BT, Fortinet team to expand managed network services with SD-WAN

UK telco boosts software-defined wide area network portfolio with new solution combining global connectivity and cyber expertise with Fortinet Secure SD-WAN

Six months after introducing a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) to offer customers flexibility and choice as they optimise networks for cloud services, BT is launching a new managed secure SD-WAN service powered by Fortinet.

The companies regard their partnership as highlighting commitment to delivering secure networking solutions that enable digital transformation. They see SD-WAN as allowing organisations of all sizes to improve application and user experience while enabling the flexibility and cost benefits of a hybrid network.

However, they warned that network transformation made possible by SD-WAN leads to a wider attack surface, which means traditional perimeter-based security is insufficient. Firms that had chosen to solve this issue by overlaying security as an afterthought were now realising they had introduced unnecessary cost, complexity and cyber risk into their network, the firms said.

Pointing out that the scale, pace and variety of cyber threats continue to grow at an alarming rate, BT said it will enhance its managed firewall service by adding Fortinet Secure SD-WAN, providing multinational organisations with technology that fully combines security and connectivity in a single appliance. BT said its experts support customers at every stage of deployment and operation, from initial set-up and roll-out through ongoing monitoring, management and enhancement.

The partners said their SD-WAN offering provides a number of clear benefits, primarily improved performance and experience as the network can be configured to prioritise business-critical traffic and real-time services for optimised network and application performance, while also accelerating the adoption and integration of cloud services.

Users can manage all sites, troubleshoot and enable secure SD-WAN to new and existing branches using a single-pane-of-glass interface, and natively integrated security combines SD-WAN and security capabilities in a unified solution to preserve security.

By deploying a single integrated security and network WAN edge system that enables accelerated convergence, customers will benefit from both reduced costs and improved return on investment, said BT and Fortinet.

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“Our new managed secure SD-WAN service with Fortinet increases our customers’ choice of secure and reliable connectivity solutions to support their digital transformation,” said Kevin Brown, managing director at BT Security. “It combines Fortinet’s Secure SD-WAN approach with our leading global security and networking capabilities, offering customers the ability to de-risk their digital transformation investments and create outstanding end-user experiences.

“It underscores BT and Fortinet’s commitment to enabling secure connectivity for today’s global organisations with distributed employees and hybrid, digital workstyles.”

As it was unveiling the new SD-WAN with Fortinet, BT also announced that it was upgrading the global network of leading commercial explosives and blasting systems provider Orica with the latest cloud-optimised technology and cyber security systems.

Orica, which operates in more than 100 countries, uses digital systems built on cutting-edge technology and automation to create safer, more productive blast outcomes for customers. The upgrade is part of the firm’s digital transformation and will support the migration of applications and services to the cloud.

The new managed SD-WAN network service, based on Cisco technology, is designed to provide secure and flexible connectivity for Orica’s more than 13,000 employees, many of whom work remotely on customer sites around the world.

BT will provide a single dashboard with visibility of network traffic flows, infrastructure monitoring, applications performance management tools, end-user experience monitoring, security and event logging, and inventory discovery. Wrapped in ITIL service management, the dashboard will provide the capability to optimise an individual application’s performance to match business needs.

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