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Understanding FortiOS - The Heart of the Fortinet Security Fabric

FortiOS, the Fortinet network operating system, is the heart of the Fortinet Security Fabric. This operating system, or software, is at the core of the Security Fabric and ties all components together to ensure a tight integration across an organization’s entire Fabric deployment.

  • Published: 24-05-2022

  • Related Category: Security Operations

  • Type of Content: Articles

  • Owner: Fortinet


Executive Summary

FortiOS, the Fortinet network operating system, is the heart of the Fortinet Security Fabric. This operating system, or software, is at the core of the Security Fabric and ties all components together to ensure a tight integration across an organization’s entire Fabric deployment. With version 6.4, FortiOS adds new capabilities designed to support organizations’ digital innovation (DI) goals. These include improved visibility of Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices, enhanced network access control (NAC) integration, improved endpoint protection, and added security information and event management (SIEM) and security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) capabilities.

Fortinet Security Fabric Enhances Support for Digital Innovation

The Fortinet Security Fabric is a broad, integrated, and automated network security architecture that solves four primary challenges for the digitally innovating enterprise:

  1. An expanding, fragmenting attack surface
  2. Accelerating advanced threats
  3. A profusion of disparate network security technologies
  4. Increasingly onerous regulatory demands regarding network security and data privacy

The multilayer defense-in-depth strategies required to meet these challenges translate into numerous sophisticated and evolving security capabilities. Consequently, the Security Fabric includes a broad range of solutions, which can be deployed either as hardware appliances, as virtual machines, or as a hosted service. A central advantage of all these solutions is that they are integrated, orchestrated, and centrally managed from a single pane of glass, minimizing security gaps and operational complexity. And FortiOS is the key to enabling this seamless, integrated protection.

FortiOS Enables Broad, Integrated, Automated Security

FortiOS is the network operating system of the entire Fortinet Security Fabric. Every component—from the next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) to the access points and switches to the NAC solution—is driven by the same FortiOS code. This means that the Security Fabric components:

  • Are configured and managed the same way, so network and security administrators who know one Security Fabric product need minimal training to manage them all
  • All receive consistent OS updates, enabling a consistent life cycle and policy management
  • All log events in the same way, facilitating communication and data compilation for reporting and analysis
  • All can leverage SOAR capabilities to improve threat response and reduce risk
  • Are able to coordinate to address multipronged attacks across the organization’s attack surface
  • Are capable of receiving real-time, artificial intelligence (AI)-generated threat intelligence from FortiGuard Labs

Developing and maintaining a single network operating system translates into more strategic development of the Fortinet Security Fabric. This is because each component is developed with a consideration of its impact on the others. Customers can invest in the Security Fabric, confident that future developments will enhance the value of that investment.

Figure 1: The Fortinet Security Fabric, built on the FortiOS network operating system, enables multiple security technologies to work seamlessly together, across all environments and is supported by a single source of threat intelligence.

This eliminates security gaps in the network and hastens responses to attacks and breaches.

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