Fortinet unveils FortiOS 5.2 to fight advanced persistent threats

Bangalore, India, May 14, 2014: Fortinet,  a world leader in high-performance network security – today unveiled a major update to the company’s FortiOS network security operating system that powers the FortiGate platform. This release incorporates numerous innovations that strengthen Fortinet’s Advanced Threat Protection Framework, providing enterprises with a cohesive and coordinated way to combat Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs), zero-day attacks and other sophisticated malware. This Framework uniquely combines Fortinet’s new and established technologies with FortiGuard’s threat research and response to address increasingly complex cyber threats and reduce the risk of network breach and data loss.


The key elements of Fortinet’s Advanced Threat Protection Framework are:

  • Access control: Reduces the attack surface by only allowing authorized users to access the network via authorized ports

  • Threat prevention: Proactively stops as many attacks as possible by inspecting code, traffic, web sites and applications

  • Threat detection: Continues seeking out indicators of compromise in order to identify previously unknown attacks that bypass traditional defenses

  • Incident response: Validates and contains incidents with expert security services, as well as automated actions and updates

  • Continuous Monitoring: Assesses and improves security posture against individual and industry baselines, while accommodating a rapidly evolving threat environment.

FortiOS 5.2: A Key Pillar to Fortinet’s ATP Framework

The threat landscape has seen a proliferation of highly targeted zero-day attacks and APTs that are designed to steal intellectual property or other critical enterprise data. Researchers at Fortinet’s FortiGuard Labs have discovered more than 140 new zero-day vulnerabilities to date, including 18 found in 2013 alone.

Fortinet’s ATP framework supports the recommendation of Gartner on protection from advanced targeted attacks. Indeed, according to their February 12th, 2014 report, “Designing an Adaptive Security Architecture for Protection from Advanced Attacks,” authors Neil MacDonald and Peter Firstbrook wrote, “All organizations should now assume that they are in a state of continuous compromise.

The report’s authors added, “Comprehensive protection requires an adaptive protection process integrating predictive, preventive, detective and response capabilities.”

In such context, Fortinet has integrated significant new security features to its operating system for a more effective protection against APTs and other targeted attacks. FortiOS 5.2  – which will still be supported by current versions of FortiAnalyzer 5.0 and FortiManager 5.0 with a new patch release – strengthens Fortinet’s Advanced Threat Protection Framework at the following levels:

  • Access control:

  • A new graphical policy table manipulation feature allows easier and consistent configuration of firewall policies

  • Threat prevention:

  • A new deep flow advanced malware engine that goes beyond traditional signatures and heuristics; combining the speed of flow-based analysis with the breadth of proactive detection technologies including unpacking and emulation

  • A new inline SSL engine leverages the company’s CP8 custom ASIC for as much as 5 times faster content inspection of encrypted traffic (varies by model and previous version of FortiOS)

  • An enhanced explicit web proxy with support for https and higher performance

  • An enhanced IPS engine protects against the latest exploit techniques with enhanced decoders, dynamic analysis techniques and more

  • Threat detection:

  • Deeper integration between FortiGate and an enhanced FortiSandbox for faster deployment and greater protection

  • Enhanced client behavioral analysis with new indicators of compromise and severity rating for the threats to help detect previously unknown attacks

  • More pre-defined reports, including botnet activity, pinpoint compromised systems

  • Incident response:

  • New dashboard views- based on user devices, applications, websites and threats- include severity ratings and drill down to speed response

  • New role-based workflow modes to guide incident response among other activities

  • Direct policy table manipulation from those views to take mitigating action

  • Continuous Monitoring:

  • New consolidated views with identity-based policy (combining users and devices) and log cross-referencing for a more complete picture

  • New access to FortiSandbox community leverages community intelligence

  • Deep application control for cloud visibility

A full list of new features in FortiOS 5.2, which complement existing capabilities, can be found here:

Vice president of marketing for Fortinet John Maddison said, “More than ever, enterprises require intelligent, integrated solutions to prevent data theft and network disruption caused by stealthy, targeted attacks. Despite what many vendors would have you believe, there is no one product or ‘silver bullet’ to solve this problem. Today, Fortinet has introduced important enhancements to its FortiOS operating system to help better protect against APTs. FortiOS 5.2 supports the broader, coordinated framework for Advanced Threat Protection that we have established to guide organizations through a structured approach of defense. Only such a framework can allow enterprises to effectively protect themselves against the new generation of threats they are facing.”


FortiOS 5.2 software, as well as the patch releases for FortiAnalyzer 5.0 and FortiManager 5.0, are all expected to be available in Q214.

A release candidate of FortiOS 5.2 is available now for download and testing by registering here:


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