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Fortinet unifies zero trust, endpoint, and network security for a work-from-anywhere workforce

By Ryan Morris-Reade, Tue 9 Nov 2021

Fortinet has announced a new security solution to enable organisations to secure and connect work-from-anywhere. 

By unifying Fortinet's broad portfolio of zero trust, endpoint, and network security solutions within the Fortinet Security Fabric, Fortinet delivers security, services, and threat intelligence that seamlessly follow users whether on the road, at home, or in the office to provide enterprise-grade protection and productivity. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically expanded the work-from-anywhere model. A forecast analysis from Gartner reveals that by the end of 2024, the change in the nature of work will increase the total available remote worker market to 60% of all employees, up from 52% in 2020.

Also, according to Gartner, organisations are facing a hybrid future, with 75% of hybrid or remote knowledge workers saying their expectations for working flexibly have increased.

At the same time, multi-stage sophisticated attacks like ransomware are plaguing organisations at an increasing rate. 

According to the 1H Global Threat Landscape Report from FortiGuard Labs, ransomware incidents have increased nearly 1100% from June 2020 to June 2021. In a recent global ransomware survey conducted by Fortinet, 67% of organisations report having been a ransomware target.

It's clear that remote and hybrid work is now the status quo, and cybercriminals will continue to take advantage of this expanded attack surface. To address the shift in the workforce and threat landscape, enterprises must now take a "work-from-anywhere" approach to their security by deploying solutions capable of following, enabling, and protecting users no matter where they are located.

As users move between travel, office, and home, they access applications from the cloud, data centre or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Because of this continual flux, it's imperative that zero trust, endpoint, and network security are all unified by a common set of APIs and integration points to ensure users can seamlessly shift from one location to another, enjoying a consistent user experience that is adequately protected with contextual security. 

According to Fortinet, it enables the three use cases of work-from-anywhere:

Travel
Users working outside the office or primary remote space (and the layered security it provides) potentially introduce unique threat exposure when connecting to the applications and resources necessary for work while using unknown and often unsecured networks and locations. This enables cybercriminals to snoop on exposed communications or launch attacks from inadequately protected devices. To secure users on the go, Fortinet delivers an integrated combination of endpoint security: EPP, EDR, XDR (FortiEDR, FortiXDR), zero trust access: ZTNA (FortiClient, FortiOS, FortiGate) + Identity (FortiAuthenticator, FortiToken), and network security: SASE (FortiSASE Remote).

Work-from-home
Remote and hybrid employees typically log in from a set remote location with some infrastructure to enable work, such as a monitor, home network, and external webcam and microphone. However, home networks are full of non-secure Internet of Things (IoT) devices and other users who might be consuming bandwidth with productivity-reducing video streaming or online gaming. They are often outside the security of the corporate network and its controls. To provide managed, enterprise-grade security to users at home, Fortinet delivers an integrated combination of endpoint security: EPP, EDR, XDR (FortiEDR, FortiXDR), zero trust access: ZTNA (FortiClient, FortiOS, FortiGate) + Identity (FortiAuthenticator, FortiToken), and network security: Linksys HomeWRK for Business | Secured by Fortinet.

Office
Even when users are working from a location managed by the organisation that provides networking and security to employees, strong endpoint security remains an important part of a layered defence given the potential for vulnerabilities to be exploited or third parties to be compromised, providing an entry point for cybercriminals to bypass corporate controls. To secure users, devices, and servers in the office, Fortinet delivers an integrated combination of endpoint security: EPP, EDR, XDR (FortiEDR, FortiXDR), zero trust access: ZTNA (FortiClient, FortiOS, FortiGate) + Identity (FortiAuthenticator, FortiToken), and network security: Next-generation Firewall (FortiGate + FortiGate-VM).

To further accelerate secure work-from-anywhere, Fortinet is committed to expanding its FortiTrust security as a service portfolio, which offers simplified consumption and unified licensing models designed for the way companies do business in the work-from-anywhere era. 

"Unlike most complicated licensing that includes a mixture of device-based, appliance-based, and cloud-based fees, FortiTrust brings everything together under one user-based licence that seamlessly follows users across any environment or form factor," the company explains.

"This allows organisations to dynamically adapt to work-from-anywhere challenges such as shifting connectivity needs, hybrid workers, or resources that may need to move back and forth between physical and virtual environments and form factors. 

"FortiTrust's simplified licensing model allows true network flexibility and enables organisations to deploy new technologies designed for dynamic networks easily."

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