Fortinet Extends Unified Threat Management Reach

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    As managing security becomes more complex, the typical small-to-medium-size (SMB) organization is looking for a way to provide the most amount of IT security at the lowest cost possible.

    With that issue in mind, Fortinet today unveiled 12 new offerings designed to unify threat management across a common platform architecture. According to Fortinet CEO Ken Xie, what distinguishes Fortinet from rivals most is the investments the company has made in an ASIC processor architecture that allows it to combine a larger number of security functions at an affordable cost without having to compromise performance.

    As part of an effort to deliver that unified threat management (UTM) capability, Fortinet is unveiling FortiGate/FortiWiFi-30D-POE, FortiGate/FortiWiFi-60D-POE, FortiGate/FortiWiFi-90D-POE and FortiGate-280D-POE offerings that give customers the ability to integrate UTM security alongside Wi-Fi access point control, switching, authentication, endpoint management and policy control in a single device capable of supporting up to 280 ports.

    Fortinet also introduced the FortiAP-221C and FortiAP-320C wireless access points compatible with the 802.11ac wireless standard that enables these devices to transfer data in excess of 1 Gbps.

    Xie says most rivals that offer UTM rely on Intel processor technology that is not only more expensive; it can’t rival the performance attributes of a unified security gateway based on an ASIC processor architecture that Fortinet calls Connected UTM. As time goes on, Xie says Fortinet will continue to invest in ASIC technologies that will bring down the cost of managing IT security even further.

    In an era when just having a firewall is not enough, the challenge most organizations face is figuring out how to layer in additional security functionality in a way that doesn’t increase the total cost of both acquiring and ultimately managing the security platform. That’s especially important when the number of security professionals with the skills required to manage advanced security functions are in short supply.

    Of course, when it comes to providing security for SMB organizations, there’s no shortage of competition. But as more organizations begin to appreciate the tradeoffs between functionality and performance, which up until now have required them to compromise between both, Fortinet is betting that a platform that doesn’t force customers to make that compromise is going to gain a lot of traction.


    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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