Fortinet® – a market-leading network security provider and worldwide leader of unified threat management (UTM) solutions – today announced its FortiOS™ 4.0 operating system, a major firmware upgrade which integrates hundreds of new features to significantly improve the value and functionality of its FortiGate® multi-threat security appliances. Four of the most notable features of Fortinet’s new OS include application control, data leakage protection (DLP), WAN optimization and SSL traffic inspection. The combination of these features will help customers to secure their network by removing the malicious traffic that is reducing available bandwidth and, at the same time, accelerate the clean traffic for optimal network performance. With FortiOS 4.0, Fortinet is redefining the consolidated security landscape it founded by offering a broad and powerful combination of security and networking services in a single, integrated platform.
While FortiOS 4.0 will bring many new enhancements to customers, the additional three security features and one additional network service will serve to intensify the value and ROI of Fortinet’s consolidated security devices. The security features added to FortiOS – application control, DLP and SSL inspection – were designed to address (1) the rising level of cyber threats, especially those preying on consumer fear in a down economy, and (2) the evolving nature of user behavior, including broadening security to cover what is now considered to be part of the “network,” driven by Web 2.0 innovations. Continuing its strategy to marry security with complementary networking features, Fortinet added WAN optimization to its new OS, giving network managers the ability to make this desirable network enhancement service a part of their overall network security infrastructure.
In all, the four most significant features of FortiOS 4.0 will help companies of all sizes enhance their security defenses, realize more value for their money, and improve management efficiencies. Primary benefits that the new operating system will bring to FortiGate customers include the following:
- Access to innovative new security technologies, often otherwise available only as standalone products;
- Improved security through the tight integration of security technologies that interoperate seamlessly;
- Improved security and control over local users who communicate with an increasing number of Web-based applications, driven by computing trends such as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and cloud computing;
- Reduction in the number of physical devices necessary to implement desired security and networks services, which will help to reduce both carbon and physical footprints, simplify management and enable CAPEX/OPEX savings.
“We’re finding ourselves in a perfect storm as we launch the latest operating system for the FortiGate product line – we have a product that has cost-efficiency as part of its DNA and an environment that’s looking for more ways to maximize every dollar spent without sacrificing security,” said Ken Xie, founder, CEO and president, Fortinet. “The confluence of these factors point to the need for a powerful yet fiscally-prudent security solution for customers who are, more than ever, pressured to do more with less. FortiOS 4.0 is a great example of the technology innovation that is at Fortinet’s core, and we’re very pleased to be able to provide it to customers when they need it most.”
The Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles is a current FortiGate customer and FortiOS 4.0 beta customer. The hospital uses enterprise-class FortiGate-3600A appliances as core firewalls to protect its Internet edge. “We’ve had very good success with FortiGate security appliances and have been quite impressed with the additional functionality that FortiOS 4.0 now offers,” said Rehan Qadri, senior network services architect at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. “There’s really no downside to this offer from Fortinet; they’ve done a great job listening to their customers’ needs – both from a feature-function and value standpoint – and have delivered.”
FortiOS 4.0: Enhanced, Accelerated, Secured
The rich set of functionalities that FortiOS 4.0 brings to FortiGate appliances will dramatically enhance security and network performance as detailed below:
- Application Control – to recognize traffic as the application which is generating it, instead of the port or protocol observed; enforces security policy for more than 1000 applications; facilitates control over evasive applications that use non-standard ports, port-hopping, or tunneling within trusted ports and protocols;
- Data Leakage Prevention – to help identify and prevent the communication of sensitive information outside of the network boundaries; works across any application and also is effective where traffic is SSL-encrypted; configurable actions provides audit trails for data and files, aides in legislative compliance; protects an organization’s sensitive information;
- WAN Optimization – to accelerate applications over WAN connections while ensuring multi-threat security enforcement; increases network performance; reduces data transmitted across a WAN; reduces bandwidth and server resource requirements, improves user productivity; reduces networking costs (FortiGate models with local storage capabilities are required to take advantage of this feature);
- SSL Inspection – to increase security and policy control among encrypted traffic streams; inspects otherwise hidden communication; increased protection for secure web and application servers; improved visibility into network traffic.
“Changing business processes and threats are driving new requirements for network security. Increasing bandwidth and new application communication (such as Web 2.0) are changing how protocols are used and how data is presented. Software as a service is moving critical data off-site, and an increasing reliance on critical IT is pushing security in new directions,” said Greg Young and John Pescatore, Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Firewalls, November 2008.
Additional information on FortiOS 4.0 and other Fortinet products can be accessed at http://www.fortinet.com/products. Additional discussion on security technologies and threat analysis can be found at the FortiGuard Blog at http://blog.fortinet.com. All existing FortiGate customers with active maintenance contracts can upgrade to the new OS at little to no additional cost.*
* Less than five percent of current FortiGate appliances will be unable to upgrade to FortiOS 4.0 due to hardware requirements