Network security specialist Fortinet unveiled its Secure Wireless LAN platform, which integrates wireless and wired access, security, authentication and switching and management, and was specifically designed for distributed enterprises.
With Fortinet, there is no need to purchase separate wireless local area network (WLAN) controllers, and there are no individual access point (AP) and cloud-management licensing fees. Mobile-device access for Apple iPhone or Google Android devices are configured by on-boarding the device through user- and device authentication and applying a per device and user policy to ensure the right destinations are reached.
The company supports centralized, mesh and distributed controller-less access-point deployments with a variety of indoor, outdoor and remote APs, and the solution provides integrated authentication with single sign-on and policy enforcement across access points, security appliances and switched devices.
Available as part of the solution are two wired and wireless products, which include FortiSwitch-28C and FortiSwitch-348B Ethernet switches and FortiAP-14C and FortiAP-28C wireless remote access points. The FortiSwitches provide integration of various Fortinet technologies, while power-over-Ethernet functionality eliminates the need to run additional wires to power wireless APs. This also enables power delivery to FortiVoice IP phones, FortiCam IP surveillance cameras, and other devices such as retail point of sale (PoS) devices.
"Because of the explosive growth of mobile devices and applications in the workplace, networks need to be re-architected for low latency, increased throughput, and, of course, strong security," Rohit Mehra, vice president of network infrastructure at IT research firm IDC, said in a statement. "Solutions such as Fortinet’s new Secure WLAN solution address the major pain points that distributed enterprises face today–securely accommodating the exponential grown of BYOD for both employee and guest access; identifying and mitigating security issues; and reducing costs and complexities associated with provisioning and managing overlay wireless networks."
The Fortinet Secure WLAN solution leverages a number updated features and capabilities of the FortiOS 5 operating system (OS), including policy enforcement of all wired and wireless network traffic using the controller built into all FortiGate appliances. In addition, profile changes made from a FortiGate can be pushed out to thousands of access points.
Other features include single-pane-of-glass device management for managing all infrastructure products attached to the network through a FortiGate or FortiManager appliance, application control for allowing, blocking or rate-limiting access to thousands of applications, and rogue access point (AP) detection to block unauthorized APs from creating a point of information leakage from the network and detect wireless anomalies.
Rounding out the package is bandwidth management for prioritizing mission-critical and bandwidth intensive applications and boasts identity-based policy management for identifying anything connected to the network, including mobile devices such as smartphone and tablets and then pushing customizable policies that can be tailored for each device.
"No other vendor provides such a complete, highly secure end-to-end, wired and wireless solution for the distributed enterprise," John Maddison, vice president of marketing at Fortinet, said in a statement. "With the Secure WLAN offering, customers get consolidation without compromise–they get a superior TCO solution that provides end-to-end wired and wireless network security, management, access and control."