Government Healthcare Entity Expands Secure COVID-19 Testing Sites

Fortinet Industry Perspectives

For many healthcare organizations, the COVID-19 pandemic created a sudden need for temporary testing and treatment facilities. This, in turn, required an expansion of secure network connectivity. However, the expansion associated with COVID-19 that one national government healthcare entity experienced was larger than most healthcare organizations.

During normal operations, this healthcare entity was responsible for operating over 130 hospitals and treatment locations. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization needed to open over 20 additional sites as quickly as possible in order to cope with the crisis. By creating new locations, the government entity could work to curb the spread of the virus by providing a local treatment option to infected citizens.

The organization already had a trusted relationship with Fortinet and leveraged the Fortinet Security Fabric to manage network security for their hospitals scattered across the country. When the need arose to securely connect the testing sites to the existing network, the organization trusted Fortinet to provide a solution that would arrive in time to open the new facilities.

A Sudden Need for New Healthcare Locations

The government healthcare entity was already using the secure software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) capabilities integrated into FortiGate next-generation firewalls (NGFW) to securely network over 130 sites and improve user experience for business critical applications.

The new treatment locations created during the COVID-19 pandemic needed to deploy the same SD-WAN connectivity as quickly as possible to send test data for processing. These new sites were often repurposed hotels and conference centers with limited networking or security infrastructure. Every site required a FortiGate NGFW to provide a secure connection to the existing healthcare network.

In many locations, the remote site was capable of connecting over the public internet. However, in some rural locations, broadband internet was not available. In both types of locations, FortiExtender 3G/4G WAN extenders enabled healthcare providers to use mobile networks, either as a backup option or the primary means of connecting over the WAN.

Rapid Deployment of Security Solutions

Because the virus was spreading rapidly, the government entity needed to work with a vendor that it trusted, rather than engaging in a lengthy request for proposal (RFP) and proof of concept (PoC) process. It also required expedited delivery of the Fortinet solutions.

Operating within the healthcare entity’s three-day delivery window, Fortinet coordinated with a number of trusted Fortinet distributors in the area. These organizations had provided distribution assistance during the healthcare entity’s initial Fortinet deployment and could ensure that the new FortiGate Secure SD-WAN and FortiExtender WAN extenders reached their destinations in time.

After the devices were delivered, the government healthcare entity also needed them to be quickly configured. Since many of the new sites were in remote locations, sending trained IT staff to configure them was not a workable solution. However, with FortiDeploy zero-touch deployment, the devices automatically connected to the FortiManager centralized management platform deployed on the government entity’s main network. This platform led the device through any additional configuration steps required. Finally, Fortinet Professional Services helped onboard the IT staff and developed standard operating-procedure documentation.

Flexible Security Solutions Support Rapid Evolution

The government healthcare entity had previously integrated their network security using Secure SD-WAN. This enabled it to rapidly expand its secure WAN by deploying FortiGate NGFWs to its 20 brand-new sites. During the COVID-19 pandemic, and during business as usual, Fortinet is committed to going the extra mile to ensure that its customers have the network security solutions that they need when they need them.

Discover how Fortinet Teleworker Solutions enable secure remote access at scale to support employees with a wide array of access requirements.

Learn more about enabling the latest advances in patient care while protecting against cyberattacks with Fortinet healthcare cybersecurity solutions.

Find out how Echoenergia and New Zealand Red Cross used Fortinet’s Security Fabric for protection from the network edge to core.

Engage in our Fortinet user community (Fuse). Share ideas and feedback, learn more about our products and technology, or connect with peers.

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Use in Gmail and transfer calls

Quick launch summary

Google Voice is now available in Gmail when using Chrome or Firefox browsers on your computer. This allows you to make and receive calls without switching tabs. Google Voice in Gmail looks similar to the call panel in the Voice web application, allowing you to answer calls, make new outbound calls, and easily transfer calls.

In addition, you can now transfer calls using the Google Voice mobile and web apps. In a few simple steps, you can send a call to the appropriate person, whether that’s an intelligently-suggested contact, searching in your directory or a manually entered phone number.

Call transferring is available in Voice on Android, iOS, and the web.

Getting started

Admins: There is no admin control for this feature.

End users: These features will be available to Voice customers by default. Visit the Help Center to learn more about transferring calls or using Google Voice in Gmail.

Rollout pace

Google Voice call transfer

Google Voice in Gmail

Availability

  • Available to all G Suite customers with Google Voice licenses

Resources

Roadmap

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Use the new Google Chat app for fast and reliable communication

What’s changing

We’ve launched a new Google Chat standalone app. The app is a Progressive Web Application (PWA), which provides a fast, reliable, and engaging way to use Chat on any desktop device with the Google Chrome web browser.

See more details below, or visit our Help Center to learn more about the Google Chat PWA.

Who’s impacted

Admins and end users

Why you’d use it

The Chat PWA offers a simple and powerful way to communicate through Chat. Once users install the app, it integrates with their device’s operating system to function like a native app and offer the simple and efficient Chat experience users know. For example, they can:

  • Quickly find and communicate with people, rooms, and bots through the app.
  • Communicate quickly with a simple and intuitive interface.

The Chat PWA also offers simple app deployment and management. It’s:

  • Secure: The app is kept up to date with Chrome, so the updated app has the latest security patches.
  • Fast and simple: Auto-updates also mean users have the latest version without extra process or keeping track of separate updates.
  • Easier to distribute: Admins can deploy the app to all of their users in the Admin console.
  • Broadly compatible: The PWA runs on any device with Google Chrome browser version 73 and up. Version 73 was released in March 2019. This means it works on Windows, MacOS, Chrome OS, and Linux devices.

Additional details

What happens to the existing desktop app? We recommend that admins uninstall the existing electron based app or ask users to uninstall it in favor of installing the new app.

New Chat PWA

Getting started

Admins: Visit our Help Center to learn more about the Google Chat PWA and understand the steps to deploy the PWA app to all users through the Admin console.

End users: This app will not be available until installed on a user’s device. Visit our Help Center to learn how to install the PWA.

Rollout Pace

  • This app is available now for all users to install.

Availability

  • Available to all G Suite customers

Resources

Roadmap

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Benchmarking Performance with the Security Compute Rating

The latest advances in computing, such as edge device hyperconnectivity and the hyperscalability achievements of advanced data center architectures are the result of the ongoing and increasing desire to achieve better performance. Speed is the driving force behind the digital transformation of today’s business infrastructures. It enables access to critical data and resources, drives business efficiencies, scales application development, increases productivity, generates revenue, and accelerates ROI. 

Moreover the past few weeks, organizations have remarkably been able to completely invert their networks in just a few days. The majority of their employees can now access networked resources from the outside instead of connecting from the inside – an effective response to a global crisis that would have been impossible just five years ago.

To measure how the security industry is helping to drive innovation at the speed of business there have been significant advancements, and Fortinet is using the Security Compute Rating to benchmark these advancements. More on the advancements and benchmarking in this post to come, but first a bit of backstory. 

Key to these successes – especially critical now as we continue to push the envelope of digital innovation even further and faster – has been the move away from traditional, off-the-shelf computer processors to custom hardware designed to take on very specific tasks. This specialized hardware enables organizations to push performance in the cloud and devices to new levels.

The Security Performance Gap Threatens Digital Innovation and Business Continuity

When it comes to security – a critical component that keeps all of our data flying around cyberspace without being stolen, corrupted, or ransomed –performance limitations has become a serious challenge for organizations. Increasingly, many organizations can no longer rely on security devices to effectively perform their tasks without bottlenecking traffic, reducing user experience, or interfering with business strategies. Inspecting and securing data is an inherently complex and processor-intensive proposition, and vendors have traditionally responded to increased demands by simply soldering more traditional CPUs to their motherboards – and raising their prices. 

That strategy has now met its functional limits. Because of the unreasonable price/performance ratio of most security solutions on the market, organizations have been forced to purchase overpriced security and networking devices that only provide limited performance and scalability headroom. This not only has an impact on digital innovation, forcing many organizations to replace the security devices in their datacenters with things like VLANs and Layer 4 security – and which also meant that when the recent crisis hit those organizations also had to buy expensive VPN upgrades or even purchase new firewalls to support their remote worker initiatives.

The problem is that most of the security community has steadfastly refused to invest in the sorts of specialized development needed to meet today’s demands, let alone the challenges coming around the corner due to the imminent arrival of 5G, or the new demands of smart environments such as cars, buildings, and cities. This lack of specialized, performance-enhancing hardware has meant that organizations have been put in the very uncomfortable position of having to choose between security and performance.

Accelerating Security-Driven Networking with Fortinet Security Processors

Fortinet is one of the few security vendors actually committed to securing and driving forward today’s essential digital innovation efforts. With a deeply rooted passion for innovation since we first opened our doors in 2000, we have continually set industry records for performance and speed. A crown jewel of innovation has been Fortinet’s development of specialized security processors (SPUs). 

The Fortinet Family of SPUs are specially designed security processors that have been engineered to provide unmatched performance at a fraction of the cost of traditional CPUs. This uniquely allows Fortinet solutions to provide accelerated network security and accelerated AI in the cloud – and at a price/performance point no one in the industry can match. 

Fortinet’s Security-Driven Networking solution based NGFW, SD-WAN, SD-Branch, IPS and Segmentation are powered with the following security processors:

  • Content Processor 9 (CP9): This ninth generation of our content processor protects applications while optimizing user experience with the least performance degradation. The CP9 works as a CPU co-processor, taking on resource-intensive security functions such as SSL/TLS decryption – including TLS1.3, IPS, and anti-malware.
  • System-on-a-Chip 4 (SoC4): Fortinet’s SoC4 is a purpose-built security and industry’s only Secure SD-WAN processor that has achieved the highest Security Compute Ratings in the industry in supporting WAN Edge transformation. The SoC4 consolidates network and content processing functions onto a single chip to deliver blazingly fast application identification, steering, and overlay performance.
  • Network Processor 7 (NP7): Fortinet’s NP7 SPU works with FortiOS functions to delivering superior firewall performance for IPV4, IPV6, and multicast traffic – with ultra-low latency as little as three microseconds to support latency sensitive applications and services operating in the most demanding professional environments.

Benchmarked by the Security Compute Rating

To highlight the difference that purpose-built processors can provide, Fortinet developed the Security Compute Rating benchmark that compares the performance of Fortinet’s ASIC-based Next-Generation Firewall appliance to other NGFW and SD-WAN vendors that utilize generic CPUs for networking and security capabilities.

The industry average is computed by calculating the average performance of leading solutions, including listed vendors. Security Compute Rating performance numbers are based on each vendor’s datasheets. A “N/A” input reflects that the vendor chooses not to publish certain critical performance specifications, such as SSL inspection. As a result, the calculated industry average may actually be much lower, and the performance gap between Fortinet and that vendor is significantly wide.

Fortinet SPUs outpace other solution in the market with the highest Security Compute Ratings for benchmarks such as:

  • Stateful Firewall throughput
  • IPsec VPN performance
  • Concurrent sessions
  • Sessions per second 
  • Inspection of encrypted data

Speed, Scalability, and Cost – a Critical Combination

Security-Driven Networking solutions are not only faster and scale further than the competition, they are also much more cost-effective due to the greater affordability of custom chips. As a result, organizations can enjoy far greater headroom for digital innovation with Fortinet TCO savings, or to have the resources to respond to unexpected events. 

In a world where reliable, high-performance security is not only essential but also increasingly difficult to come by, Fortinet is the only vendor able to apply 20 years of unique security hardware innovation to offer its customers a tangible and proven solution to the problem. This ensures that businesses, industries, governments, and other organizations around the world are able to innovate freely and respond immediately to critical events without compromise. 

Learn how to enable digital innovation with massive speed, scale and performance.

Engage in our Fortinet user community (Fuse). Share ideas and feedback, learn more about our products and technology, or connect with peers.

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New quick settings help you optimize your Gmail layout

What’s changing 

We’re adding a quick settings menu that helps you easily find and use different layouts, settings, and themes to make Gmail look and feel right for you.

When you click on Settings, you’ll now see different interfaces, inbox types, and display options alongside your real inbox. When an option is selected, the inbox will immediately update so you can compare choices and see how settings work in real time.

The full settings menu is still available by clicking the “See all settings” button at the top of the new quick settings menu.

Who’s impacted 

End users

Why it matters 

Gmail has many options to customize layout, look and feel, and other details to make sure the interface is personalized and optimized for how you like to work. These include:

  • Customizing the density of text and information displayed 
  • Choosing a different inbox type to help intelligently prioritize and organize emails 
  • Adding reading panes to quickly see email contents 
  • Applying themes to personalize the look and feel of your inbox 

We’re making these options easier to find, and letting you explore them in real time, so your actual inbox will update immediately to show you exactly what the setting will do. We hope this makes it easier to set up Gmail the way that works best for you.

Additional details 

Note that this update just adds an easier way to access settings that already exist in the full Gmail settings menu. There are no new settings, and users’ existing settings won’t be changed with this update. You can still see the full settings menu by clicking the “See all settings” button at the top of the new quick settings menu.

Getting started 

Admins: There is no admin control for the feature.
End users: This feature will be ON by default. Visit the Help Center to learn more about customizing Gmail settings, or how to help users switch to Gmail from Microsoft Outlook.

Rollout pace 

Availability 

  • Available to all G Suite customers as well as users with personal accounts. 

Resources 

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Acing election security in 2020: A conversation with Defending Digital Campaigns





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Addressing the Skills Gap Through Fortinet’s Cybersecurity Awareness Training

The road to a cybersecurity career is not always a straight line. Sometimes, people stumble across it on the way to a different destination and find that cybersecurity is a good fit or an interesting career. Professionals discovering that cybersecurity sparks their interest is good for the industry as the cyber skills gap continues to be a significant problem around the world. At Fortinet, we provide training for IT professionals, students, veterans, veteran spouses and more through our Network Security Expert (NSE) Institute programs to help more people enter the field or upskill for career growth in an effort to close the skills gap. 

We recently spoke with Caitlyn Carroll, a graduate of NSE Institute’s FortiVet program, who started a career in cybersecurity at Interface Systems. Here’s what she had to say about cyber security awareness training and her transition into a career in cybersecurity. 

What Led You to a Career in Cybersecurity? 

I was studying for my master’s degree in public health and community programming while also working at a YMCA. I’m a military spouse, and my husband was deployed at the time. I was working 80 hours a week for barely above minimum wage. A friend told me about the FortiVet program, which provides mentoring and training for not just veterans but also their spouses like me. Through the FortiVet program I was connected with a job at Interface Systems, a Fortinet partner that is part of the program’s hiring ecosystem. The program helped me with my resume, interviewing skills and matched me with an employer, in addition to giving me access to their Network Security Expert (NSE) Institute training curriculum. FortiVet really made an impact in my life – in fact, I even ended up writing a paper about it for my grad program. 

What Do You Like About the Cybersecurity Industry?

It affects and touches everyone, from individuals to companies and government agencies. It’s the present and future. It’s not a “here today and gone tomorrow” sort of industry. It’s going to be a needed sector for the foreseeable future. For that reason, cybersecurity offers lots of opportunities and a challenging career – and I like a challenge.

What Recommendation Would You Give to Someone Looking to Start or Pivot Into a Career in Cybersecurity?

I would strongly recommend that they look into Fortinet’s Network Security Expert (NSE) Institute’s free training for all levels, whether you need broad security awareness like me, or you are looking to upskill or advance your technical security skills. I would also tell people to challenge themselves. After I’m done with Network Security Expert (NSE) 2 course, which is Fortinet’s second cyber awareness lesson, I want to take NSE 3 and challenge myself to take more technical training, even though my current marketing position doesn’t absolutely require it. 

How Have Network Security Expert Courses 1 and 2 Help You Increase Your Cybersecurity Awareness?

I’ve definitely expanded my knowledge about the threat landscape; it’s been interesting to learn about the many different threat actors. These courses are very consumable and engaging, too. I’m taking other trainings, and I tend to tune out because it’s really long, but the NSE Institute’s training format makes it easy to follow and stay engaged.

I also like the quizzes at the end, because I like to make sure I absorbed the information. I can be tested to see if I would fall for a threat in my email, for example, which puts my learning into practice.

What Are the Benefits for a Company Hiring Someone From the FortiVet Program?

Veterans share a set of desirable traits – a strong work ethic, dedication and loyalty – that they pick up during time in the service is brought to all aspects of life and work. I’ve seen firsthand how hard veterans who are now in civilian professions work. The most difficult part is transitioning into civilian life and that’s where FortiVet plays a crucial role in making that transition a million times easier.

Who Would You Recommend NSE 1 and NSE 2 Courses For?

Because cybersecurity touches everyone’s lives, these courses are great for anyone, whether you’re a middle school student or someone’s grandma with no tech experience. These two courses provide cybersecurity awareness that is critical for everyone to know.  I’m telling my husband and our friends to take it – basically, I tell everyone I know! It’s great, foundational information that you can use every day to prevent from falling for threats. My husband plans to start the courses this summer based on my glowing recommendations. 

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XG Firewall Hotfix “HF052220.1” Released – Release Notes & News – XG Firewall

Hi Community,

Sophos continually investigates product security in order to close any potential risks to our customers. As a result, we have identified a subset of XG Firewalls with local users that require a password reset. For users signing in to the XG Firewall via the LAN or VPN connection (except clientless VPN), there is no action required. For local and guest users that have not reset their password since 2200 UTC on April 25, 2020, they will be blocked from signing in to the User Portal on the WAN until their password is reset (including those using bookmarks via clientless access VPN). Local user and guest accounts are defined as user accounts created and authenticated on the XG Firewall.

Note: User accounts created and authenticated with directory services like Active Directory (AD) and LDAP are not affected, and no action is required.

For rare cases, where local and guest users are blocked from signing in to the User Portal on the WAN (or clientless access VPN), even though they have reset their password since 2200 UTC on April 25, 2020, we are providing the ability to override this block. We are also providing relevant commands for administrators to identify and take action on locally defined user accounts who require changes.

 

For more info, please visit the following KBA: https://community.sophos.com/kb/en-us/135493

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Updated Admin console for 2-Step Verification and SSO for SAML controls

Quick launch summary 

We’re making two updates to the Admin console:


New 2-Step Verification (2SV) controls: 
We’re updating the controls you use to configure 2SV in the Admin console. You may notice:

  • A new “2-Step Verification settings” section of the Security page where you can turn 2SV on or off and control other related settings. You can find this at Admin console > Security > 2-Step Verification
  • The ability to turn 2SV enrollment on or off for each organizational unit (OU). Previously you could only turn it on or off for the whole domain. Once it’s turned on, additional 2SV policies can be adjusted. 
  • New interfaces which prevent admins accidentally locking themselves out of an account by enforcing 2SV without being enrolled in 2SV. 
  • An updated and streamlined interface. 

The new 2-Step Verification settings section in the Admin console

In the 2SV section you can configure 2-Step Verification enforcement by OU

New section for single sign-on settings for SAML applications 
We’re making some updates to the settings you use to set up single sign-on for SAML applications. You may notice:

  • The settings that apply to all SAML applications when Google is the Identity Provider (IdP) are now in their own section in Security settings at Admin Console > Security > Set up single sign-on (SSO) for SAML applications
  • The functionality is not changing but you will find a more streamlined experience for managing certificates and to download IdP metadata. 

The new SSO for SAML settings section in the Admin console

 The new SSO for SAML area where you can control related settings

Getting started 

  • Admins: The new per-OU 2SV enforcement feature will be set at the organization level (root OU) to the value you had prior to the launch, so that there is no change in behavior. After the launch, you can now change 2SV enforcement at an OU level. You can also use exception groups for 2SV enforcement settings, in addition to 2SV settings where you could already use exception groups. Visit the Help Center to learn more about how to deploy 2-Step Verification for your organization. 
  • End users: There is no end user impact for the feature. 

Rollout pace 

Availability 

  • Available to all G Suite and Cloud Identity customers 

Resources 

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Change to the format of secondary Calendar and resources

Quick launch summary

Starting June 3, 2020, the calendar IDs associated with newly created secondary calendars and resources will have a new format. In the new format, your G Suite account’s domain name will not be included in secondary or resource calendar IDs.

  • The existing email format for calendar resources is the following:
    {customer domain}_{random characters}@resource.calendar.google.com
  • The format for secondary calendars is the following:
    {customer domain}_{random characters}@group.calendar.google.com
  • The new format for newly created calendar resources will be the following:
    {random characters}@resource.calendar.google.com
  • The new format for newly created secondary calendars will be the following:
    {random characters}@group.calendar.google.com

This change is only cosmetic and no Google Calendar functionality is affected because of it. However, if you maintain a script that parses/extracts the domain name from Resource/Secondary Calendar IDs, please update your scripts to ensure they continue to work following this change.

Rollout pace

Availability

  • Available to all G Suite customers

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