Fortinet FortiMail Review

A full-featured email gateway that monitors email intelligently to block, isolate and assess traffic


What is our primary use case?

Our primary use for this solution is as a secure email gateway. I just use the blocking feature and spam detection.

How has it helped my organization?

The product minimizes the spam email and inspects suspicious or isolates infected email attachments. It detects phishing emails also because of the sandbox integration (FortiSandbox).

What is most valuable?

One of the features I like the best and find most valuable is the gray list feature. You can mark a trusted domain to reduce interruptions and other domains you are not sure that you can trust you put in a gray list. The mechanism of this feature can greatly decrease the number of spam emails and helps determine which are under more scrutiny, but it is also not a total block. You can put domains as blacklisted which just blocks delivery. This mechanism and level of control are awesome in FortiMail.

What needs improvement?

I think that it is possible to improve the encryption features in FortiMail. I tried to use the IDE (Integrated Development Environment) features which mainly has to do with encrypted traffic. They are using a particular protocol. If you want to use encryption differently you can't exchange the private keys. So you need to use the IDE feature. The drawback is that the IDE feature in FortiMail is very difficult to deploy. It would be good if they made this easier to use.

The main thing that we choose the Fortinet product for is that protects us and because it is mostly very easy to use. Also, the graphic user interface is easy to work with and very clearly maps out what we need to see in administration. The IDE feature in Fortinet is not as good as the rest of the product because it's very difficult to deploy it.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the solution for over one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of this solution is very good. We do not have trouble with downtime or other failures.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of this product is very good. I mean, there may be a good competition that is better in this way, but I think it's a very strong product.

We are using actually 400 users. These 400 users have full feature access and can use the anti-spam, antivirus, and anti-phishing features. It would not be hard to add more users.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support from the company is very good when we have to use it — may be to solve an issue more quickly. As an elite partner, we have full privilege in FortiMail support and with the Fortinet tech center. We don't need full privilege for the clients on cloud deployment. 

Certain things we can not do. You can't turn off this mode only the tech guys can do that. There are also some features you can't deploy on FortiMail. For example, SNMP or load management. You can't deploy these features by yourself and you need to ask the support center to add this feature.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

Before using Fortinet FortiMail, I was using the Symantec product for anti-spam. It was not the full anti-spam product and it was not very good at what I hoped it would do. In the version I had, they give you a partial feature and not a feature limitation. I looked at other alternatives and think FortiMail is a better solution.

How was the initial setup?

The FortiMail deployment takes about two weeks. It depends on what needs to be configured and the size of the system. We only need three admins with one as the super admin and two as partial admins.

Every day we are using the system to monitor the emails. Every day we check our system and the quarantines. You should check the graylist domains. As you know the FortiMail depend on customer behavior. By your behavior or your incoming email's behavior, you can tune and fix policies with your environment. You have to take the time to do it.

What about the implementation team?

I do installations by myself. We are an elite partner with Fortinet and do implementations and most customer support for our clients.

What was our ROI?

This may not exactly be what you mean by return on investment as far as the survey, but the product is a very good investment for time-saving and functionality. It works and it does its job well. A lot of people invest with this vendor and that shows it is a trusted product.

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

As far as licensing, we just have to buy the license and then do the renewal which is just like purchasing the first license. There are different choices for subscriptions.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did also evaluate other solutions. Probably the strongest competition was FireEye Email Security. We didn't choose it because it's a very new product, and they didn't have much experience or recognition in the market. We decide to use a more well-known product to save us the trouble of working with a product that was not as well-tested.

What other advice do I have?

I recommend this solution to clients and I really love the way that Fortinet thinks about and executes most of their solutions. They maintain a simple graphic user interface and they give you a good view of your network and good visibility.

I love the design of FortiGate. They know the protocol, how the protocol is being used and they protect the protocol from other mechanisms. FortiMail is an awesome product mechanically.

I think they should have better features in FortiMail to integrate more tightly with Fortinet. It should also have a user awareness mechanism or more artificial intelligence. It is a user environment that should help the user to know how efficiently email is transacting in the system as well as what are the latest forms of phishing, spam and malicious emails. They should definitely involve an AI mechanism in the latest version to be more proactive and intelligently determine solutions without administrative interaction.

On a scale from one to ten, where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate FortiMail as a nine. With artificial intelligence, it could be a ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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