Brazilian business group optimizes its network and security infrastructure with Fortinet Security Fabric

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Empresas Lael Varella is a Brazilian holding company that operates in Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo and Goiás, in the center-west and southeast of Brazil. Its founder and president, businessman Lael Vieira Varella, began in the transport sector more than 50 years ago. Today, the group has several companies with operations spanning truck sales, transportation, real estate, industrial, education, and healthcare.

 

THE CHALLENGE

The complexity of managing the specific needs of each business segment led Empresas Lael Varella to seek a convergent network and security solution. In the mid-2000s, the organization chose Fortinet technology to protect its systems and consolidate network security management.

 

“Fortinet allows me to know the specific elements of our companies’ networks, and also makes it possible to unify them, offering me secure communications,” says Daividdi Morais, IT Supervisor at Empresas Lael Varella.

THE SOLUTION

The group implemented FortiGate Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) in all of its companies, with the support of Fortinet’s local partner, Brasiline Tecnologia, allowing Empresas Lael Varella to secure their networks with centralized management and protected communication for each business. Over time, the company added other technologies, such as the LAN Edge solution with FortiAP and FortiSwitch, for a higher level of security and control of wireless connectivity.

 

The IT team at Empresas Lael Varella also deployed FortiManager to manage their network security in a unified environment. Network administration for all group companies is managed from a single location, allowing IT to monitor and control connectivity and security for each company. With FortiManager, the organization can also comprehensively assess network performance and optimize resources. IT can deploy rules across multiple devices with a single dashboard and quickly replicate standard processes.

 

With FortiAnalyzer’s log management, analysis, and reporting, the team can also proactively prevent attacks. The IT team receives real-time incident alerts while the tool takes action to prevent information leaks or network intruders.

 

FORTINET SD-WAN AS AN AVAILABILITY SOLUTION

For the communications ecosystem of Empresas Lael Varella it is essential that all its companies are well connected. The group has three data centers that host different services and make them available depending on the specific resource that is needed. Muriaé Cancer Hospital has a dedicated data center, while the rest of the companies are housed in a second data center. For its part, a third data center provides redundancy to the entire system. Ensuring that any of the companies can access the required digital resources can be challenging, considering that each of them has multiple locations connected to data centers.

 

For example, hospitals – which make extensive use of video calls, telemedicine services and digitized systems for medical examinations – need their links to work smoothly and their data to be protected. Unfortunately, the quality of the Internet service in Brazil caused connectivity and speed problems.

 

To address this, the group implemented Fortinet SD-WAN technology through the FortiGate NGFW. This technology guarantees the security and high availability of internal and external services in the many group companies, whether for customer connections or Internet-based business services.

 

Fortinet SD-WAN also improves connection speeds. The solution enables intelligent use of available resources, which also saves costs. Empresas Lael Varella estimated a decrease in the costs of Connectivity of at least 60% with the Fortinet solution. As a result, they can add more links for higher speeds, while Fortinet SD-WAN automatically manages and optimizes network channels based on network traffic and application prioritization.

 

“With Fortinet SD-WAN technology, I can control the capacity, availability and load balancing of the network. In this way, there are no unexpected interruptions if an Internet provider has failures”, says Morais

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Author: yoordin-pt