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Oct 11, 2023

In this episode of Conf T with your SE, host Bryan Young welcomes special guest Steve Staurovsky from Fortinet. They start by discussing their previous meeting at the CT NUG event and the wide range of products in Fortinet's portfolio. The importance of interoperability and collaboration with other vendors in the industry is highlighted. Steve emphasizes the need for securing operational technology (OT) environments, especially in industrial and healthcare settings, where secure access and data transmission are crucial.

The conversation then shifts to the challenges of securing and updating machines in the manufacturing industry that are connected to the network but cannot be easily updated due to their age. The speakers stress the importance of keeping these assets online and the difficulties in finding replacements or compatible hardware. They also discuss the lack of interaction between IT and OT, the vulnerabilities created by preventative maintenance schedules and legacy applications, and the increasing sophistication of ransomware attacks. Fortinet's EDR product is mentioned as a solution for securing legacy devices such as old versions of Windows.

The need for legacy asset support is further emphasized through a story about a critical asset running on an outdated system. Fortinet's ability to run on unsupported assets and provide peace of mind is highlighted. The conversation then moves on to Fortinet's FortiLink feature, which enables traffic routing through the firewall, offering advantages in terms of defense in depth strategy and flexibility. The evolution of FortiGate firewall from separate boxes for different functions to a single integrated solution is discussed, along with the variety of hardware sizes, feature sets, and licensing options available.

The speakers then delve into the cycle of expansion and contraction in IT, from mainframes and terminals to the current cloud services and multiple clouds. They touch on the increasing need for processing power and how the cloud addresses this demand. The conversation takes a nostalgic turn as they reminisce about gaming, specifically playing Unreal Tournament and attending a LAN party at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Fortinet's free training and certification program, offered during the pandemic, is mentioned, with praise for its high quality and polished production.

The importance of using correct terminology in the IT industry is emphasized, along with a personal anecdote about using the correct terms with a doctor. The discussion briefly touches on Chromebooks and the speaker's experience with an original CR-48 Chromebook from Google. The speakers stress the significance of understanding and using the correct terminology in IT and networking, highlighting its impact on communication and professionalism. They also mention the benefits of having knowledge in electrical systems within the IT industry.

The conversation veers towards programming and its integration into networking, mentioning the use of Postman and sharing their experiences with programming tasks. They conclude by briefly mentioning upcoming merchandise related to their podcast and recommending checking out Fortinet's training and certification at The features of FortiGates, including the use of custom ASICs for better performance and lower power requirements, are discussed. The issues with the supply chain and its impact on product availability are touched upon, with an overall optimistic outlook for improvement.

The cloud management capabilities of Fortinet's products are then explored, with a focus on FortiManager. The speaker explains how FortiManager allows centralized management and logging of devices, making changes and ensuring synchronization across multiple devices easier. The ability to templatize network configurations for scalability and automation is mentioned, along with the advantages of using FortiManager compared to manual device configuration. The availability of an Ansible playbook for automation is highlighted, and the importance of training to fully utilize Fortinet's offerings is emphasized. The diverse portfolio of Fortinet beyond the well-known FortiGate firewall is mentioned, and listeners are encouraged to explore their products. The episode concludes with an invitation to join the CT Network Users Group's Discord channel and to review and share the show.




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