Healthcare organization converges network and security with FortiGate Secure SD-Branch

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It’s no news that healthcare organizations are in the crosshairs of cyber attackers looking to steal valuable personal information. Geographically dispersed healthcare organizations also face a particularly complex set of challenges for their cybersecurity and network operations. Limited staff, bandwidth constraints, and constrained budgets can reduce the ability of healthcare organizations to deploy and secure a high-performance network across many offices. At the same time, there is a proliferation of connected devices and high-performance access is needed to a variety of healthcare applications and electronic health records.

A Latin American healthcare organization faced these pressures as it grew its business to include more than 30 branches, such as outpatient care centers, clinics and laboratories, across an entire country. Its technology infrastructure needed to provide rapid connectivity so healthcare providers could seamlessly coordinate care as the organization scaled. Policy makers have seen Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) as a great option for improving application performance and resiliency across 30+ offices.

The company also needed to build a secure architecture to protect its web applications and healthcare, administrative and visitor networks. It had encountered several security issues from its disparate offices, so network visibility and access control were key requirements.

Finally, the solution had to be cost effective. In the company’s legacy network architecture, unnecessary licenses and subscriptions increased cost and complexity because the network included multiple point products that were managed, priced, and licensed separately.

For all these reasons, the healthcare organization turned to Fortinet.

Trust in FortiGate Network Firewalls Leads to SD-Branch Vision

The company was already protecting its healthcare network with FortiGate Network Firewalls. Based on their positive experience with Fortinet, IT decision makers were confident that Fortinet could deliver on its promises. When it came time to plan its SD-WAN vision, the healthcare organization worked with Fortinet through workshops and discussions to design its infrastructure. Fortinet has proven it can enable Secure SD-WAN on FortiGate devices and can consolidate next-generation firewall (NGFW) Security, PALE Wired and wireless LAN connectivity and controllers in a single, easy-to-manage device at every location. This approach would reduce network complexity, simplify management and reduce costs for the healthcare industry.

The organization worked with Fortinet to deploy FortiGates to provide NGFW security services and secure SD-WAN in the corporate data center and all branch offices. Next, the healthcare organization extended Fortinet’s security-based network to branch offices. He deployed FortiAP secure wireless access points and FortiSwitch switching at each branch for secure Wi-Fi connectivity to the local network. By unifying WAN and LAN environments, FortiGate Secure SD-Branch provides coordinated protection across the entire network. The new architecture also enables the healthcare organization to rapidly expand its operations across new offices and geographic locations.

Visibility and control from a single platform

Since the implementation took time and the organization still had sites with legacy network devices as the rollout progressed, the IT team used FortiNAC Network Access Control to gain endpoint visibility and control across the network. This allowed the Fortinet Security Fabric to interact with legacy network devices.

The organization uses the Fortinet Tissue Management CenterIncluding FortiManager and FortiAnalyzerto configure and monitor the Direction SD solution through a single central pane. Combining security management and networking in a single platform helps ease the burden on limited IT staff while minimizing total cost of ownership (TCO). Zero-touch deployment features reduce overhead associated with initial setup and business growth over time.

A simple and secure solution

With FortiGate Secure SD-Branch integrated with the Fabric Management Center, the organization has simplified the management of its network infrastructure while benefiting from NGFW security capabilities. This approach allows the healthcare organization to continue to grow, with the network performance and security that its operations, and ultimately, its customers, need.

Extend the benefits of Fortinet Security Fabric to distributed locations by converging your security, WAN, and LAN with Fortinet SD – Branch.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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