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Is Your Security Ready to Protect the Digital World?

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Today’s digital economy is driving a technology revolution. Networks are elastic and borderless. They include on-demand infrastructure, cloud-based services, software defined perimeters, and the growth of smart devices and IoT. Networks and infrastructures are also increasingly hyperconnected. 

Data no longer just sits inside the network. It's pretty much everywhere, so securing the entire infrastructure is starting to become very important. We need to protect data whether it's in the cloud, on a mobile or IoT device, or inside the network. In addition, security also needs to look at a variety of behavioral analytics to determine the intent of an attacker. Anticipating the behavior of a user, device, or applications allows us to shorten the detection and response cycle. It then needs to coordinate the resources of security tools deployed across the infrastructure to counter that malicious intent. Next-Generation Firewall devices and platforms were simply never designed to do this. 

Addressing these new security challenges will require a new, third generation of security that is intent-based and automated. Security tools need to be integrated deep into the network across a variety of environments, from IoT to the cloud. They then need a framework that allows them to be woven together into a single, integrated fabric so they can collect, share, and correlate threat intelligence between security and network devices, centrally manage and orchestrate policies, automatically synchronize resources to enforce policies, and coordinate a response to threats detected anywhere across the extended network. 

This is really the only way to effectively defend today’s complex networks from the sophisticated threats being aimed at them. To accomplish this, third-generation security tools need to address all five elements of security development. 

1.       Detection. Finding bad actors, devices, and applications is the critical first step for any security solution. About 97 percent of companies are competing at this first level. But, detection isn't enough. You also need to get to stage two. 

2.       Prevention. Detection doesn't have to be in-line, but in order to stop bad traffic while making sure good applications can get through, prevention does. Even today, only about 5 to 10 percent of security companies are not only able to see a threat, but then do something more than simply send out an alert. 

3.       Integration. Devices deployed across the distributed network need to share and correlate intelligence and work together to coordinate threat response. Only a handful of companies, with development capabilities in house, are able to operate at this stage. Solutions need to be built around Open APIs and standards in order to create truly open and distributed security. 

4.       Performance. This seems self explanatory, but it really isn’t. Today’s security needs to look deep inside content, including unstructured data and encrypted traffic, to look for malware and other threats. It also needs to correlate that information with other data to uncover sophisticated attacks or determine things like intent and then apply real-time analytics to uncover intent and anticipate threats. And it needs to do it that in an environment with escalating data and device demands without compromising digital business requirements. 

5.       Value. Value is the fifth stage of development, and covers such things as quality, effectiveness, ease of management, and cost – not only for the solution itself, but also for the ongoing cost of ownership. Achieving the first four stages of security requires massive amounts of processing power and sophisticated software. Which is why most security solutions are so expensive. But high costs prevent a lot of organizations from deploying the security they need where they need it. Developments like chip-based security processors, which we began developing over 15 years ago, and now leading organizations like Google are also developing, ensure that security tools can combine high performance and sophisticated security processing at the lowest cost possible. 

Are you ready to protect your future? 

We at Fortinet are developing intuitive solutions designed to support predictive security for things like Intent-Based Networking. There are many things that need to go into creating predictive security. You need to see every device and system across the distributed network, know what those systems are normally used for, understand what those systems have historically done and what they are doing now, and know when the system changes. This can’t be accomplished with isolated security devices or platforms. It will require a security fabric. 

We are also developing new IoT security strategies to segment and inspect large volumes of IoT traffic in order to compensate for the flaws and vulnerabilities inherent in many IoT devices. We are making advances in the areas of AI and machine learning. Advanced behavioral analytics allow us to see and correlate more threat intelligence and inspect CPU-intensive things like encrypted traffic and unstructured data. 

This also allows us to expand the scope and sophistication of automation so security decision-making as quickly andfp as close to a detected threat event as possible. Sharing threat intelligence also plays an important role in this third generation of security. Which is we are expanding shared threat intelligence and technology cooperation through strategic partnerships such as the Cyber Threat Alliance (CTA) and the Fabric-Ready Partner program, as it can provide expanded protection for increasingly hyperconnected risk-based environments, like critical infrastructures and smart cities. 

This third generation of security is required to secure today’s highly elastic networks, from endpoint and IoT devices to the cloud. Fortinet is prepared because our entire culture is built on a foundation of continuous innovation tied to a clear vision of the future. As we all move further into the new digital age, we are committed to providing the integrated tools and comprehensive strategies everyone will need to protect the increasingly connected world we are all building together.

Fortinet was recently named a Leader in the Gartner Enterprise Firewall Magic Quadrant. Read the full report here.

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