Enterprise VPN: Fortinet vs. Cisco AnyConnect

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The primary purpose of an enterprise virtual private network (VPN), also known as Cloud VPN or VPNaaS, is to empower sensitive resources and assets, whether they are hosted on-premises or in the cloud, so that employees can easily and securely access these resources.

Resources such as local file storage, cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, and internal customer and business systems can be exposed if accessed from multiple devices and potentially unsafe Wi-Fi connections. . A corporate VPN provides a simple and scalable solution to building a secure, low latency remote office.

All you need to do is connect to your company’s VPN solution through a terminal and the encrypted tunnel created by the solution between the terminal and the network will allow you to browse the web and work securely.

The benefits of corporate VPN software include:

  • Easy scalability for growing networks
  • Immediate integration
  • Secure, low-latency dial-up network access
  • Easy integration with cloud products
  • Better network visibility

In this guide, we’ll go deeper into everything you need to know about Fortinet and Cisco AnyConnect.

Read also : Understanding VPNs: The Pros and Cons of IPSec and SSL

Fortinet overview

FortiClient is a Fortinet Fabric Agent that provides secure access, compliance, and protection in a thin, modular client. A Fabric Agent is endpoint software that communicates with Fortinet Security Fabric to provide control, visibility, and information to the endpoint on which it is running and enables reliable remote connectivity to the Security Fabric.

Characteristics of Fortinet

  • The Zero Trust Agent supports Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) tunnels and device posture verification to the FortiOS Access Proxy.
  • With centralized management through Enterprise Management Server (EMS) or Fortinet Cloud, administrators can deploy endpoint software remotely and perform controlled updates.
  • With the Vulnerability Dashboard, vulnerable endpoints can be easily identified. Windows Active Directory (AD) integration synchronizes a company’s AD structure in EMS.
  • Centralized logging simplifies security analysis and compliance reporting by ForiSIEM or any security information and event management (SIEM) product.
  • Based on the endpoint security posture, EMS creates virtual groups which are picked up by FortiGate and used for dynamic access control in the firewall policy. These virtual and dynamic groups help simplify and automate security policy compliance.
  • Vulnerability Agent and Remediation strengthen endpoints and provide endpoint hygiene to minimize attack surface. Vulnerable endpoints are identified and operating system (OS) and unpatched software vulnerabilities are prioritized with flexible remediation methods, including automatic remediation.
  • Secure Socket Layer (SSL) VPN with Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) enables a simple, encrypted tunnel that will traverse any infrastructure.
  • Secure IP VPN (IPsec) with MFA enables an easy-to-use encrypted tunnel that delivers high VPN throughput.
  • Other features include FortiGuard web filtering, universal serial bus (USB) device control, shared tunnel, and single sign-on (SSO).
  • You can download corporate VPN software for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS operating systems.
  • FortiClient is also available as a VPN version only, called FortiClient VPN. The software offers SSL VPN with MFA and IPsec VPN with MFA but does not include any support.
  • The latest version of VPN security software is FortiClient 7.0.

Cisco AnyConnect Overview

The Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility client helps accelerate business success by providing remote workers with effortless, highly secure, and policy-based VPN access to a corporate network, regardless of location and from any end device while protecting the business.

Cisco AnyConnect Features

  • You can verify authorized users with Duo’s MFA to protect VPN access and gain visibility across endpoints.
  • Cisco’s Identity Services Engine (ISE) allows you to block network access to non-compliant endpoint devices.
  • By monitoring each endpoint with Secure Endpoint, you can quickly block attacks at the point of entry.
  • With Umbrella Roaming, a flexible, cloud-delivered security solution, you can extend protection to users who are off VPN in minutes.
  • Secure Network Analytics allows you to easily identify network blind spots and produce actionable reports that help you determine where the network is most vulnerable.
  • With Endpoint Security Analytics, you can unlock deep endpoint visibility and respond quickly to zero-day malware, data exfiltration, and dangerous user behavior.
  • Security Connector allows you to optimize traffic visibility on iOS devices and block connections to potentially malicious websites.
  • You can download the software on a Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, or iOS system.
  • The software can be deployed with an abundance of features and flexible licensing options. To get started, select the features you need with Apex and Plus licenses, choose a subscription term, be it 1, 3, or 5 years, and select the number of users you need the software for – you can evolve up to 100,000 users.

Fortinet vs. Cisco AnyConnect

Here is a tabular comparison of FortiClient and Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client:

Characteristics FortiClient Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client
Physical protection ??
Control of network elements ?? ??
Encryption of data streams ??
Ease of deployment ??
Availability of third-party resources ??
Quality of end-user training ??
Ability to understand needs ?? ??
Price flexibility ?? ??
Service and support ??
Overall capacity rating ?? ??

As you can see from the table above, there is very little to separate the two corporate VPN software. FortiClient is a Fortinet Fabric Agent for ZTNA, control and visibility.

Enterprise VPN product features include Zero Trust Agent with MFA, centralized management through Fortinet Cloud or EMS, centralized logging and reporting, dynamic security fabric connector, vulnerability and remediation agent, SSL VPN and IPsec VPN with MFA, FortiGuard Web Filtering, USB device control, split-tunneling and SSO.

Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client provides secure VPN access to remote workers. VPN security software features include anywhere access, greater visibility, comprehensive protection, simplified management, and ease of use and scalability up to 100,000 users.

Carefully evaluate both corporate VPN software and integrate the product that best suits your business needs.

Read more : Best Business and Enterprise VPNs of 2021


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