Fortinet adds wireless and IoT security features to SASE platform

Fortinet continues to enhance its Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) package by adding support for microbranches, extending wireless LAN protections, and improving data loss prevention (DLP) and end-user monitoring capabilities.

The vendor added the new features to its FortiSASE offering, which includes SD-WAN, secure web gateway, firewall as a service, cloud access security broker, and zero trust network access (ZTNA), all running on top of its FortiOS operating system. The package can be centrally managed via the firm’s FortiManager software, which sets network and security policies across the Fortinet product line.

In the latest SASE upgrade, Fortinet said it will integrate its wireless LAN portfolio as well as support for myriad IoT devices. 

“The idea is that customers can now manage WLAN, IoT and all of the other SASE components, such as SD-WAN, securely from one central location,” said Nirav Shah, vice president of products and solutions at Fortinet. “We have thousands of FortiAP wireless access points deployed globally, and now they can be completely integrated within our cloud-delivered security stack.”

The WLAN and IoT enhancements are part of a plan to extend FortiSASE to microbranches, which often do not have advanced security products or personnel to protect those resources, Shah said. Companies that have lots of microbranches, such as healthcare, retail, banks and manufacturing sites, can send microbranch WLAN and IoT traffic to Fortinet’s SASE points of presence for security inspection, Shah said.

“We are extending enterprise-grade protections – such as sandboxing, intrusion prevention, URL filtering, firewalls, traffic inspection – to microbranches without businesses having to add additional appliances or services,” Shah said.

In addition to the microbranch extension, the vendor has added SASE support for its FortiGuard DLP offering.   

“For all enterprises, especially now that so many resources are distributed, it’s important to protect sensitive data,” Shah said. “The DLP service helps make sure a remote user is not transmitting key company data either inadvertently or maliciously.”

The DLP service now includes a wider range of data identifiers, file types, and SaaS applications, as well as advanced data matching techniques to prevent inadvertent data leaks, Shah noted.

To ensure that distributed end-user applications are behaving properly, Fortinet added digital experience monitoring (DEM) to its SASE package. With DEM, customers can monitor the performance of SaaS applications, including WebEx, Office365, and Dropbox, Shah said. 

“DEM is supported inside our cloud network, so customers can easily see the connected applications. So if there is a specific issue or problem, organizations can quickly pinpoint it and resolve it,” Shah said.

Like its competitors in the evolving single-vendor SASE world – which includes Cisco, Cato, Versa, VMware, Palo Alto and others – Fortinet is looking to buttress its SASE package with key security options for enterprise customers. 

The new FortiSASE features are expected to be available in September.

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