Fortinet has made available a new release of its core FortiOS software that includes features the vendor says will help enterprises more tightly meld security and networking controls.\nFortiOS 7.2, has 300 new features including AI support to help stop network threats more quickly, sandboxing to help fight ransomware threats, and improved SD-WAN, branch, and edge orchestration.\n\nFortiOS is the vendor\u2019s operating system for the FortiGate family of hardware and virtual components. FortiOS implements Fortinet Security Fabric and includes network security such as firewalling, access control, and authentication in addition to SD-WAN, switching, and wireless services.\u00a0\n\u201cWhat we are addressing with FortiOS 7.2 is the convergence of networking and security as customers are running very fast get their digital networks running,\u201d said\u00a0 John Maddison, Fortinet executive vice president of products and CMO. \u201cThis digital convergence creates a lot of new network edges\u2014the LAN edge, edge cloud, and now a \u00a05G edge. Networking and security can no longer be treated as separate strategies and that\u2019s the main problem we are addressing for customers.\u201d\nOn the security front, Fortinet is introducing AI and ML-based FortiGuard security services that are based on telemetry information gleaned from\u00a0 its network, application. and security systems across the globe.\u00a0\nOne new service, Inline Sandbox, goes beyond the traditional detection sandbox capability where admins had to painstakingly look for malicious traffic to put into the sandbox. It uses the gathered intelligence to let customers, in real-time to stop both known and unknown malware, with minimal impact on operations, Maddison said. \u201cThe idea is that organizations can spot and stop and prevent problems as quickly as possible.\u201d\nAnother new service, Advanced Device Protection, lets the Fortinet OS automatically discover and segment OT and IoT devices based on their unique network features.\u00a0 The service also \u00a0maintains asset inventory and uses pattern matching to enforce appropriate policies and automate remediation if needed, Maddison said.\n\u201cWe\u2019re seeing a lot of activity around attacks on operational technology companies so this new service lets OT organizations get \u00a0outbreak information and more quickly stop it from causing problems,\u201d he said.\nThis service is offered on Fortinet NGFW and through integration with FortiNAC network access control software that can orchestrate automatic responses to networking issues. Fortinet NGFW also gets a cloud access security broker (CASB) to bring inline zero trust network access traffic inspection to the service.\nA new SOC-as-a-Service can offload tier one security analysis, such as monitoring event logs or suspicious traffic, to Fortinet analysts to lessen the burden on security admins, Maddison said.\nOn the networking upgrades, Fortinet has added enhanced analytics support to its SD-WAN service that can measure the performance of connected voice and video applications. FortiOS 7.2 also adds automated deployment and orchestration features to make setting up, securing and managing branch networks simpler.\nNew onboarding features support discovery of devices to enable the implementation of least-privileged access at the LAN edge, Maddison said.\nIn its November \u201cMarketScape: Worldwide SD-WAN Infrastructure 2021 Vendor Assessment,\u201d\u00a0 IDC wrote that Fortinet is known for having a strongly integrated network and security portfolio. Fortinet\u2019s Secure SD-WAN consolidates SD-WAN, NGFW, advanced routing, and [Zero Trust network access] proxy functions in its FortiGate appliance. Fortinet also offers LAN and WLAN products and has s built a channel-partner strategy that includes strong relationships with communications service providers, as well as managed SPs and VARs.\u00a0\nOn the challenges side, Fortinet is primarily a security vendor and may need to work harder with customers that are looking to work with a vendor with a stronger heritage in routing and networking, IDC stated.\nWhile Fortinet offers integration with third-party security tools, its primary security solutions are offered by Fortinet itself; this may be a limitation to customers that want to use Fortinet for SD-WAN but integrate it with third-party security tools.