Fortinet Next Generation Firewalls
A Brief History
I came to the conclusion several years ago that my customers needed a better way to protect their computer systems from external threats, something over and above what a combination of a stateful packet firewall and good anti-virus program could offer.
After investigating products from network vendors that I was currently using, and came across Unified Threat Management devices. UTMs are a product category all their own. This is a list of the expected capabilities of a UTM.
- Virtual Private Network
- Gateway anti-virus
- Gateway anti-spam
- Intrusion Prevention System
- Content filtering
- Bandwidth management
- Application control
- Centralized reporting
Some of these functions are optional, but when combined with Kaspersky Labs anti-virus software installed on every system, the computer network is protected pretty comprehensively.
Another advantage you’ll have with a completely up-to-date UTM, is that you’ll have laid a foundation to meet most regulatory requirements, such as PCI-DSS and HIPAA.
I began using and selling Netgear ProSecure UTMs several years ago. These were quite satisfactory at first, and I was able to accomplish my goals, and the goals of my clients. Then Netgear sort of lost interest in the market, didn’t deliver promised new features, and generally fell behind badly in technology. At the end of 2016, they will stop updating the ProSecure UTM devices. Very disappointing, but we move along.
I again began researching and reading about the current state of Unified Threat Management and who is leading the market. The vendor that seemed to be head and shoulders above the competition is Fortinet. They have a huge range of products in this market segment, from those for very small business to enterprise scale business, and they are updated to current technology. This is critical when vulnerabilities are discovered every day, protocols become obsolete or are deprecated, and having a single vulnerable protocol present on your UTM will make your business fail compliance testing.
To say I’m impressed with every aspect of the Fortinet would be an understatement. These devices are complex and comprehensive, and address every item on the above list, although some are optional. There’s a sizable amount of information on their Youtube channel about setting up and configuring features, and comprehensive documentation. Fortinet is the future of firewalls, and I’m proud to be representing them.