Fortinet, a global leader in broad, integrated and automated cybersecurity solutions, has announced a technology alliance partnership with Siemens, a global industrial powerhouse specialising in digital industries from environments such as electrical power, transportation and oil and gas. Also announced is the companies’ first integrated solution combining best-in-class technology and a worldwide resell agreement to address the unique security and connectivity requirements of operational technology (OT) networks.
While OT environments have traditionally been isolated from the rest of the IT network, efforts to converge IT and OT to provide more responsive and agile business outcomes have exposed OT and industrial control systems (ICS) to increased cybersecurity risk. According to the SANS 2019 OT/ICS Survey, just over 50% of respondents rated the level of ICS cyber risk to their organisation as ‘severe/critical’ or ‘high’. However, given the nature of many OT environments, traditional security solutions can sometimes leave gaps in protection of the ageing or sensitive systems in place. Additionally, deploying reliable connectivity and security in harsh and frequently remote or substation environments has traditionally not been easy. While rugged products do exist, assembling and deploying the various parts of the complete solution can create issues with connectivity, reliability, space and even physical security.
Highlighting the growing importance of cybersecurity in OT environments and the need for solutions specifically created for OT networks, Siemens has joined the Fortinet Fabric-Ready Technology Alliance Partner Programme to address the security challenges associated with the convergence of OT and IT networks. Technology ecosystem partners are a key part of the Fortinet Security Fabric, which enables Fortinet and partner products to cooperatively integrate and provide comprehensive security solutions. Fortinet’s technology ecosystem partner solutions enable customers to gain more effective security and get even more value from their security deployments.
The first Fabric-Ready solution from Fortinet and Siemens integrates Fortinet’s industry-leading FortiGate Next-Generation Firewall with the Ruggedcom Multi-Service Platform family of switches and routers to improve the integration of cybersecurity into locations with harsh environments such as electrical substations, while simplifying management, space and power issues. This solution provides a single integrated appliance for OT networks. By simplifying deployment to a single piece of hardware, the power, space, physical security and connectivity issues typically encountered outside of a single box deployment model are resolved. Remote management further simplifies the deployment and ongoing management. In addition to this joint solution, Siemens will bring to market Fortinet’s FortiGate Next-Generation Firewall VM bundled with the APE 1808 to further enable the availability of advanced security solutions for OT environments.
The announcement and addition of Siemens to the Fabric-Ready Partner programme extends the range of integrated security solutions now available to OT customers through the Fortinet Security Fabric, and is further testament to Fortinet and Siemens’ commitment to creating OT-specific solutions designed to address the unique needs and requirements of their joint customers. The Fortinet Security Fabric provides a unique integrated and automated platform approach to security through purpose-built solutions and AI threat intelligence, combined with strategic partnerships with some of the industry’s leading security specialists. The Fortinet Security Fabric is flexible enough to easily accommodate and integrate with a large number of partners to provide truly comprehensive security coverage.
“OT networks are increasingly exposed to cyberthreats through their convergence with IT systems. By partnering with Siemens, a global leader in OT digital solutions, Fortinet continues our focus on expanding the Fortinet Security Fabric platform deep into OT networks. This partnership enables our customers to get even more value from their security deployments and facilitates the development and delivery of truly comprehensive, end-to-end security solutions specifically designed for OT environments,” said John Maddison, EVP of products and CMO at Fortinet.
“Organisations with OT systems face a unique set of requirements when it comes to connectivity and security. Partnering with Fortinet underscores the importance of cybersecurity in OT environments. As a Fortinet Fabric-Ready Partner, we are able to bring leading cybersecurity technology to our customers to integrate this offering within new projects as well as our vast installed base. This ensures their networks not only stay up and running, but also remain secure even in the harshest environments,” said Hannes Barth, General Manager Siemens Ruggedcom.