Endpoint Control

Endpoint Control

Integration with the new FortiClient EMS

FortiClient Enterprise Management Server (EMS) is a new product from Fortinet for businesses to use to manage their computer endpoints. It runs on a Windows Server, not requiring a physical Fortinet device. Administrators may use it to gain insight into the status of their endpoints. The EMS supports devices running Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Android, and iOS.

FortiClient Endpoint Control (EC) protocol has been updated to seamlessly integrate with FortiClient EMS. Various changes were added to support EMS features, including:

l Deployment of FortiClient to new Microsoft Windows devices l Continuous monitoring of device statuses l AV engine and signature update status reports l AV scanning schedules and requests for AV scans l Notifications about protection statuses.

FortiGate Network Access Control when FortiClient is Deployed using EMS

The new EMS can be used to deploy FortiClient to a large number of Microsoft Windows endpoints. While creating a profile for FortiClient deployment, the EMS administrator can choose to configure the FortiClient to register to the same EMS, or to a FortiGate.

Changes in FortiClient 5.4.0 allow the EMS administrator to deploy FortiClient to endpoints, and configure it to register to a FortiGate, while simultaneously notifying the EMS of its registration status. The FortiClient EC registration to the FortiGate is required for Network Access Compliance (NAC). The administrator can configure the FortiGate to allow access to network resources only if the client is compliant with the appropriate interface EC profile.

EMS can only deploy FortiClient to endpoint devices that are running Microsoft Windows. This feature requires FortiOS 5.4.0 or newer.

Quarantine an Infected Endpoint from the FortiGate or EMS

A computer endpoint that is considered to be infected may be quarantined by the FortiGate or EMS administrator. FortiClient needs to be online, using FortiClient EC protocol, and registered to the FortiGate or EMS.

Once quarantined, all network traffic to or from the infected endpoint will be blocked locally. This allows time for remediation actions to be taken on the endpoint, such as scanning and cleaning the infected system, reverting to a known clean system restore point, or re-installing the operating system.

The administrator may un-quarantine the endpoint in the future from the same FortiGate or EMS.

Importing FortiGate CA Certificate after EC Registration

When the FortiGate is configured to use SSL deep inspection, users visiting encrypted websites will usually receive an invalid certificate warning. The certificate signed by the FortiGate does not have a Certificate Authority (CA) at the endpoint to verify it. Users can manually import the FortiGate CA certificate to stop the error from being displayed; however, all users will have to do the same.

When registering FortiClient to a FortiGate, the FortiClient will receive the FortiGate’s CA certificate and install it into the system store. If Firefox is installed on the endpoint, the FortiGate’s CA certificate will also be installed into the Firefox certificate store. This way the end user will no longer receive the invalid certificate error message when visiting encrypted websites.

Enhancement to On-net/Off-net Configuration

The on-net feature requires the use of a FortiGate as a DHCP server. This is usually configured on the same FortiGate that the FortiClient will be registered. When the device that FortiClient is running on has an IP address from the FortiGate’s DHCP server, it is on-net. For any other IP addresses, it is off- net.

There is a new way to configure the on-net feature. On the FortiGate, the DHCP server can be used, or several network subnets can be provided.

FortiClient will be on-net if:

l It is registered using EC to the FortiGate, l It belongs to one of the pre-configured on-net subnets, or l It provides the DHCP for on-net properties.

Otherwise, FortiClient will be off-net.

FortiClient GUI

Antivirus Settings Page

With the introduction of botnet detection, and the integration with FortiSandbox with FortiClient (Windows), the AV settings page on the FortiClient GUI has been updated to allow configuration of the new features. The AV settings page is accessible from the FortiClient dashboard. Select the AV tab on the left pane. Then click the settings icon on Real-Time Protection in the right pane. The following may be selected on the AV settings page:

  • File scanning (previously, Real-Time Protection or RTP) l Scan unknown, supported files using FortiSandbox (Windows only) l Malicious website detection
  • Botnet detection (block known communication channels)

FortiClient Banner Design

If FortiClient (full version or VPN only) is running in standalone mode and not registered to a FortiGate or EMS, a single banner at the bottom of the GUI is displayed. When registered to a FortiGate or EMS, the banner is hidden by default. Similarly, when created from a FortiClient Configurator (Windows) or Repackager (OS X), no banner is displayed by default.


Enhancement to FortiClient logs

FortiClient will create a log entry to show just the URL visited by the user through a web browser. This is in addition to the network level logs generated by FortiClient.


This entry was posted in FortiClient and tagged on by .

About Mike

Michael Pruett, CISSP has a wide range of cyber-security and network engineering expertise. The plethora of vendors that resell hardware but have zero engineering knowledge resulting in the wrong hardware or configuration being deployed is a major pet peeve of Michael's. This site was started in an effort to spread information while providing the option of quality consulting services at a much lower price than Fortinet Professional Services. Owns PacketLlama.Com (Fortinet Hardware Sales) and Office Of The CISO, LLC (Cybersecurity consulting firm).

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