The Secure Access Architecture stiches together some of Fortinet’s existing security products and services to help organizations securely manage IoT and BYOD devices on their networks, says John Maddison, the company’s vice president of products.
While there hasn’t been a lot of focus on providing security at the access layer to date, according to Maddison, it has become the first line of defense for organizations that are dealing with “headless” devices that don’t have many, or any, internal security measures built into them. Maddison says wireless infrastructure and switching infrastructure in particular have little to no security, which Secure Access addresses in several ways.
“What we’re really doing in a nutshell is applying as much security as we can to the access layer of the network, which traditionally has been very much Layer 2 and Layer 3,” Maddison says. “We’re now applying application security, antivirus security, and IPS [intrusion prevention] security across three deployment modes: infrastructure mode, integrated mode, and cloud access point mode.”
In cloud mode, Fortinet can not only manage access points with firewall capabilities via the cloud, but also can inject security directly into the access point.
The infrastructure mode adds security into existing infrastructures, such as mobile environments. Maddison says control is integrated inside the firewall and is based on technology from its acquisition of Meru Networks earlier this year.
The integrated mode could be used in greenfield opportunities in order to integrate the management of both security and access into a single pane of glass.
“The architecture allows you to take different components, whether they’re APs [access points], switches, controllers in the cloud, security, or even authentication in clients, and bring them all together,” Maddison says.