By Tim Fitzgerald, Channel Director, Fortinet Australia
Digital transformation is shaking up the enterprise landscape. SD-WAN (software-defined wide area networks) are making it easier to connect branch offices. 5G is just around the corner. Faster networks are enabling a variety of IoT and OT (operations technology) applications. All of which will focus the spotlight on multi-cloud access.
The delivery of these services is being transformed as well. Hybrid networks that incorporate physical, virtual, in-house, managed and subscription-based services are no longer the exception but the rule. It’s an exciting time to be sure.
The one commonality amongst all of the manifestations of digital transformation is security. Customers are telling us that managing multiple security vendors is not working anymore – best of breed vendors can cause more overhead and slower security incident detection.
Smarter, more agile adversaries are also taking advantage of digital transformation. They are moving faster and wider to target those organisations that have gaps in their security profiles.
High profile industry reports like the Verizon breach report talk about having three minutes to detect and deal with security incidents. They also show malware can sit undetected on networks for months.
Enterprises will be looking at you, their technology partner, to help them establish a fully-integrated security fabric to reduce risk as they digitally transform their business.
Security deployment options
Hybrid networks – a mix of in-house, cloud-based and managed services - require an integrated security fabric that protects users, data and applications regardless of where or how they access the network. Hybrid network components are typically hosted at a third-party data centre or in-house. The security fabric has to be adaptable so that it can be deployed where the network services are hosted and managed as a single entity.
Many enterprises are taking hybrid network services to the next level by providing, in effect, internal managed network services to profit centres to facilitate cost accounting. As a result, today’s enterprises can be a consumer, provider and developer of cloud-based network services, all at the same time. This gives them even more scope to take advantage of the business opportunities arising from digital transformation. It also means that they will need to be a consumer, provider and developer of security services as well to fully protect their hybrid networks.
The easiest pathway to robust security is to embed security services into network operations at every step of the way. Each organisation has differing business models – some utilise off-the-shelf solutions, others design and deploy in-house applications, most employ a mix. Network operations don’t necessarily have to interact - silos are a well-established network topology to support disparate operations across the enterprise. Security services don’t have that luxury. They have to operate as a unified fabric that protects all components of the network. And they shouldn’t be tacked onto network services. They need to be built in from the start.
The good news is that security vendors – Fortinet included – are offering more and more DevOps (software development / operations) tools such as APIs and connectors so that enterprises can deliver security features alongside updated applications. In essence, embedding security at the start of a development project enables enterprises to pursue digital business opportunities without compromising users or data.
This is why Fortinet is the only security vendor that has the tools and solutions to fully protect hybrid networks, cloud-based access, bespoke applications, 5G networks and more regardless of where, when and who. The Fortinet Security Fabric orchestrates all of the security functions to work in conjunction with each other. And when combined with real-time security updates that are automatically uploaded into the fabric, your client’s network is always aware of – and protected against - the latest malware making the rounds.
Digital transformation is expanding the very definition of networking. But as the network expands, the threat landscape increases in scope as well. Enterprises that go too fast, too far without building in comprehensive security are taking unacceptable risks.
Your role in all of this is to ensure that your clients understand the dynamics, threats and opportunities of digital transformation. At the same time it is up to you to help them secure their networks as they expand. As a trusted partner, you have a responsibility to guide them on the pathway to comprehensive network security. The sooner they standardise on Fortinet for their security fabric, the sooner they will be able to embrace digital transformation without fear.
Fortinet (NASDAQ: FTNT) secures the largest enterprise, service provider, and government organisations around the world. Fortinet empowers its customers with intelligent, seamless protection across the expanding attack surface and the power to take on ever-increasing performance requirements of the borderless network - today and into the future. Only the Fortinet Security Fabric architecture can deliver security without compromise to address the most critical security challenges, whether in networked, application, cloud or mobile environments. Fortinet ranks #1 in the most security appliances shipped worldwide and more than 375,000 customers trust Fortinet to protect their businesses. Learn more at http://www.fortinet.com, the Fortinet Blog, or FortiGuard Labs.
For more Brand Posts in the Fortinet Security Insight series, click here.
About the author
Tim Fitzgerald is Fortinet’s Australian Channel Director. As such, he is responsible for driving Fortinet’s continued expansion in the channel through building and maintaining relationships with clients, partners and staff. He understands the risks, motivations and opportunities that face Australian businesses as they transform their networks into 21st century revenue centres.