Fortinet embraces Cisco, HPE, Nokia

New partners can securely share data with Fortinet Security Fabric

Fortinet is adding Cisco, HPE and Nokia to its stable of partners whose security gear can share information with Fortinet products to improve overall security.

The company is announcing at its Accelerate 2017 customer conference this week that equipment made by these new partners will integrate into the Fortinet Security Fabric via an API to tighten security in core networks, remote devices and the cloud.

The amount of sharing that goes on depends on the individual third-parties’ APIs.

Fortigate Security Fabric is woven from Fortinet products that can communicate among each other to find and analyze threats and let admins see their input in a single window. That’s an upgrade from the initial fabric in which IT teams had to switch among the dashboards for the Fortinet products involved.

The fabric already included Fortinet’s FortiGate next-generation firewall, FortiWeb Web application firewall, and FortiMail email security. Going forward with FortiOS 5.6 it includes Fortinet wireless access points, switches and sandboxes.

The idea is to enable security analysts to make smarter decisions about network segmentation, says John Maddison, Fortinet’s senior vice president of products and solutions. For instance, if a wireless access point shows that it supports a number of internet of things devices, that might call for isolating it in its own network segment to prevent it from becoming a point of attack into the network as a whole, he says.

The company is also adding what it calls Intent Based Security management to its portfolio. This takes inputs written in business vocabulary and translates it into policies that are distributed among security devices. So a business-language input might call for adding mobile phone access to certain applications, and Intent Based Security would configure devices to accommodate that access. Admins wouldn’t have to decide what changes are needed and then configure individual devices manually.

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