A fortress in a box

Monday, 13 October 2003, 3:24 PM EST

We finally have it an appliance that combines practically every information technology security feature you can think of.

We obtained one of Fortinet Inc.'s new FortiGate 3600 units and decided to see if combining a smorgasbord of security services on one machine can work in an enterprise setting. This device integrates six functions in one box: antivirus, firewall, Web and e-mail content filtering, virtual private networking, network-based intrusion detection and prevention, and network bandwidth controls or traffic shaping.

The FortiGate 3600 offers a Web-based and a command line interface to configure the device. We give the FortiGate a thumbs up for ease of use. On the left side of the main screen there are buttons generally corresponding to each of the six major functions, plus one button for a monitor screen and one for reporting. Each of these buttons has a drop-down list for subfunctions. The design team made sure that a minimal number of mouse clicks are needed to navigate the system.

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