCWP’s integration with Azure provides customers with increased visibility into their cloud workloads activity and configurations, as well as the ability to conduct deep analysis of data stored in Microsoft Azure blobs. By leveraging deep integration with Azure as well as utilizing FortiGuard-based threat intelligence, customers get comprehensive and most up-to-date threat information pertaining to their cloud workloads. FortiCWP works across clouds and leverages cloud providers’ APIs to gain a comprehensive view across workloads in any cloud region, enabling customers to detect threats and subsequently deploy necessary protection to mitigate these risks.
  • Fortinet is also deliveringFortiWeb Cloud WAF-as-a-Service from Microsoft Azure Marketplace. Organizations protecting their web applications are struggling to find a working balance between operational overhead and security effectiveness. Fortiweb WAF-as-a-Service offers the ideal combination by exposing pertinent configuration parameters, while automating provisioning of protection resources and fine-tuning security policies. Customers can now activate Fortinet’s WAF solution instantaneously and have the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution automatically provision resources through the Azure marketplace. Fortinet’s WAF SaaS solution does not require administrators to possess specific web application security skills, enabling rapid application deployment. Other products already available on the marketplace include FortiGate VM Next-Generation Firewall, FortiWeb VM, FortiMailVM, FortiManagerFortiAnalyzerFortiSandbox for Azure.

As organizations increase their adoption of Azure to build or migrate applications their technology footprint diversifies and expands. As a result, organizations are increasing their attack surface and risk. To mitigate these risks and properly secure workloads and applications, organizations need to securely connect their organization to the cloud. This can be done with the implementation of cloud security for their web applications and cloud platforms that is managed easily and seamlessly.  

Tightened integration through the Fabric-Ready program 

The Fortinet Security Fabric’s dynamiccloud security solution set provides Azure customers with an extensive portfolio of integrated security solutions to address this need. By implementing the Fortinet Security Fabric on Azure, customers can deploy a fully integrated security solution that seamlessly spans dynamic clouds, which consist of on-premises and hybrid cloud environments.

Fortinet has a broad range of Security Fabric integrations with Microsoft products, including the extensive solutions with Azure referenced above, as well as FortiNAC integration with Microsoft InTune and SCCM, and FortiMail integration with Microsoft 365. By integrating its solutions, Fortinet and Fabric-Ready Partner Microsoft provide customers with end-to-end security that is pre-validated, saving time, costs and resources in systems integration, deployment, operations and support.

How CIOs and IT Teams can Prepare for Life on the Edge

Author: Jacob Chacko, Regional Business Head – Middle East at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company

IT teams have been under pressure to introduce a range of new technologies into businesses, across multiple departments and functions. These range from IoT, to AI and machine learning, data processing alongside traditional functional technologies like CRM systems. The network edge represents the culmination of these technologies coming together. According to Gartner, edge computing will be a necessary requirement for all digital businesses by 2022. With potentially trillions of dollars being invested in the hope of generating huge economic returns, the argument for paying attention to the Edge opportunity is clear and the window for learning and action is narrowing.

The challenge for IT teams is to lead the pursuit of these edge-based strategies across the business, and manage the edge environments, from user devices to operational technology all with data security as a priority. 

In the findings of the e-book commissioned by Aruba entitled ‘Opportunity at the Edge: Change, Challenge, and Transformation on the Path to 2025’, many interviewees and survey respondents highlight the sheer scale of the technology ecosystem that IT must manage in an edge environment. For example, in a university environment, IT now must accommodate and support the range of student devices being used across campus – from laptops to smart speakers – plus IoT-enabled environments such as temperature sensors and security cameras. At the same time, all the university functions from catering to the athletics department are deploying an ever-wider array of technologies at the edge that need to be bound into the network and supported in a secure manner. 

Innovation, Change and Transformation Advisor Philippe Choné reinforces this point: “Products used to be physical things. Now products come with a layer of software and data and that points to an ecosystem. Product management and strategy, then, needs to involve not only IT partners but also legal compliance.”

Part of the challenge for the C-suite is ensuring leaders have enough understanding and digital literacy to drive and support the IT function to fulfil its crucial emerging role in a business pursuing edge strategy. 

Building an Edge-Capable IT Function

Across the expert interviews, survey, and secondary research, the issue of upgrading IT capabilities was raised consistently. Emphasis was placed on the need for the C-suite to reassure itself that the IT function fully understands the requirements and challenges of delivering seamless and secure service across tens of thousands of digital touchpoints, with focus on four key issues. 

First, the management, integration, and security of a highly distributed IT infrastructure spanning from the core of the business via the cloud to the new network edge. Typically, this ecosystem includes users, fixed and mobile edge devices, applications, data, distributed data centres, networks, gateways, on-premises infrastructure, cloud services, infrastructure management processes, security management, and reporting. Key here is flexibility, as most organizations cannot say with certainty just how many digital touch-points they might create over the next three to five years in an edge environment. Hence the infrastructure strategy needs to allow for the potential for the number of edge-connected devices to increase by 10X, 100X, or 1000X – placing the spotlight on the scalability and interoperability of the technology choices being made.  

Second, the collection, storage, management, security, privacy protection, and governance of data becomes a heightened priority as the organization increasingly reinvents itself around this core asset.

Third, the sheer complexity of such environments will drive organizations to make far greater use of smart software applications operating at every level from device monitoring to management of the entire ecosystem. While AI will have a clear role to play, it is critical that every component in the software architecture can be monitored with full traceability of how it made its decisions. This may be a major challenge with many of the current AI applications that cannot explain their reasoning. 

Fourth, as highlighted earlier, the edge represents a massive increase in potential security risks as every device and network touchpoint becomes a potential point of vulnerability and source of threat. The InfoSec Institute highlights a number of critical risks that need to be managed, including weak device access passwords; insecure communications; data collected and transmitted by devices being largely unencrypted and unauthenticated; physical security risks for individual devices; and poor service visibility, with security teams unaware of the services running on certain devices.

The edge clearly represents a massive business opportunity and delivering on it will inevitably mean the C-suite spending progressively greater amounts of time truly understanding the IT capabilities being delivered. Leaders will need to be immersed enough to know if their IT function, its infrastructure, and its key partners are fit for purpose and can provide a robust platform to enable a range of future options.