Fortinet overhauls operating system

For many network devices, the operating system is everything. Ports and throughput are give great numbers, but the OS is the power behind the throne.

Fortinet Inc. will upgrade the FortiOS operating system to version 5.0 for its FortiGate security devices at the end of the month with what it says are 150 new features and enhancements.

But according to Kevin Flynn, the company’s senior product marketing manager, a handful are the most significant.

“It’s a reaction to changes in the threat environment,” he said of the changes.

They include

–the ability to create client reputation policies for every device on the network. Through the management console of FortiGate unified threat management appliances, or the FortiManager  appliance for managing multiple FortiGates, administrators can rank staff PCs or handsets based on what the user is doing. A high score can suggest a device is compromised, or the user is engaging in risky behavior;

–multitask filtering, which creates a sandbox on devices where behaviour and attribute-based heuristic detection can analyze suspicious traffic;

–the ability to set mobile device-based security policies – say, one for laptops, one for tablets, or a different policy for each person. “This is giving customers a lot more flexibility in dealing with the devices coming into the network,” Flynn said.

—-integrated guest access with security, so occasional users of the network can get specialized credentials. One feature is the ability to time-limit network access.

There’s also version 5.0 of the FortiClient for Windows and Mac, which now offers protects mobile devices when users are off the corporate Internet. This is configured through a FortiGate appliance.

The changes means there are also updated versions of each Fortinet appliance operating system. FortiManager 5.0 now offers the ability to drag and drop policies between panes, direct in-view policy object editing and a new script UI facility, the company said, while The FortiAnalyzer 5.0 family of logging and reporting appliances offers better data visualization than the previous version.

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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