Aug 23 2021

Review: The Fortinet FortiGate 60E Gives Branch Locations High-Level Security

Designed for drag-and-drop protection at satellite and regional offices, this security device punches above its weight.

Businesses with both headquarters offices and small remote branches scattered around a region or throughout the country have a problem: How can they ensure the same high level of cybersecurity at branches as at their digital fortresses?

Tech leaders will find that the Fortinet FortiGate 60E security appliance is an excellent answer to that challenge. It’s a tiny appliance designed for installation at the gateway to a remote or small office.

It offers anti-virus analysis, application filtering, ASIC VPN, firewall protection, an intrusion prevention system, URL filtering, VPN support and web threat protection, and it works almost as soon as it’s plugged in and connected to the wired gateway.

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Keeping Security Nimble in Traffic

Most firewalls and next-generation security appliances are difficult to manage, especially ones that pack multiple features into a single box. Fortinet has simplified those functions, using a unified operating system called FortiOS 5 that drives each component, paired with a graphical user interface that is easy to control.

It’s also easy to create unique firewall rules for the equipment and user needs of each location, and the 60E can store up to 5,000 of them. The fact that each feature shares a common interface means learning how to program one equals proficiency with all the others as well.

The FortiGate 60E proved more than capable of handling the kind of traffic generated by a small or even a medium-sized office. In stress testing, it was able to process 25,000 new sessions per second and over half a million concurrent TCP sessions with no hint of slowdown — and it’s actually rated to go higher.

The total maximum throughput is 3 gigabits per second, which is probably more than any company’s branch office will need. Given the capacity, however, businesses could ­configure and protect up to 10 virtual domains.

For good protection and ease of use, businesses with small facilities will find the Fortinet FortiGate 60E a great fit. 

FortiGate 60E

 

Reinforcements Are Ready to Assist the FortiGate 60E

The Fortinet FortiGate 60E next-generation security appliance is a powerful defensive tool designed to be dropped into a small or branch office to provide robust protection against a variety of threats. However, it’s also part of a family of appliances designed to work together for even greater security.

I happened to have some Fortinet gear in the lab from previous reviews, including an email and a sandboxing tool. Like the FortiGate 60E, they are built around a common architecture that streamlines throughput and prioritizes quick protective actions.

It’s conceivable that the branch offices of extremely security-minded businesses might want a little more protection than the 60E offers — for example, the ability to sandbox files. Thankfully, the common interface makes it easy to add in other Fortinet appliances if needed.

Using the graphical interface on the FortiGate 60E, it was easy to set up an automatic process that sent certain files over to the sandbox for deeper analysis. It was similarly simple to send them back once complete, or to program automatic actions on the 60E if any threats were found.

Realistically, the commonality between Fortinet devices these days means that adding new appliances almost feels no more difficult than adding a software module.

Offices that don’t mind losing a little bit of the baseline simplicity of the FortiGate 60E can easily add more protection to their defenses and then still manage almost everything from a central location.

Specifications

DATA TRANSFER RATE: 3Gbps
MAX CONCURRENT TCP SESSIONS: 1.3 million
SUPPORTED NEW SESSIONS: 30,000 per second
FIREWALL RULES CAPACITY: 5,000
MAX CONCURRENT SSL VPN USERS: 100
DIMENSIONS: 6.3x8.5x1.5 inches
WEIGHT: 1.98 pounds