Austria’s Largest Social Service Provider Enables Digital Innovation with Fortinet Secure SD-WAN and SD-Branch
Fortinet’s Security-Driven Networking Approach Provides Hilfswerk Niederösterreich With Cost-Effective, Secure and Reliable WAN Connectivity at Over 68 Locations
SUNNYVALE, California – Dec 4, 2019
Fortinet (NASDAQ: FTNT), a global leader in broad, integrated and automated cybersecurity solutions, today announced that Hilfswerk Niederösterreich, one of Austria’s largest social service providers, has chosen Fortinet Secure SD-WAN and SD-Branch to digitally innovate their network infrastructure at all of their 68 locations serving over 25,000 customers. With its security-driven networking approach, Fortinet delivered cost-effective, application-aware WAN infrastructure with embeded NGFW security and simplified management to ensure reliable connectivity and best user experience to Hilfswerk’s over 3,000 on-site and remote employees.
Hilfswerk Niederösterreich is one of the largest employers in Lower Austria and supports families experiencing difficult life situations with home nursing care, assisted living, and a wide range of services for children and families, such as mobile early learning support, psychotherapy, family counselling, meal preparation and an emergency telephone hotline. In order to guarantee this important and diverse range of care, the employees of Hilfswerk Niederösterreich require modern and flexible IT solutions to support their daily work. More than 2,800 smartphones and mobile devices alone are integrated into the relief network and are used to access important information and applications such as customer data or plans of action. When it came time to modernize and secure the WAN connections between the 68 Hilfswerk sites and the central data centre in St. Pölten, the team turned to Fortinet Secure SD-WAN and SD-Branch.
“Securing the data flowing through our network is just as important as achieving a high-performance connection. After all, that data is often of a sensitive nature,” explained Stefan Schuster, IT manager at Hilfswerk Niederösterreich. “We needed a solution that would guarantee continued data security throughout the network modernisation process, while enabling us to simultaneously replace the old firewalls protecting our branch offices. Fortinet was the obvious choice for us because of its Security-Driven Networking approach and ability to extend SD-WAN to the access layer via SD-Branch.”
From MPLS to SD-WAN with Fortinet
The goal was to switch from MPLS connections to an SD-WAN overlay to provide higher and more efficient WAN bandwidth utilization and management for Hilfswerk Niederösterreich. MPLS was not only expensive but also not available at all 68 Hilfswerk locations; switching to a secure and cost-effective software-defined wide-area network delivered by Fortinet Secure SD-WAN and SD-Branch allowed the organization to realize significant cost savings, improved quality of experience for business applications, and also delivered secure Internet access directly to the branch. The transport of patient health records, which must be handled very securely under GDPR regulations, was also a key consideration in choosing Fortinet Secure SD-WAN and SD-Branch because the solution provides security-driven networking that integrates security from the data center and out to the borders of the network. Simplified management via a single pane of glass for both the SD-WAN infrastructure and security empowered Hilfswerk Niederösterreich to become the master of their own WAN infrastructure. An additional goal was to ensure existing budgets would be used more efficiently and to future-proof the organisation for further services such as Voice-over-IP. Fortinet Secure SD-WAN was the optimal solution for these requirements and was the only vendor offering native SD-WAN functionality with integrated next-generation firewall security in a single, integrated console.
Extending SD-WAN to the branch with Fortinet Secure SD-Branch
While Hilfswerk Niederösterreich has deployed FortiGate 60E appliances at each of its individual sites, larger FortiGate 200E appliances ensure a high level of performance in the data centre cluster. FortiGate Next-Generation Firewalls located at the organisation’s branch offices provide, manage and secure the wireless connectivity via Fortinet’s FortiAP 221E series wireless access points. As a social services organization, Hilfswerk has limited IT resources and budget. By leveraging Fortinet Secure SD-Branch, which offers centrally managed WiFi and full central visibility of branch locations, Hilfswerk was able to decrease the workload for the IT department and reduce rollout costs while increasing the security features, visibility and bandwidth for their users.
Embracing the Fortinet Security Fabric Platform Approach
“Hilfswerk is well on its way to implementing a security-driven network powered by the Fortinet Security Fabric platform,” explains John Maddison, EVP of products and CMO at Fortinet. “By leveraging Fortinet Secure SD-WAN and SD-Branch, Hilfswerk can feel confident that they are getting the best next-generation firewall security, SD-WAN and advanced routing capabilities to support their digital innovation journey.”
Fortinet’s Secure SD-WAN an SD-Branch solutions integrate as part of the Fortinet Security Fabric, a broad, integrated and automated security platform that dynamically adapts to and secures evolving IT infrastructure. FortiOS is the foundation of the Fortinet Security Fabric, consolidating many technologies and use cases into a simplified, single policy and management framework. In addition, Fortinet’s diverse security solutions and products can be managed from a common set of management and analytic tools with FortiManager for central visibility and configuration management and FortiAnalyzer for security reporting and analysis.