Palo Alto Networks and Fortinet are top competitors in the next-generation firewall space. They offer a complete range of NGFW solutions to protect networks of all sizes. These solutions include unified operating systems, centralized management, and cloud-delivered security services. Fortinet offers a range of hardware appliances, from the PA-220 series to the new K2 series. Their NGFWs deliver full network visibility, advanced threat protection and edge security.
Enhanced Threat Intelligence
Fortinet’s next-generation firewall platforms combine purpose-built security processing units (SPUs) and threat intelligence from FortiGuard Labs to provide top-rated protection. It’s a combination that helps reduce complexity and lets you focus on your business. For example, with FortiSIEM, you can use link graph technology to easily visualize relationships between devices, users and incidents to improve incident response times. This can also help reduce alert triage and empower you to focus on more complex, targeted attacks. With Fortinet’s TIS solution, you can get accurate threat intelligence reports that show overall trending and diminishment of threats over time. You can also drill down into specific threat details to gain insight into campaign-specific or emerging threats. This can help you make strategic and tactical decisions that will reduce risk to your business. Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks offer UTM solutions. Still, regarding firewall comparison between Fortigate and PAN, Fortinet is light-years ahead of PAN in pure firewall UTM threat detection & applications controls. Fortinet has many models of appliances available, and their licensing system is platform agnostic so that they can be used in on-premises or cloud environments. In addition, Fortinet’s unified management platform provides visibility across multiple sites, devices and cloud environments and allows for more effective deployment of advanced security services. This includes various AV, IDP, NGFW, and SOC tools.
Unlike other firewalls, Fortinet’s NGFWs protect any edge at the cloud, sharpness and the network edge with a combination of physical and virtual appliances. They offer AI/ML-powered FortiGuard services, full protection and visibility, natively integrated proxy and automation, security fabric integration, and more. They’re also highly rated in independent tests. Fortinet’s next-generation firewalls are available in various hardware devices, from entry-level PA-200 series appliances for branches to the high-end PA-7121F enterprise firewall that delivers 100 Gbps threat prevention throughput. They’re also available as virtual firewalls for use in the cloud. Fortinet’s WildFire backs advanced malware analysis, unified access control and other features. Both vendors offer strong network security and various components, but Palo Alto’s more extensive offerings may cost more than Fortinet’s. Fortinet’s management tools, however, have come a long way in recent years. Users and independent testers frequently rate them as easy to use. Palo Alto could be more user-friendly but still a leader in security assessments. Its sandboxing and unified access controls, among other features, are especially popular with IT professionals. It also offers an enhanced data loss prevention service with expanded coverage of SaaS and Software-as-a-Service applications. This is a great feature for enterprises that want to prevent data theft and leaks. The only downside is that Palo Alto doesn’t have a free AV subscription for their sandboxing, while Fortinet does.
Enhanced Application Controls
Fortinet and Palo Alto offer next-generation firewalls (NGFW) for enterprise networks. Both have a robust feature set, are highly ranked in independent testing and provide excellent customer support and service. Fortinet has a strong lead in appliance-based distributed enterprise and branch office needs. At the same time, Palo Alto offers stronger edge security capabilities, cloud, container and FWaaS use cases, and a broader security product portfolio.
Both have excellent unified management platforms, allowing centralized administration and easy configuration across multiple devices. Fortinet’s PAN-OS is easy to manage and intuitive, with a good selection of reporting functions, including granular event logging. The PAN-OS also has a superior global object find process that speeds up finding where a configuration is configured – based on name, ip_address or other attribute. Palo Alto’s fort manager is slower and relies on the old verbose show commands method. Both offer a broad range of managed services via their MSSP partners that reduce risk and minimize the impact of cyberattacks on your business. Fortinet offers FortiDeploy, a streamlined deployment solution that allows for rapid onboarding and zero-touch provisioning of NGFWs and wireless APs. Both offer a variety of other management tools for advanced threat protection, including ML-powered sandboxing and malware detection, automated prioritization of alerts and fast response times.
Enhanced Endpoint Protection
The Fortinet security fabric enables protection against advanced threats, unsanctioned applications and other network risks. It detects, blocks and contains lateral threat propagation and prevents attacks that hide in encrypted traffic with full attack forensic capabilities, sandboxing & automated remediation. It also protects against ransomware & provides visibility and prevention of unknown malware through ML anti-malware & behavior-based AV.
Fortinet offers a full suite of endpoint security software for mobile, remote desktop and WiFi networks. FortiClient enables IT teams to extend corporate security policies to mobile users without requiring a separate UTM device or complex and expensive VPN implementations. This is accomplished through a single agent that combines multiple endpoint security functions, like firewall UTM, antivirus and sandboxing. FortiClient is integrated with the FortiGate NGFW and provides real-time detection, threat hunting, analysis and protection of endpoints. Fortinet and Palo Alto have high ratings with analysts & buyers and top scores in independent tests. But there are some differences between the two vendors regarding price/performance, features and ease of use. Fortinet is the clear winner in price/performance, with its next-generation firewalls offering excellent security and performance at only $2 per protected Mbps. Fortinet also has better support and lower costs for hardware maintenance than Palo Alto.