Fortinet Introduces Self-Learning Artificial Intelligence Appliance for Sub-Second Threat Detection

FortiAI Leverages Deep Neural Networks to Automate Threat Detection and Remediation, Expanding Fortinet’s AI-driven Security Offerings

John Maddison, EVP of products and CMO at Fortinet

“Fortinet has invested heavily in FortiGuard Labs cloud-based AI-driven threat intelligence, allowing us to detect more threats, more quickly and more accurately. FortiAI takes the artificial intelligence knowledge from FortiGuard Labs and packages it specifically for on-premises deployments. This gives customers the power of FortiGuard Labs directly in their environment, with self-learning AI to identify, classify and investigate sophisticated threats in sub-seconds.”

Organizations Face an Uphill Battle

Security architects confront many challenges when it comes to discovering and remediating threats, including:

  • Cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated. While traditional cyber threats continue, sophistication of advanced attacks – often enabled by artificial intelligence, machine learning and open source communities – are increasing. As a result, organizations and their defenses are challenged to keep pace with threat evolution.
  • The attack surface is expanding. Millions of new applications, growing cloud adoption and the increase in connected devices are creating billions of edges that security teams need to properly protect and manage. Organizations are challenged to keep pace with the threat volume resulting from many potential entry points.
  • Security teams are constrained due to the cyber skills shortage. The cybersecurity industry faces a skills gap that has become a top emerging risk for organizations. Thereare not enough skilled professionals available to properly triage, investigate and respond to the growing number of threats – potential and actual – making it easier for cybercriminals to outpace legacy security processes and tools.

Self-Learning AI Adapts Organizations’ Threat Protection 

To address these challenges faced by security professionals today, Fortinet is unveiling FortiAI Virtual Security AnalystÔto accelerate threat remediation. FortiAI handles many of the time consuming, manual tasks currently expected of security professionals, preserving their time for higher value security functions. FortiAI’s self-learning capabilities continue to get smarter once deployed in an organization’s network. 

FortiAI leverages Deep Learning known as Deep Neural Networks, which mimic neurons in the human brain, to make complex decisions based on its scientific analysis of threats specific to the organization where it is deployed. As FortiAI’s artificial intelligence continues to mature, organizations benefit from having FortiAI’sVirtual Security AnalystÔeffectively transform and adapt threat protection.

FortiAI Levels the Playing Field 

Fortinet’s Deep Neural Networks (DNN) approach enables FortiAIto revolutionize threat protection by:

  • Automating time-consuming manual investigations to identify and classify threats in real time: Organizations using legacy security processes combined with limited security staff find it difficult to perform manual investigations for each threat alert. This creates additional risks including a data breach or security incident due to slow response time. To solve this, FortiAI automates investigations using DNN to identify the entire threat movement and uncover patient zero and all subsequent infections in a sub-second.
  • Transforming security processes for instant detection and remediation of attacks:FortiAI’sVirtual Security AnalystÔsignificantly reduces the time organizations are exposed to threats by scientificallyanalyzing characteristics of threats and generating an accurate verdict to accelerate threat response. 
  • Delivering tailored threat intelligence to significantly reduce false positives: False positives are a burden for security analysts to investigate and it is time consuming to determine threats versus non-threats. Through tailored threat intelligence, FortiAI learns new malware features as it adapts to new attacks instantaneously and reduces false positives.  

On-premises Protection for Air Gapped Networks

Another key distinction of FortiAI is that it offers on-premises AI suitable for organizations that have air gapped networks. Operational technology environments, government agencies and some large enterprises must adhere to strict compliance regulations and/or security policies that limit their network’s connection to the internet. FortiAI with its self-learning AI model does not require internet connectivity to learn and mature, enabling organizations with closed environments or stringent security policies to stay ahead of threats. 

Fortinet’s AI-driven Technologies Automate Threat Protection

Fortinet has a longstanding history of helping customers strengthen their security posture by leveraging artificial intelligence. Some of the existing Fortinet offerings and services, complemented by the new FortiAI, that leverage various forms of AI, such as least squares optimization and Bayesian probability metrics, include: 

  • FortiGuard Labs Threat Intelligence: FortiGuard Labsuses proven advanced AI and machine learning to gather and analyze over 100 billion security events every day. This threat intelligence produced by FortiGuard Labs is delivered to customers through its subscription services available for a range of Fortinet’s products, including the flagship FortiGate NGFWs. As a result, customers benefit from artificial intelligence deployed in global labs for faster threat prevention.
  • FortiSandbox:Fortinet is the first security vendor to introduce AI to sandboxing to automate breach protection. FortiSandboxincludes two machine learning models to its static and dynamic analysis of zero-day threats, improving the detection of constantly evolving malware, such as ransomware and cryptojacking. Through the use of a universal security language to categorize malware, FortiSandbox also connects discussions between network and security teams, leading to more integrated and improved security operations.
  • FortiEDR:Fortinet’sFortiEDRuses machine learning to automate the endpoint protection against advanced threats with real time orchestrated incident response functionalities. Customers also benefit from more control of network, user and host activity within their environments. 
  • FortiInsight:FortiInsightuses machine learning analytics to effectively monitor endpoints, data movements and user activities to detect unusual, malicious behavior and policy violations attributed to insider risk.
  • FortiWeb:To better protect web applications and APIs, FortiWebapplies machine learning to tailor a unique defense for each application. As a result, FortiWeb can quickly block threats while minimizing the false positives that may interfere with end user experience.
  • FortiSIEMFortiSIEMleverages machine learning to recognize patterns in typical user behavior like location, time of day, devices used and specific servers accessed. FortiSIEM can then automatically notify security operations teams when anomalous activities occur, like concurrent logins from separate locations.

As cyber criminals look to exploit the expanding digital attack surface with sophisticated attacks, the breadth and depth of the Fortinet Security Fabric’s AI-driven technology provides customers with unparalleled threat prevention, detection and response that can be instant and automated. 

NetApp Acquires Talon Storage

Company enhances Cloud Volumes and Azure NetApp Files with global file cache for remote office and branch office workers

NetApp® (NASDAQ: NTAP), the leader in cloud data services, today announced that it acquired Talon Storage, a leader in next generation software-defined storage solutions enabling global enterprises to centralize and consolidate IT storage infrastructure to the public clouds. The combination ofNetApp Cloud Volumes technology and Talon FAST™ software, enterprises can seamlessly centralize data in the cloud while still maintaining a consistent branch office experience.

“As we grow our cloud data services offerings with solutions like Cloud Volumes ONTAP®, Cloud Volumes Service, Azure NetApp Files and Cloud Insights, we are excited about the potential that lies in front of this new combined team to deliver complete solutions for primary workloads,” said Anthony Lye, senior vice president and general manager of NetApp’s Cloud Data Services business unit. “We share the same vision as the team did at Talon – a unified footprint of unstructured data that all users access seamlessly, regardless of where in the world they are, as if all users and data were in the same physical location. And to do this without impacting workflow, user experience – and at a lower cost.” 

NetApp’s acquisition of Talon enhances the company’s cloud data services portfolio with a market-leading solution that solves all the remote office and branch office challenges with file shares. Talon FAST is a cloud data service that provides a “Global File Cache” service for ROBO workloads, to enable file server consolidation into a secure, globally accessible file system on our public cloud platform.

Talon’s software will integrate with NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP, Cloud Volumes Service and Azure NetApp Files solutions and give customers a faster path to the public cloud at a better total cost of ownership. Visit NetApp Cloud Centralfor more information. 

Enterprises in UAE Have Big Plans for Decreasing Use of Traditional Data Centres and Adopting Hybrid Cloud Models: Nutanix Survey

2019 Enterprise Cloud Index Report Reveals Hybrid Cloud Adoption by Companies in UAE to Increase from 7% Currently to 51% in 3 to 5 Years

Nutanix, a leader in enterprise cloud computing, today announced the UAE-specific findings of its annual Enterprise Cloud Index. The latest (2019) Index shows that the majority of enterprises in the United Arab Emirates (97%) agree that the hybrid cloud model, which will ultimately afford dynamic choice about where to run each workload, is the ideal IT environment going forward and that it is also viewed as the most secure option.

UAE, though, has one of the lowest percentages of hybrid cloud usage today, and its projections of hybrid cloud growth 24 months out lag EMEA and global expectations. UAE respondents, however, report plans to catch up with the rest of the world within three to five years, when they project hybrid cloud penetration of 51%—well in line with what companies in other countries expect to be running at that time.

Perhaps as an interim step to hybrid cloud, UAE companies currently deploy far more workloads and applications on private cloud than any other platform and do so more than most other countries.

UAE has one of today’s lowest penetrations of traditional data centers (40%) in the world. This may actually be a positive since companies in the region will have less far to go in decommissioning data center’s in favour of more attractive IT models such as hybrid cloud.

The Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Index is based on research conducted by Vanson Bourne to learn about the state of global enterprise cloud deployments and adoption plans. The research surveyed 2,650 IT decision-makers in 24 countries around the world, exploring where organizations currently run their business applications and where they plan to run them in the future. It also questioned respondents on their cloud challenges and where their cloud initiatives sit against other IT projects and priorities.

Key findings from the report include: 

1.    UAE companies are fully participating in the trend to repatriate public cloud workloads.Like many organizations, UAE companies have initiatives underway to move applications out of the public cloud and onto premises infrastructure. Far more UAE companies (92%) are repatriating applications than elsewhere in the world where the global average is 73%.

2.    Many of UAE’s repatriated apps appear headed for private clouds instead of traditional data centers. UAE companies reported one of the lowest current uses of data centers (40%), coming in significantly below the EMEA (54%) and global (53%) averages. By sharp contrast, UAE was third highest in reported usage of private cloud (45%), trailing only Japan (60%) and Saudi Arabia (47%). While the UAE expects its use of private cloud to decline over the next five years, its use will decline more slowly than elsewhere and will remain moderately higher (22%) in three to five years than the EMEA regional (16%) and global (16%) averages.

3.    There’s a significant disconnect between what UAE companies deem the ideal IT infrastructure and what they’re deploying today. UAE IT professionals were almost unanimous in agreement (97%) that hybrid cloud represents the ideal IT operating model, topped only by China (99%). Still, UAE respondents reported one of the lowest penetrations of hybrid clouds in EMEA today (7%), significantly behind the EMEA (12%) and global (13%) averages.

4.    UAE companies plan to adopt a hybrid cloud model more slowly than other countries. However, they expect to arrive at a 51% penetration in three to five years, which generally aligns with averages for EMEA and across the world.

5.    Lack of internal IT skills and retaining qualified IT staff are top concerns for UAE companies. UAE respondents agreed that they lack the internal IT skills required to meet business demands 60% of the time, and 61% agreed that they had difficulty retaining IT talent. Both percentages were higher than the EMEA and global averages.

Aaron White, Regional Sales Director – Middle East at Nutanix says, “It is clear that hybrid cloud is the future. Hybrid cloud capabilities constitute a growing necessity in the dynamic, digital business climate, in which enterprises demand the freedom to dynamically provision and manage applications based on business needs. Reaching this ideal IT operating model will require more comprehensive hybrid vendor solutions, as well as greater expertise in designing, building, and operating hybrid clouds.”

“As organizations continue to grapple with complex digital transformation initiatives, flexibility and security are critical components to enable seamless and reliable cloud adoption,” said Wendy M. Pfeiffer, CIO of Nutanix. “The enterprise has progressed in its understanding and adoption of hybrid cloud, but there is still work to do when it comes to reaping all of its benefits. In the next few years, we’ll see businesses rethinking how to best utilize hybrid cloud, including hiring for hybrid computing skills and reskilling IT teams to keep up with emerging technologies.”

“Cloud computing has become an integral part of business strategy, but it has introduced several challenges along with it,” said Ashish Nadkarni, Group Vice President of Infrastructure Systems, Platforms and Technologies at the IDC. “These include security and application performance concerns and high cost. As the 2019 Enterprise Cloud Index report demonstrates, hybrid cloud will continue to be the best option for enterprises, enabling them to securely meet modernization and agility requirements for workloads.”

Unlocking the Promise of a Digital Workplace

By: Gamal Emara, Country Manager, UAE at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company

The business landscape has evolved significantly over the past decade. Driven by the need to remain agile, competitive and productive, organisations are adopting more technologies than ever before as they continue their individual journeys towards digital transformation. 

These disruptive technologies are not only revolutionising the ways that modern businesses operate, but also enhancing employee experiences, and – crucially – increasing their expectations at the same time. For employees, the digital workplace stands for an innovative and agile new way of working, a concept underpinned by greater convenience and better networking between devices and colleagues. 

Faced with such a promise, the demand for a frictionless employee journey only looks set to surge. Not only will Generation Z, or Gen-Mobile, make up almost half of the business world by 2020, but they will also play an undeniable part in transforming the ecosystem as a whole. True digital natives, they will settle for no less than the best of the best technologies. They want to work and access information in a way that suits them. Put simply – they want IT to be transparent. 

So, against this backdrop of employee expectations and an increasingly competitive business landscape, what can organisations do to truly unlock the promise of a digital workplace? 

Automation

The first step is to ensure that the basic requirements, such as easier management and maintenance of the wireless network, rapid integration of new users and devices, and a resilient Wi-Fi connection, are met. For IT staff, this translates into removing barriers to mobile working and creating a mobile first digital environment where employees can work effectively. 

Here, it is important to remember that a digital environment is not just defined by the tools a company provides – it’s also about the working climate they create and how they enhance the employee experience by making it at seamless as possible. And that means considering everything from personalised lighting settings, how they pay for their coffee and workplace ergonomics, to fully automated conference rooms, preventive device maintenance and automated energy savings. This frictionless experience should be delivered both on and offsite – a remote employee must be able to work as if he were on-site, while registered visitors should be able to connect easily to the guest Wi-Fi as soon as they enter the building. 

In order to facilitate this vast level of change, traditional approaches to networking are no longer enough. Instead, IT decision-makers need to deploy mobile first architecture that can support autonomous networking. Rather than relying on manual intervention, an autonomous approach gives IT staff the ability to stay ahead of performance issues, deliver insights into possible causes, and recommend configuration changes that optimize the network before they impact users of the business. 

Visibility

While all these new devices and services sound brilliant in practice, in reality it can be difficult to keep track of them on the network – particularly when organisations find themselves reactively scrambling to get a handle on the situation. A common issue is that of Shadow IT, where well-intentioned employees bring their own IT to work, thus creating security issues.

Viessmann is one of the world’s leading providers of holistic energy and climate solutions – you may even have one of its central heating boilers keeping you warm this winter! Viessmann came to us in search of a new network to support the digitisation of its internal processes in a way that was secure, efficient, and transparent. In order to facilitate a move to flexible desks and the introduction of IoT technologies into its manufacturing process, it wanted to provide Wi-Fi connectivity in every corner of the organisation. When you consider that it has over 12,000 employees, 23 production companies in 12 companies and sales companies and representatives in 74 countries worldwide – you can begin to imagine how things might quickly get out of control…

In order to support the surge of devices connecting to the network, Viessmann needed a flexible management system that would enable it to see and control network access for all devices, both now and in the future. Using our Aruba ClearPass solution, which has an integrated, context-based policy engine to help identify devices, and combining it with AirWave to manage network administrator rights, the organisation now has total control over the devices connecting to the network. 

Before flooding the workplace with devices, network visibility must be a key consideration – and that means building network access controls and network management into your digital workplace plans from the earliest stage.

Education

Whilst all these technologies can help organisations shift towards a digital workplace, they are only part of the puzzle. To truly realise the benefits of a digital environment, organisations need to encourage employees to unlock its potential – and that means getting away from their desks and collaborating more. 

While this might happen over time organically, this type of large-scale culture change will need help from the organisation. Businesses must ensure they are educating employees around how to connect, communicate and collaborate within these new environments – equipping them to use them correctly and to their fullest. 

Aside from driving greater job satisfaction creating this technology-culture connection will also benefit employee creativity. The right technology builds a culture of innovation. When employees are tethered to a desk, or they lack the tools to collaborate and spark creativity, you end up with a maze of silos: a “culture of me.” But when the technology starts to dissolve those boundaries and inspire people to be more open, imaginative and sharing, there’s a fundamental culture shift towards new ways of thinking. In the long term, that boost to innovation will be reflected in corporate performance.

Conclusion

More than ever, the workplace is evolving into an environment that allows users to interact with content and tools easily, quickly and efficiently. Companies that miss this development risk alienating their employees, losing talent and ultimately reducing productivity. An intelligent, digital work environment will promote employee creativity, collaboration, speed and freedom through reliable and personalised services. So, what are you waiting for?