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FortiGate VM for Azure: Next-Generation Security for the Cloud

With the migration of enterprise operations to the cloud, security has taken center stage in the IT strategy of organisations worldwide. FortiGate VM for Azure provides a solution designed to meet the complex cybersecurity demands of today’s cloud-based infrastructures. This article discusses the capabilities, advantages, and use cases of FortiGate VM, demonstrating how it serves as a pivotal component in the defense strategy of Azure environments.

What is FortiGate VM for Azure?

FortiGate VM for Azure is a virtual firewall solution by Fortinet that offers next-generation firewall (NGFW) capabilities tailored for Microsoft Azure. It extends the functionality of traditional firewalls to the cloud, providing advanced security features such as intrusion prevention, VPN, application control, and web filtering, all optimised for Azure’s cloud environment.

Key Features

Intrusion Prevention System (IPS): Protects against known and unknown threats by inspecting inbound and outbound traffic for suspicious activity.

VPN Services: Ensures secure connectivity for remote access and site-to-site links with high-performance encrypted tunnels.

Application Control: Delivers granular visibility and control over applications traversing the cloud environment.

Web Filtering: Blocks access to malicious or unwanted websites to enforce corporate and regulatory policies.

High-Performance SSL Inspection: Capable of inspecting encrypted traffic at high throughput rates, ensuring that security does not become a bottleneck.

FortiGate VM vs. Azure Firewall

When choosing a firewall solution, businesses typically compare FortiGate VM by Fortinet with the native Azure Firewall provided by Microsoft. FortiGate VM offers a multi-faceted, next-generation firewall (NGFW) solution designed to provide broad security coverage and deep traffic inspection within Azure. Azure Firewall, in contrast, offers a cloud-native network security service that integrates seamlessly with Azure services for a straightforward firewall solution.

FortiGate VM stands out for environments demanding comprehensive security features and detailed policy control, making it suitable for organisations with intricate security demands.

The decision to go beyond Azure’s native firewall offerings stems from the desire to achieve a higher level of security and control. FortiGate VM addresses this need by delivering an NGFW with the capability to adapt to complex organizational demands, offering enhanced features, and ensuring that security keeps pace with the rapid evolution of cloud services.

FortiGate VM Key Features:

Advanced Security: Offers a suite of advanced features, including intrusion prevention systems (IPS), VPN, application control, and web filtering.

Customisable Security Policies: Allows for the implementation of detailed security protocols, tailored to specific applications and user groups.

Integration with Fortinet Security Fabric: Facilitates a coordinated response to threats and offers streamlined security management across the enterprise.

Azure Firewall Key Features:

Native Azure Integration: Provides easy setup and management within the Azure ecosystem, aligning with Azure-native controls and services.

Managed Service: Delivers standard firewall capabilities like stateful packet inspection and threat intelligence with minimal configuration required.

High Availability and Scalability: Ensures consistent firewall protection that scales automatically with Azure workloads.

Advantages of FortiGate VM for Azure

Seamless Cloud Integration

FortiGate VM is built to integrate effortlessly with Azure, providing security that is as agile and scalable as the cloud itself. It leverages Azure’s high availability and auto-scaling capabilities to ensure continuous protection and optimal performance.

It also offers deep integration with the broader suite of Fortinet security products (Fortinet Security Fabric), allowing for a coordinated and automated security response.

Unified Security Management

Fortinet’s single-pane-of-glass management simplifies the orchestration of security policies and offers a centralised view of security events, making it easier for IT teams to manage and monitor the security posture across hybrid environments.

Compliance and Data Protection

With FortiGate VM, organisations can maintain compliance with industry regulations and standards. Its data protection capabilities help safeguard sensitive information, ensuring that enterprises meet their security and compliance obligations.

Deploying FortiGate VM in Azure

FortiGate VM deployment in Azure is streamlined through the Azure Marketplace, allowing organisations to set up their NGFW instances quickly and easily. The deployment process includes the following steps:

Selection of FortiGate VM Size: Choose the appropriate VM size based on the network throughput requirements and the size of the Azure environment.

Configuration of Firewall Policies: Define security policies that specify how traffic should be handled, ensuring that only legitimate traffic is allowed.

Establishment of VPN Tunnels: Configure VPN tunnels for secure communications between Azure and on-premises networks or between different Azure regions.

Activation of Security Profiles: Implement IPS, web filtering, and application control profiles to enhance the security measures for cloud workloads.

Use Cases for FortiGate VM in Azure

Secure Cloud Migration

FortiGate VM facilitates the secure migration of applications and data to Azure, ensuring that the expanded attack surface in the cloud is adequately protected.

Hybrid Cloud Security

For organisations operating both on-premises and in Azure, FortiGate VM provides consistent security policies and management across environments, enabling a secure hybrid cloud model.

High Availability and Disaster Recovery

By leveraging Azure’s global infrastructure, FortiGate VM can be deployed in a high-availability configuration, ensuring business continuity and effective disaster recovery.

Secure Application Hosting

FortiGate VM offers robust protection for web applications hosted in Azure, defending against the latest web threats and vulnerabilities.

Conclusion

FortiGate VM for Azure represents a powerful and flexible security solution that aligns with the modern cloud ecosystem’s agility and scale. It provides comprehensive protection, advanced features, and seamless integration with Azure, addressing the security challenges faced by enterprises in the cloud. With FortiGate VM, businesses can confidently secure their cloud infrastructure, safeguard their data, and ensure the continuity of their operations in Azure.

Looking to implement FortiGate VM for Azure? Get in touch with our Fortinet Cloud Security specialists to ensure you can leverage Azure cloud confidently and securely.

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