Transforming Your WiFi Network Into A Secure Wireless LAN A FORTINET WHITE PAPER. Fortinet White Paper

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1 Transforming Your WiFi Network Into A Secure Wireless LAN A FORTINET WHITE PAPER

2 Introduction There have been a number of moments in the IT and network industry that can be considered as a Paradigm Shift. The personal computer, Ethernet over twisted pair, Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) and Voice over IP (VoIP) are just some of these. The introduction of Wireless LAN (WLAN) is certainly another one of these moments. The ability to cut loose from the tether of the Ethernet cable has revolutionized the workplace and completely changed the role and use of computers and other devices at home. But the time has come to look more closely at WLAN technology in the 21st century, a century full of user trends and cyber threats that are exploiting the rapid growth and deployment of WLANs and their inherent weaknesses. Attacks on enterprise networks are constantly increasing as are their level of sophistication and their success in passing through a network s defenses. In such context, WLANs can no longer be treated as an overlay network that may or may not have some degree of integration with the primary wired network. To effectively combat today s cyber threats, enterprise WLAN networks must be fully integrated into the overall network and protected by a robust, end-to-end security infrastructure. A Historical Perspective When compared with the traditional Local Area Network (LAN), WLANs come up short from a security perspective. This issue has nothing to do with technology but rather with history. Since the beginning of networking time, computers have been connected together by cables to form a LAN. In fact, the evolution of computers has been in lockstep with the evolution of LANs. As computers became cheaper, faster and smaller, the network has evolved as well, adding new features and capabilities including many elements of security that were integrated into the fabric of the network. Convenience, Convenience, Convenience Into this environment came the WLAN offering convenience and freedom. No matter where you went you could still be connected to the network, which brought an unprecedented level of convenience to users. Such convenience led WLAN technology to be rapidly adopted for facilitating access to the Internet from public places. Because the technology did not have any inherent security capabilities, most public WLANs adopted an approach of logging into a secure server to gain access to the Internet. For most network administrators, the requirement of needing some sort of login credentials was sufficient to control access to the network. It did not however keep a user off of the actual WLAN and a sufficiently skilled user could bypass the access control server. The risk, however, was limited to a loss of revenue, not a loss of data, and was considered acceptable. Eventually, a stronger security solution was developed through the introduction of a basic access control mechanism via a pre-shared key. Without the key it was not possible to connect to the WLAN. While flaws have been discovered, new versions of the mechanism have been developed and the majority of WLANs rely on this basic security strategy. The use of a pre-shared key alone cannot however be considered as a robust security solution. In a typical environment, the access key to the network is widely distributed and is rarely changed, automatically weakening its capability. Regardless of which version of the algorithm is used, as long as a pre-shared access key is used the problem remains the same - once the access code is compromised the network is no longer secure. Disparate Approach to WLAN Security WLAN solutions found a sweet spot in the consumer, Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) and small enterprise markets because they were cost effective, easy to use and their security limitations were acceptable. However, in order to be adopted by medium and large enterprises, they needed to evolve so that they could address the specific requirements of these markets, such as extended RF coverage, throughput, scalability and most importantly security. Unless the WLAN and its security mechanism could integrate into the existing security environment, medium and large enterprises would be slow to adopt it. Such integration had to happen at the network s access layer. Indeed, large enterprises tend to regard the network as having separate Infrastructure and Access layers. This separation is the result of the evolution of the requirements and features of the two layers.

3 Access Layer Infrastructure Layer Large Enterprise Small/Medium Enterprise SECURITY Integration with Radius Authentication Server Standalone Pre-Shared Key Subsequently, access solutions for the large enterprise need to support both wired and wireless access. Once integrated into a unified access layer, the WLAN would benefit from integrated security infrastructure with simplified control and policy enforcement. As a result, a natural division occurred in the WLAN market based on market segments and the level of security required. Large enterprises required solutions that offered both a unified access layer and an inherent security mechanism that could integrate with the existing security architecture. As this type of enterprise-grade WLAN solution evolved so did its cost, putting it out of the reach of small to medium organizations. In order to take advantage of WLAN technology, these companies have thus been constrained to rely on lower-cost solutions with limited security capabilities. In spite of their costs, limitations and restrictions, companies of all sizes have widely adopted WLANs. Convenience, an ability to quickly respond to new connectivity requirements and the rapid growth in mobility applications are some of the factors that have driven their adoption. However, over the past two to three years, the significance of these limitations and restrictions has been driven home by a key trend in the market. From WiFi to a Secure Wireless LAN Securing the WLAN has never been as important as it is now. The primary reason for the increased scrutiny of the security capabilities of WLAN is not a change in purpose but rather a change in user behavior the growing trend of using Wi-Fi equipped personal devices in the workplace known as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). With the wide scale adoption of smart phones and tablets for accessing content anywhere and at anytime, employees are using their personal devices in the workplace not only for personal use but also for accessing corporate resources. While on the surface BYOD might seem as a way to promote productivity, there are a number of challenges with the use of these personal devices in a corporate setting. The first is the likely risk that the mobile device is infected with some sort of malware. Over the past several years, the rise of mobile malware has grown exponentially with the number of devices themselves. An infected device means that viruses, worms and other forms of malware may have bypassed the traditional security defenses of the organization and have infected corporate resources. The mobile device may also be part of a botnet under the control of a Command and Control server. If there is one infected device in the network, there is the very real possibility that there are multiple infected devices on the network. When activated, these devices will consume bandwidth, affecting end users and applications. Large Enterprise Small/Medium Enterprise Integrated Security & Secure Wireless LAN The second issue with an uncontrolled BYOD environment is that users access from their own devices their favorite applications and web sites while at work, which means lost productivity and wasted bandwidth.but the problems aren t confined only to personal devices. Company supplied devices are equally susceptible. Trying to limit the use of mobile devices, whether personal or corporate, has shown to be ineffective. In such a context, there is an urgent need for a secure WLAN strategy that can address the security problems posed by BYOD, while being affordable for the small and medium enterprise and yet still meet the security requirements of the large enterprise. Such a strategy is based on a security-centric infrastructure approach.

4 The Fortinet Secure Wireless LAN Solution The Fortinet Secure Wireless LAN Solution starts with the premise that there is ONE network, regardless of how users are connected to it wired access, wireless access or remote access. Integrated into the network s fabric is a single, comprehensive security infrastructure with a common set of rules and policies that determine the level of access a user is granted, based on their needs, not by which access method they use. A Security Centric Infrastructure At the center of the solution is the FortiGate, Fortinet s high performance, multi-function network security appliance. Built on an ASIC-based architecture, the FortiGate consolidates a number of different security functions onto a single platform Firewall, Intrusion Prevention System (IPS), Anti-Virus and Anti-Spam are some of these. Because of this capability, the FortiGate is already the preferred choice of IT security professionals to simplify and reduce the cost of their network security solution. Complementing the FortiGate s security capabilities is its ability to provide a unified access layer for all users. Working in conjunction with Fortinet s security aware Ethernet switch, the FortiSwitch, the FortiGate provides a common set of authentication and network security policies to all Ethernet connected users. But the FortiGate is also designed to support the wireless component of the network through an integrated wireless controller and a wide range of wireless Access Points (FortiAP). The wireless controller is a standard feature of all FortiGate appliances and does not require any additional licensing. For smaller deployments, the FortiGate is available with both the wireless controller and access point integrated into the appliance. A convenient and cost effective allin-one solution, the FortiWiFi is particularly well suited for branch offices, small enterprises or distributed environments such as retail and hospitality. For larger installations, which require a more extensive coverage area, Fortinet s FortiAPs come in a variety of form factors and capabilities for both interior and exterior environments. They support mesh networking including the ability to provide a bridge between physically separate LAN segments over the mesh backhaul. Most FortiAPs also support Power over Ethernet (PoE), greatly simplifying deployment. Depending upon the scale of the installation and the model of FortiGate to be used, the PoE power source can either be the FortiGate itself or a FortiSwitch. The combination of the FortiWiFi, FortiGate and FortiAP products allow you to support a wide range of wireless network requirements, for both indoor and outdoor environments. Once the appropriate model of FortiGate is chosen for the network, the only additional cost is the number and type of FortiAPs needed in the network.

5 Authentication and Identification With a single access layer in place, the focus is now on controlling who can access the network, regardless from where they re connected wireless, wired or remote. Although wired networks have always had authentication as part of their security architecture, typically it was only the large enterprise that was able to extend this feature to the WLAN. As described earlier, small and medium enterprises were forced to rely on the use of a pre-shared key to control access to the network. The Fortinet solution brings the benefit of authentication to all networks, regardless of size, due to its ability to integrate with a wide range of authentication systems. A long-standing issue with authentication remains in that a user may have to login multiple times during the course of the day. For example, the first login would be to the PC, then to the company intranet and then finally to whatever server he/she may need to access. The login process can be greatly simplified with the addition of Fortinet s user identity management appliance, FortiAuthenticator. FortiAuthenticator interacts with any other authentication servers that may be in the network, acting as a central repository for user identification. In this role, FortiAuthenticator provides the ability to have a Single Sign On (SSO), improving the user experience by reducing the number of logins that a user must execute. FortiAuthenticator can also add strong authentication capabilities to the network such as 802.1x Port Access Control and Two-Factor Authentication, supporting both tokens and certificates. While authentication is absolutely necessary as part of an overall security architecture, it also serves a second important role identification. By identifying users, either by their name or by device, it is then possible to apply a set of policies defining their resource access rights.

6 Policy, Control and Client Reputation As the central component in the security architecture, Fortinet s FortiGate is the logical place to define and implement these policies. FortiGate s operating system, FortiOS, is the core of Fortinet s Smart Policies and Client Reputation capabilities. The evolution towards Advanced Targeted Attacks (ATA) has driven Fortinet to develop more intelligent security features to provide organizations with control and knowledge ie. knowledge of who is connected to the network and the type of device being used. Based on this information, intelligent policies can be applied to the user, restricting access to parts of the network or applications as defined in the policy for greater control. Identification is also crucial to the FortiOS client reputation capability. Client reputation is a real-time analysis of the users online behaviors compared to their predefined policy. Knowing when users are behaving in an unusual manner, as compared to their past known behaviour, is an excellent first warning alert of a potential threat, particularly in addressing Zero Day Threats. Definition of those policies and their distribution to the appropriate appliance is one of the many roles of FortiManager, Fortinet s network management platform. FortiManager allows the network administrator to easily, centrally and effectively configure and manage the whole of the Fortinet solution from a single console. To reduce the complexity of managing a potentially large number of access points, FortiManager provides centralized management of all the FortiAPs on the network with detailed views of the clients connected to an individual AP and if any rogue APs have been detected in the network. SSID management and centralized firmware upgrades are also part of the FortiManager s role in the Secure WLAN. While FortiManager provides a certain level of analysis and reporting, more in-depth capabilities are available when the FortiManager is integrated with FortiAnalyzer, Fortinet s centralized logging, analysis and reporting platform. FortiAnalyzer is the central collection point for all security events that occur in the network transforming individual alarms and events into a cohesive and comprehensive view of the security state of the network. FortiAnalyzer also plays an important role in regulatory compliance through the Wireless PCI compliance report, providing detailed information on APs, clients, SSID, the type and number of devices and any rogue APs that have been detected on the network.

7 Cost Summary Now that WLANs have become a standard part of an enterprise network and their role is becoming increasingly important due to BYOD, it is time to make sure that they have the same level of security and capabilities as the wired LAN. In fact, because of its ubiquity and relative ease of access, strong security of the WLAN should be a major priority for any network administrator. The Fortinet Secure Wireless LAN Solution allows a network of any size to take advantage of wireless technology without compromising the network s security by focusing on three key characteristics A Unified Access Layer, Cost Effectiveness and Integrated Security. Access Security SECURE WIRELESS LAN Strong authentication, smart policies based on user identity and device identification and a sophisticated client reputation capability give not only the WLAN but the whole network the ability to effectively combat the increasingly sophisticated attacks that enterprise networks are constantly encountering.

8 About Fortinet Fortinet is a global provider of high-performance network security solutions that provide our customers with the power to protect and control their IT infrastructure. Our purpose-built, integrated security technologies, combined with our FortiGuard security intelligence services, provide the high performance and complete content protection our customers need to stay abreast of a constantly evolving threat landscape. More than 125,000 customers around the world - including the majority of the Global 1,000 enterprises, service providers and governments - are utilizing Fortinet s broad and deep portfolio to improve their security posture, simplify their infrastructure, and reduce their overall cost of ownership. From endpoints and mobile devices, to the perimeter and the core - including databases, messaging and Web applications - Fortinet helps protect the constantly evolving networks in every industry and region around the world. AMERICAS HEADQUARTERS EMEA HEADQUARTERS APAC HEADQUARTERS 1090 Kifer Road Sunnyvale, CA United States Tel Fax rue Albert Caquot Sophia Antipolis France Tel Fax Beach Road The Concourse Singapore Tel Fax Copyright 2013 Fortinet, Inc. All rights reserved. Fortinet, FortiGate, and FortiGuard, are registered trademarks of Fortinet, Inc., and other Fortinet names herein may also be trademarks of Fortinet. All other product or company names may be trademarks of their respective owners. Performance metrics contained herin were attained in internal lab tests under ideal conditions, and performance may vary. Network variables, different network environments and other conditions may affect performance results. Nothing herein represents any binding commitment by Fortinet, and Fortinet disclaims all warranties, whether express or implied, except to the extent Fortinet enters a binding written contract, signed by Fortinet's General Counsel, with a purchaser that expressly warrants that the identified product will perform according to the performance metrics herein. For absolute clarity, any such warranty will be limited to performance in the same ideal conditions as in Fortinet's internal lab tests. Fortinet disclaims in full any guarantees. Fortinet reserves the right to change, modify, transfer, or otherwise revise this publication without notice, and the most current version of the publication shall be applicable.

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