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Fortinet solidifies all-in-one security play

Fortinet has released a new all-in-one security appliance for large organizations. One user lauds the product's capabilities, though it might not be as mature as competing products.

Security vendor Fortinet Inc. today announced a new antivirus firewall system designed for large enterprises, managed service providers and carriers. The product is the latest in the FortiGate family of products, which bundle multiple security functions on a single device.

The new FortiGate 4000 includes antivirus screening, VPN, and intrusion detection and prevention, as well as content filtering.

Rick Kagan, vice president of marketing at Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Fortinet, said that this device will appeal to large enterprises and carriers because it can screen network traffic for multiple security threats at gigabit speed.

The device achieves such high levels of throughput because it screens using its FortiASIC content-processing chip, rather than taking the software-based approach that many other vendors use.

While many all-in-one devices that perform such a broad range of functions may not offer best-of-breed capabilities, Kagan said that the quality of the FortiGate 4000 has been independently verified by ICSA Labs, the Mechanicsburg, Pa. security certification organization.

Steve Goldsby, CEO of the Montgomery, Ala.-based security consultancy Integrated Computer Solutions Inc., is using Fortinet's product, and he said that, with the large number of security threats today, products that integrate multiple functions into a single device are becoming more appealing.

A device such as Fortinet's, he said, is invaluable for helping filter out all the security threats that are likely to put corporate networks in danger. However, he said, the product is not a fine-tooth comb, and it can't keep an enterprise network safe all by itself.

"Desktop antivirus [software] is still a necessity," he said.

Goldsby said that the FortiGate 4000 performs its wide range of functions well but that the appliance's central management tool is not quite as mature as those from other vendors, such as Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. But the product's sophisticated security technology makes up for that, he said.

Pricing for the FortiGate 4000 starts at $64,995.


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