Fortinet FortiAuthenticator Review

It has its own hardware and software token for two-factor authentication. Some of the settings are difficult to access.


What is most valuable?

One of the most valuable features is the simple FSSO (Fortinet Single Sign-On) configuration that helps to manage user-based security rules.

It is a cool security product. It's easy to use, implement and maintain, but there is room for improvement.

How has it helped my organization?

When we came across access management, we required several technical features to help manage user access to critical systems and remote access. That’s why we always go for a SSO two-factor authentication server. FortiAuthenticator is a bundle of these features. It has its own hardware and software token for two-factor authentication. It supports single sign-on and seamless integration with user-based web filtering, without any prior authentication. It can act as a Radius server to support other systems for Radius authentication. One of the common practices is using FortiAuthenticator with Dot1.X network access control.

What needs improvement?

The GUI is not fancy enough and some of the settings are difficult to access.

Part of the configuration has to be done by CLI, which is not friendly for security administrators.

Integration with other firewalls may not be as good as expected.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for two years, mostly implementation for clients.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No stability issues so far, as long as the number of users is not too large.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues for scalability: It is easy to add new resources as we deploy virtual machines.

How are customer service and technical support?

FortiCare can provide prompt replies. They have basic knowledge on every single product in the Fortinet family. They have a standard protocol to response to support cases which is great. They are willing to accept RMA for technical difficulties that cannot be solved in a short period of time.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have tried Cisco ISE as a NAC solution. Cisco ISE is the "Terminator" of NAC solutions, which has numerous features to prevent unauthorized access. However, its integration with FortiGate firewall is not great. When I use the SSLVPN service from FortiGate, it fails to authenticate with two-factor authentication. For this, using FortiAnthenticator would be a good choice for its genuine integration.

What about the implementation team?

It is quite straightforward to set up the FortiAuthenticator. We mainly deploy as a virtual machine. An OVF file is provided by Fortinet and you just simply compile the file in the VMware environment. Upon simple configuration, such as IP address and default gateway, you can access the web GUI and do any configuration, as you like.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Licensing is straightforward, as Fortinet provides stackable licenses for FortiAuthenicator. Count the number of users and select sufficient licenses. Pricing is acceptable; much cheaper than Cisco ISE.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have tried Cisco ISE. For state-of-the-art features, I would recommend Cisco ISE because of its brilliant features. But I would recommend FortiAuthenticator, if you are currently using FortiGate firewall and you seek a well-suited, complimentary NAC solution.

What other advice do I have?

The need for a NAC solution depends on your infrastructure. If you are a Fortinet user, FortiAuthenticator would be a nice choice to enhance security on VPN and web access. However, there are many other choices, such as ForeScout, which is vendor-neutral, to support different systems from different vendors.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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