In a bid to fortify the security of industrial networks, Fortinet has unveiled a comprehensive set of hardware and software additions to its OT Security Platform. This strategic move aims to safeguard assets linked to industrial networks, providing enhanced protection against evolving cyber threats. Let’s delve into the details of Fortinet’s latest offerings and understand how they contribute to the convergence of OT and IT network operations.
The Challenge: Securing Industrial Networks
Industrial networks face a growing challenge in securing cyber-physical systems against sophisticated cyber threats. Fortinet acknowledges the criticality of protecting assets in hazardous OT environments and, in response, introduces a set of innovative solutions.
Fortinet’s OT Security Platform: A Holistic Approach
Fortinet’s OT Security Platform encompasses a suite of cutting-edge technologies, including:
- FortiGate Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFWs)
- FortiSwitch Secure Access Switches
- FortiAP Secure Wireless Access Points
- Network Traffic Analyzer
- FortiClient Endpoint Security Agent
This integrated solution is underpinned by Fortinet’s flagship FortiOS operating system, seamlessly working with the overarching Security Fabric. The goal is to provide holistic protection, observing OT traffic and shielding endpoints from malware, viruses, and other evolving threats.
New Additions: Hardware Reinforcements for Industrial Environments
- FortiSwitch Rugged 424F Industrial Ethernet Switch:
- Purpose-built for harsh OT environments.
- Supports real-time OT networking protocols.
- Integrates seamlessly with FortiGate NGFWs for integrated security and access control.
- FortiAP 432F Access Point:
- Designed for hazardous OT environments.
- Enables easy segmentation of Wi-Fi networks to prevent the spread of attacks.
- FortiExtender Vehicle 211F Wireless Gateway:
- Tailored for connected fleets, mobile systems, and OT deployments.
- Adds a layer of ruggedized wireless connectivity.
Software Enhancements: Empowering Security Operations
- FortiOS OT View Dashboard:
- Updated for enhanced correlation and display of OT data.
- Provides a unified console for organizations to understand their entire attack surface.
- Simplifies security management across IT and OT environments.
- Integration with Fortinet’s Security Ecosystem:
- FortiAnalyzer for OT-specific analytics, risk, and compliance reports.
- FortiNDR for analyzing over 15 OT-network protocols.
- FortiDeceptor, now supporting 30 OT protocols and additional decoys.
- FortiGuard OT Security Service for threat intelligence.
- FortiGuard Outbreak Alerts, now featuring OT-specific threat reports.
The Vision: Converging IT and OT Networks Seamlessly
Nirav Shah, Fortinet’s Vice President of Products and Solutions, envisions a future where IT and OT networks converge seamlessly. The Security Fabric, coupled with purpose-built solutions in the OT Security Platform, serves as a strategic guide for CIOs and CISOs, fostering convergence as a guiding principle.
The Urgency: Protecting Critical Infrastructure
Fortinet’s focus on OT security aligns with the urgency to protect critical infrastructure and industry verticals. The company’s threat intelligence indicates a rising threat to the manufacturing sector, making it a prime target for cyber adversaries seeking to exploit production interruptions for ransomware campaigns.
Looking Ahead: Building a Secure Future
As Fortinet unveils these robust additions to its OT Security Platform, it paves the way for the initial connectivity of previously air-gapped systems. The platform is positioned not just as a security solution but as a facilitator for the convergence of OT and IT networks. Fortinet encourages organizations to explore its OT Security Platform, combining the familiarity of FortiOS on the enterprise side with advanced OT features, ensuring a secure and connected future.