Fortinet bolsters SD-WAN services, security with new software, next-generation firewalls

Fortinet has added new features to its SD-WAN software and a next-generation firewall series that promise to help customers better monitor and protect distributed enterprise resources.

On the SD-WAN front, Fortinet is introducing two services – a network underlay and overlay option to let customers better manage WAN traffic to remote sites. 

The Underlay Performance Monitoring Service for SD-WAN utilizes the vendor’s core central management system FortiManager and FortiGuard’s database of hundreds of popular SaaS and cloud implementations, to offer visibility into the performance of the underlay network.  The underlay network is typically made up if the physical network infrastructure supporting traffic between distributed cloud or remote office resources.

The service includes a setup wizard to help users bring up SD-WAN locations easier. It also adds a monitor customers can use to see network and application performance from a single location. 

The service also includes support for the FortiGuard Performance SLA Database that includes preconfigured SaaS and cloud application workloads so customers can easily create service level agreements (SLAs) for ISP link performance, according to Fortinet.  The idea is to reduce set up time, eliminate configuration errors, and ensure application performance.  In addition, Application Performance Scoring uses analytics to measure app performance and let customers pinpoint network and shrink remediation times.

The vendor also added an Overlay-as-a-Service offering that it says is aimed at helping organizations with limited technical expertise and constrained budgets manage the SD-WAN network overlay. The overlay works with the network underlay but provides the logical, virtual support for things like addressing and routing provisions.

The service lets companies quickly set up and manage SD-WAN services via the vendor’s Fort iCloud service. The idea is to reduce deployment time and associated costs while also alleviating the burden of hosting and management expenses, according to Fortinet.

Both services will be available in Q3 2023.

In addition to the software, Fortinet rolled out its FortiGate 90G series of NGFWs which are based on the vendor’s SP5 ASIC which promises a number of performance improvements for the FortiGate system including 17x faster firewall performance and 32x faster encryption processes while using 88% less power compared to standard CPUs, the company says.

The new firewalls feature support for the vendor’s SD-WAN, Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) and Secure Service Edge networking and security features as well as its AI-Powered Security Services which blend AI and ML technologies offer advanced intrusion prevention for deep packet inspection of SSL/TLS traffic, web security services, such as DNS and URL filtering for blocking of access to malicious domains and URLs, and content security, such as inline sandboxing to stop zero-day and other file-based threats.

The support also helps make customers aware of cyber threats and act on protecting resources much quicker.  The service utilizes real-time security data from Fortinet’s threat researchers at FortiGuard Lab to monitor for new dangers.

Like other Fortinet firewalls, the 90G series also let customers build hybrid mesh firewall architectures – a developing technology that unlike traditional single point of control firewalls, lets IT teams to define and enforce policy controls across workloads, users, and locations, the vendor stated.

Mesh firewalls help secure hybrid environments and extend modern network firewall controls to multiple enforcement points, according to a recent Gartner report, which also stated that by 2026, more than 60% of organizations will have more than one type of firewall deployment, which will prompt adoption of hybrid mesh firewalls.

The FortiGate 90G series is available.

Next read this: