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Fortinet Announces Secure Wireless LAN Strategy with Introduction of Thin Access Points
Posted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 09:44:00 AM
Fortinet- a leading network security provider and worldwide leader of unified threat management (UTM) solutions - today introduced a secure wireless LAN strategy with a new enterprise-class FortiAP™ thin access point (AP) product line. The FortiAP-210 and FortiAP-220, which support the latest IEEE 802.11n standards, are designed to provide wireless networking capabilities for mid-enterprise and service-provider customers with a total user-base or distributed networks of 250-5,000 users. The FortiAP line will work in conjunction with Fortinet's FortiGate® multi-threat security appliances, acting as the thin access-point controller, to provide a single platform that combines high-performance wireless networking with the industry's broadest integrated network protection. In addition, the FortiGate platform enables customers to have a highly scalable infrastructure with the ability to manage a few to several thousand access points within a wireless LAN.

Today, wireless LANs are as at risk, if not more so, than wired networks. In fact, some of the recent high-profile hacking cases have involved "drive-by" trolling of exposed wireless networks of retail establishments, resulting in the theft of thousands of consumer credit card accounts. In addition to mid-enterprise organizations and service providers, retail industry customers will find the FortiAP/FortiGate solution ideal for meeting PCI DSS Wireless Guidelines, which require the detection of rogue wireless access points and intrusion prevention.

Until now, there have been few options for organizations that want to protect both their wired and wireless LANs with the same network and application security solution. The new FortiAP thin access points, together with the FortiGate product line, enable an integrated threat management schema for wireless networks in the same way that Fortinet has been able to provide for wired networks. In fact, wireless traffic needs more protection because it is a shared medium, which provides greater opportunity for network risks such as data leakage, denial of service attacks or the overuse of bandwidth causing network performance degradation. The FortiAP/FortiGate architecture will tunnel all the wireless traffic back to the UTM engine to undergo intrusion prevention and cleansing, identity-aware policy, and Layer 7 application prioritization to achieve a high-performing, “fortified” wireless LAN infrastructure. In addition, FortiAP uses standards-based CAPWAP (Control and Provisioning of Wireless Access Points) protocol for connecting thin access points as compared to proprietary methods used by competitors.

"Fortinet's entry into the wireless LAN market gives current customers a way to create converged wired and wireless networks with the same powerful protection under a familiar, simplified and cost-effective management platform with no additional controller investment," said Michael Xie, CTO and founder, Fortinet. "New customers will be able to experience a high-performance, secure wireless LAN environment that offers the broadest protection of any consolidated security offering on the market. Overall, today's FortiAP introduction is a key step in Fortinet's growth strategy to extend our security reach into broader and deeper parts of the network.”

FortiAP Line-up/FortiGate Controllers
The FortiAP product line is the first manifestation of Fortinet's broader secure enterprise class WLAN strategy. As the initial products in the FortiAP line, the single-radio/dual-band FortiAP-210 and the dual-radio/dual-band FortiAP-220 offer reliable coverage, consistent high performance, and competitive and high-value price points as compared to similar products in their class. The FortiAP line can be used to roll out wireless network access to employees, retail locations, warehouses, point of sale locations or hot spots for guest use.

Key benefits of the FortiAP line:

* Next-generation, fully 802.11n-compliant access point
* High throughput with dual concurrent radio: 300 Mbps-600Mbps
* Rich set of enterprise-class AP capability
* Ideal for dense office, campus, branch office and retail
* Dedicated radio for air monitor to protect against rogue APs for PCI compliance
* Internal design conceals antenna to reduce chance of vandalism
* Lower cost of deployment with integrated Power over Ethernet (POE)
* Highest value at competitive price

All FortiGate appliances from the FortiGate-60 Series on up will be able to act as controllers for the FortiAP, giving customers flexibility and scalability to choose from the broadest range of controllers offered by any single vendor. FortiGate appliances will also be able to act as a single point of management for both wired and wireless LANs. In addition to the existing broad security feature set offered on FortiGate devices, the FortiGate access point controllers will also include WLAN management and wireless IPS.

Each FortiGate platform is capable of delivering centralized management of all access points and devices. From a single console, customers can control network access, quickly and easily update policies, and help monitor regulatory compliance.
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