UPDATED 09:00 EDT / DECEMBER 18 2023


Fortinet strengthens OT security with enhanced FortiGuard Service and new hardware

Cybersecurity firm Fortinet Inc. today announced the release of new, integrated operational technology security solutions and services that it says will advance the company’s solutions over the rest of the market.

The new solutions include the FortiSwitch 424F, FortiExtender 211F and an enhanced FortiGuard OT Security service designed to connect and protect OT environments.

Fortinet argues that as the number of industrial devices connected beyond network boundaries rapidly increases, chief information security officers face skyrocketing risks across their OT environments. Three-quarters of OT organizations report at least one intrusion in the last year and nearly one-third report being victims of a ransomware attack.

To address the increasing risks, Fortinet claims that organizations need an integrated security approach designed specifically for industrial solutions that enable policy enforcement across the entire attack surface, consolidate point products and reduce operational overhead. This is where today’s announcements are aimed.

The Fortinet OT Security Platform, an integrated portfolio of cybersecurity products, solutions and security services for industrial networks and powered by real-time OT threat intelligence, delivers customers deep visibility across their entire environment and securely facilitates the convergence information technology and operation technology.

Among the new products is the FortiSwitch Rugged 424F, an industrial-class Ethernet switch specifically designed for digital substations and the power utility industry. The switch offers the ability to support real-time OT networking protocols and integration with FortiGate Next-Generation Firewalls, ensuring security and robust access control, the ecompany says.

The second new product announced today – the FortiAP 432F access point is tailored for hazardous OT environments and meets Class 1, Division 2 requirements. The access point enhances security by segmenting industrial Wi-Fi networks, preventing the spread of attacks across unprotected devices and systems.

The next release, the FortiExtender Vehicle 211F wireless gateway, is a semi-rugged mobility solution ideal for connected fleets, mobile systems and OT deployments. The gateway complies with the AT&T FirstNet network standards, ensuring reliable communication for first responders.

Complementing the enhanced hardware, Fortinet has updated its FortiOS operating system with the OT View dashboard. The feature provides an overview of an organization’s entire attack surface, both in IT and OT, for monitoring and management from a single console.

Also announced today are enhancements to Fortinet’s security operations and services for OT. FortiAnalyzer now integrates OT-specific analytics, enhancing threat detection, asset and vulnerability management and FortiNDR, which supports on-premises, cloud and hybrid deployments, can now analyze more than 15 OT network protocols and employ artificial intelligence for network behavior analysis to detect malicious activities.

FortiDeceptor, Fortinet’s deception technology for early breach and attack isolation, now supports 30 OT protocols and includes additional decoys to protect diverse industrial environments. The FortiGuard OT Security Service has expanded its threat intelligence database, now covering more than 70 OT protocols and more than 4,000 OT application and device vulnerability signatures, enabling stringent access control and virtual patching.

Lastly, FortiGuard Outbreak Alerts have been updated to provide insights into OT-specific threats, allowing customers to harden their systems against new and emerging attacks following the National Institute for Standards and Technology Cyber Security Framework.

“We understand that OT differs significantly from traditional IT systems and that’s why our OT Security Platform was purpose-built to provide integrated protection and risk management specific to industrial environments,” John Maddison, chief marketing officer and executive vice president of product strategy at Fortinet, explains. “Rising attacks on critical infrastructure have made OT security more important than ever before.”

Fortinet was last in the news on Dec. 11 when it launched a new AI assistant that promises to streamline threat investigation. Fortinet Advisor assists in building complex investigation queries and creating efficient remediation plans, significantly reducing the time required for threat detection and response.

Image: Fortinet

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