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Fortinet launches first Secure SD-WAN for operational technology environments

Fortinet has launched the industry’s first Secure SD-WAN appliances for operational technology (OT) environments.

FortiGate Rugged 60F and FortiGate Rugged 60F include built-in LTE next-generation firewalls and are built for non-environmentally controlled sites.

The new ruggedised versions of the FortiGate platform enable deployment of Fortinet’s industry leading Secure SD-WAN solution in locations never before possible for OT organisations in industries such as utilities and energy, manufacturing, and transportation, the company states.

According to Fortinet, fundamental shifts are occurring in the way operational environments generate and collect data. In industries such as manufacturing, power and utilities, oil and gas and other critical infrastructure, their distributed locations have traditionally relied on expensive leased lines or MPLS circuits to provide secure, reliable communications.

SD-WAN has emerged as a modern solution for OT organisations to realise better user experience, simplified management and lower total cost of ownership, but adopting this technology requires a solution that meets the specific needs of OT environments, including space, power, security, and environmental requirements, Fortinet states.

Specific features and benefits

The FortiGate Rugged 60F platform is a first-of-its-kind appliance that delivers the following features to support OT environments in safely and securely deploying SD-WAN. It includes the following benefits:

Small footprint: The FortiGate Rugged 60F combines leading SD-WAN, advanced routing and next-generation firewall security in a single, compact form factor, enabling it to be deployed in space-sensitive environments.

This has the additional benefit of reducing costs and simplifying operations for network analysts, the company states.

Flexible mounting and power: The FortiGate Rugged 60F is designed specifically for deployment in smaller OT sites that require different mounting and power options than found in traditional IT wiring closets.

Built tough: The FortiGate Rugged 60F is specifically designed to function in harsh environmental conditions, such as extreme temperatures, electromagnetic interference, high moisture, and extreme or constant vibration.

Built-in LTE connectivity: For remote locations, the FortiGate Rugged 60F comes with an option for built-in LTE to provide an additional WAN connectivity option as well as easier deployment and operation.

In addition to being the only Secure SD-WAN appliance certified for operational technology environments, the FortiGate Rugged 60F platform delivers the industry’s highest security and networking performance.

Powered by Fortinet’s patented SOC4 SD-WAN ASIC, the FortiGate Rugged 60F platform delivers low-latency protection, including SSL decryption, and higher IPsec VPN scale on top of integrated SD-WAN capabilities that are all managed by Fortinet’s intuitive SD-WAN orchestrator.

Building on Fortinet's product line

The entire FortiGate product line delivers cybersecurity control and visibility into OT networks, with this announcement of a ruggedised version extending these capabilities to allow deployments on oil rigs, electrical substations, assembly lines, maritime cargos, and other harsh environmental conditions.

Fortinet EVP of products and CMO John Maddison says, “The convergence of OT and IT is changing the way many organisations do business and is also opening up new security risks.

"It is essential that OT organisations implement security-driven networking solutions that deliver secure, reliable connectivity even in remote and harsh environments.

"The FortiGate Rugged 60F platform delivers Secure SD-WAN to enable OT system owners to confidently embrace digital innovation while sustaining safe and continuous operations.

"This news continues Fortinet’s commitment to making Secure SD-WAN available for all network edges and verticals.”