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Fortinet and Linksys joint venture launches enterprise security solution

By Shannon Williams
Tue 14 Sep 2021

Fortinet and Linksys have announced a new joint solution to enable enterprise organisations to support and secure work-from-home networks.

Linksys HomeWRK for Business | Secured by Fortinet is the first ever enterprise solution to deliver secure network connectivity for both corporate and personal needs in one easy-to-setup unit optimised for business applications and collaboration tools, including Zoom.

The announcement serves as another proof point of both companies’ long-term commitment to delivering enterprise-grade performance and security for the hybrid era, and follows earlier news of Fortinet’s investment in Linksys and the launch of Linksys HomeWRK for Education | Secured by Fortinet to bring reliable connectivity and security to students at home.

With the increase in remote and hybrid work, enterprise IT teams are struggling to enable their workforce to work effectively from anywhere while protecting their organisation from security threats, including ransomware, malware and phishing attacks, introduced by home networks. 

A recent survey from Sungard Availability Services revealed “only one in five companies are fully confident their infrastructure security can support long-term remote work.” Cybercriminals continue to take advantage of the expanded attack surface; the latest FortiGuard Labs Global Threat Landscape Report revealed that average weekly ransomware activity in June 2021 was more than tenfold higher than levels from one year ago.

Enterprise IT teams are also challenged to support their at-home employees with a simple plug-and-play solution that delivers connectivity that can support all of the capabilities they have in-office.

"Our goal was two-fold. First, make it very simple for anyone to set up a fast and reliable home Wi-Fi network," says John Maddison, EVP of products and CMO, Fortinet. 

"Second, provide enterprise IT with the ability to secure and manage the business aspects of that work-from-home Wi-Fi network just as they do with any other device attached to the network," he says.

"The Linksys and Fortinet joint venture is not just a simple OEM agreement of two distinct parties, it’s the start of a completely new market.”

Harry Dewhirst, CEO, Linksys, adds, "Last year, companies and their employees were catapulted into a remote work era with little to no preparation. 

"In that time, they’ve done what they can to make it work," he says.

"It’s clear that remote work is the future of work and through Linksys HomeWRK for Business | Secured by Fortinet, we are not simply providing a solution to make it work. 

"We are providing companies a way to enable employees to securely and safely connect to their work, thrive in remote environments and operate with peak productivity and efficiency.”

To enable enterprise IT teams of all sizes to ensure enterprise-grade security and high-performance connectivity for remote and hybrid workers at home, Fortinet and Linksys are launching Linksys HomeWRK for Business | Secured by Fortinet. This offering builds on Fortinet’s commitment to build a safer Internet by protecting people, devices, and data everywhere, and delivers the following key benefits for enterprise organisations:

Fast, reliable, and secure Wi-Fi mesh connectivity

Built with the latest Wi-Fi 6 tri-band technology and Linksys’ powerful Velop Intelligent Mesh software, Linksys HomeWRK for Business | Secured by Fortinet enables high-performance, secure corporate and personal networks for users at home via a single device. Enterprise IT teams can easily distribute the provision-free hardware to employees to replace their existing home router to establish both corporate and personal networks. With a blanket of mesh Wi-Fi coverage, employees can enjoy fast and consistent whole-home Wi-Fi connection, without worrying about a weak signal or deadspots.

Optimised for Zoom to boost team collaboration

Fortinet and Linksys have teamed up with Zoom, in video communications, to provide the best experience for video conferencing, voice calls and screen sharing. With quality of service (QoS) networking technology that prioritises and optimises traffic for Zoom and other business collaboration applications, users can be confident that their next meeting, webcast or remote interview goes off without a hitch even during times of high non-critical traffic such as gaming or video streaming.

Enterprise-grade security from Fortinet

The solution is integrated with industry-leading Fortinet security to safeguard against cyber threats introduced by home networks and automatically blocks suspicious malware, prevents intrusions, filters harmful content, and more. This joint solution showcases the power of Security-Driven Networking; by placing security in the home office on the device itself – converging networking and security together – it delivers a much better user experience.

Zero-touch provisioning simplifies installation

The zero-touch provisioning solution streamlines the employee onboarding experience with simple plug-and-connect devices that don’t require physical assistance from corporate IT teams to install. The solution also includes a guided app for ideal placement of nodes at home.

Simple remote management

An intuitive management console enables enterprise IT managers to monitor and diagnose the performance of all devices connected to the corporate network in real-time via a single portal. The solution will be natively integrated with Fortinet management systems to further streamline management for existing Fortinet customers. Employees are also able to manage their personal network via a separate console with visibility and control of all personal devices.

Employee privacy protection

Protect remote employees’ privacy with support for multiple networks for separate personal use. While the corporate network is managed by the IT team, employees maintain complete ownership of the personal network and security settings, allowing all household members to benefit from a fast and secure connection for non-corporate devices, such as laptops and gaming consoles. Corporate and personal networks are separated with no visibility or access to personal information granted to corporate IT teams.

Proven, industry-leading technology

This joint venture and resulting joint solution bring together proven technology from two industry leaders to solve some of the biggest challenges of effectively enabling remote and hybrid work. By combining proven Wi-Fi 6 mesh technology from Linksys and industry-leading enterprise-grade security from Fortinet on the same device, Linksys HomeWRK for Business | Secured by Fortinet creates a networking environment at home that is equivalent to being at the office.

Availability and enterprise subscription model

The joint solution will be available in the United States in Q4 2021 and globally beginning in Q1 2022 on affordable hardware-as-a-service subscription plans that require no upfront investment for enterprise IT teams. Two levels of service give enterprises flexibility in supporting their remote and hybrid workers: Standard – includes two nodes with standard Fortinet security, and Advanced – includes two nodes with advanced Fortinet security. Additional nodes to extend coverage available for purchase.

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