As enterprises begin shifting more and more to cloud computing, security is becoming a top priority. One of the companies hoping to provide all of a company’s cloud needs is Microsoft (MSFT) with its Azure platform. Given the software giant’s history for security vulnerabilities, however, battening down the hatches when leveraging Azure probably isn’t a bad idea.
To that end, cybersecurity provider Fortinet (FTNT) is doing its part to make sure Azure doesn’t expose any customers to uninvited security issues. The company said recently it’s collaborated with Microsoft to provide high-performance network security to Azure via its FortiGate-VM next-generation firewall.
Beginning last year, Fortinet customers could acquire VPN access to Azure, but now the company has extended full firewall support to Microsoft’s platform, it said.
"By bringing the Fortinet security platform to our cloud offering, Fortinet is providing scalable, enhanced security controls to customers around the world,” said Corey Sanders, director of Program Management, Microsoft Azure, in a press statement.
FortiGate-VM uses network security controls—including bi-directional stateful firewalling, intrusion prevention, application control and VPN—to help enterprise customers keep an eye on potential blind spots in a cloud network. To optimize the software for Azure, Fortinet also allows customers to implement security controls within their Azure Virtual Network.
Other features of FortiGate-VM include provisioning of security infrastructure on an as-needed basis through the network, as well as the ability to secure and provide services for virtual appliances in the same way customers in the past would secure traditional hardware-based appliances on the network. The latter means that organizations can deploy a mix of hardware and virtual solutions that can operate together and be managed from a common centralized platform, according to Fortinet.
Enterprise customers historically have cited security as a key reason they’ve hesitated to adopt Microsoft Azure, but it’s becoming less of an obstacle.
While Azure still doesn’t have the popularity of leading rival Amazon Web Services (AWS), it’s seeing steady customer growth and has some storage, analytics and disaster recovery features that are attractive to the enterprise. Indeed, Microsoft recently struck a major blow to AWS when ERP-as-a-service firm NetSuite shifted its entire business to Azure from AWS.
The addition of Fortinet security also could help assuage enterprise security fears about Microsoft’s cloud. Fortinet FortiGate-VM will be available on a “bring your own license” basis in the Azure Marketplace beginning in June.