An OS update might not seem particularly significant, but for Fortinet the release of FortiOS 6.2 highlights its strategic shift to enable third-party security product integration, a necessity for top-tier enterprise security vendors going forward. To succeed, enterprises must foster an integrated security architecture with the help of their key vendors.
Fortinet has officially released FortiOS 6.2, the latest iteration of the core operating system that runs its flagship FortiGate next-generation firewall and most of its other security products.
The Sunnyvale, California-based enterprise security vendor included more than 300 new features in its annual major software release, including improved SD-WAN performance, enhanced virtual processing for high-bandwidth cloud applications, and greater support for zero-touch device provisioning.
But what might ultimately prove most significant about the new release is the extent to which FortiOS has been enhanced to support third-party security product integration.
Specifically, Fortinet has greatly enhanced its Security Fabric, which tightly integrates solutions and capabilities across both its product portfolio and third-party solutions. Its third-party technology partner program features native platform integration for greater functionality and control, and standardized APIs within FortiOS to enable cross-product integration.
With the release of FortiOS 6.2, nearly 60 third-party vendors have now built Fortinet API support into their products. Furthermore, Fortinet has built fabric connectors to natively support APIs of nearly two dozen vendors, including new integrations with Symantec, and even key rivals Cisco Systems (pxGrid) and Aruba (ClearPass).
Fortinet and other prominent enterprise security vendors, including Cisco, McAfee, Palo Alto Networks, and Symantec, have all realized that in the coming years, few purchasing considerations will be more important for enterprises than integration.
To be able to adapt to and defend against the rapidly evolving threat landscape, chief information security officers are increasingly understanding that a collection of independent point products is not sufficient. Instead, organizations need their security products to function as a single, integrated architecture, and also need the ability to customize this architecture beyond what any one “platform” vendor can provide.
Fortinet, to its credit, is realizing that its success will depend on fostering its own capabilities as well as enabling simple integration and seamless interoperability with technology partners and competitors alike. It’s just this sort of coopetition-centric strategy that enterprise security customers should expect to see from their vendors and solution providers.
“Palo Alto Networks Cortex XDR spans endpoint, network, and the cloud for detection and response”, INT003-000351 (April 2019)
“Fortinet bundles security to compete in SD-WAN”, INT003-000167 (May 2018)
Eric Parizo, Senior Analyst, Cybersecurity Accelerator