Fortinet secures the largest enterprise, service provider, and government organizations around the world. Fortinet empowers its customers with intelligent, seamless protection across the expanding attack surface and the power to take on ever-increasing performance requirements of the borderless network – today and into the future. In an interaction with Jitendra Ghughal, Director Channels, India & SARRC, Fortinet about the company’s performance and the future initiatives. Excerpts:
How Fortinet is performing in the security landscape?
Our goal is to enable our partners to transform the security of their customers, enabling them to safeguard their evolving network requirements. That means providing our partners with the security technology and support they require to deliver those industry-leading protection and value-added services that enable their customers to successfully and confidently deploy their digital transformation strategies. Siloed or legacy security devices and poor security hygiene continue to be a formula for increased risk to today’s threat landscape as they do not provide adequate visibility or control. Partner who have to manage multi-vendor solutions in their customer networks find it to be cumbersome and less effective with each vendor’s solution working in isolation. The Fortinet Alliances Ecosystem and partner program brings together a community of global technology vendors with specialized expertise. Our Partners have the flexibility to offer pre-validated technology solutions from Fabric Ready alliance partners ensuring investment protection for customers through the seamless integration with existing infrastructure. Additionally, our partners themselves can leverage broad API integration to develop their own custom services within the security fabric opening up additional business opportunities.
How do you see the dimension or the direction of enterprise security in 2019?
In the new digital environment, constant change is the new normal. Given the rate of change that network, devices, and applications are undergoing, organizations must establish a way to maintain control in a constantly churning environment. This includes establishing a deep understanding of every device on their network at any given moment, where their most critical data is stored, who has access to which digital resources, where and how workflows and data move, and how applications and services connect everything together. However, as the rate of adoption of devices and applications accelerates, maintaining visibility and control over these elements is becoming increasingly complicated. The sheer volume alone can overwhelm many organizations. And given the current rate of security breaches and malware development, however, it is clear that yesterday’s security strategies and tools are increasingly less effective. And the complexity and scale of securing against this evolving threat landscape will be compounded further as we move infrastructure and services to multi-cloud environments, leverage increasingly transitory network resources, embrace a more mobile workforce, and continue to merge our public, private, and business lives. To stay ahead of these changes, security needs to be rethought and retooled. Organizations need to see every device on the network, establish policy at the point of access that can follow data and transactions as they move across and between networked environments, and protect those resources and enforce those policies regardless of their location across the distributed environment. Security also needs to be able to collect and correlate intelligence from every corner of the distributed network in real-time—including from IoT and end-user devices, and across both IT and OT networks and out to the multi-cloud—and combine that information with external security intelligence feeds in order to detect sophisticated threats. And it then needs to be able to automatically marshal all relevant network and security resources to launch a coordinated response, regardless of where an attack occurs, and provide dynamic remediation services to ensure that such a breach never occurs again. This requires shifting our mindsets from our traditional reactive approach to proactive security strategies.
What are the key drivers for software defined security?
In the wake of digital transformation, enterprise customers face a unique set of security challenges as cloud adoption directly connects their network to the internet. In this environment, security becomes increasingly important but also increasingly challenging. To solve this issue, Fortinet’s secure SD-WAN solution combines security and SD-WAN cloud adoption features together in one solution on a single console to secure SaaS applications and multi-cloud access from the branch. In this environment, IT teams are able to map WAN resources directly to business function, making the network more efficient and responsive, but also making application awareness even more important for the health of the network. Recent updates to FortiOS allow IT professionals to choose from over 3,000 applications and easily see how many applications are supported, the prioritization of applications based on business criticality, and afford the ability to look deep into individual applications in order to set different policies for sub-applications. This level of granular insight helps enterprises to better allocate resources to increase productivity and reduce business costs.
What are the bottlenecks for adoption of software defined security?
Without an integrated solution, IT staff is required to manage both SD-WAN optimization functions and security functions using two different interfaces. This separation of network and security operations is not only labor-intensive, it also makes it difficult to tie things like traditionally network-centric issues such as performance and functionality to critical security and data inspection. To solve this issue, Fortinet has simplified monitoring of SD-WAN deployments with a single-pane-of-glass view for centralized management, configuration and monitoring tools for both SD-WAN and security. As the leader in the enterprise firewall, as well as UTM market, Fortinet has a long history of understanding the needs of our customers from both a security and networking perspective. Fortinet is uniquely positioned to provide a comprehensive secure SD-WAN solution that consolidates several point products at the branch, including routing, WAN optimization, SD-WAN and security elements, into a single device.
What would be channel mantra of Fortinet?
The goal of the Fortinet Partner Program is to help partners accelerate their business and drive unprecedented growth and profit by delivering superior security technology solutions to their customers. We arm partners with the right programs – like deal registration, renewal tracking, incentives for promoting our technologies, and trade promotions – to drive profits. We have also built out a MSSP programs that help our partners deliver Fortinet cloud and support services, combined with technology like our virtual firewalls in a utility-based model. This makes it much easier for their customers to adopt the benefits of the Fortinet Security Fabric with a predictable monthly pricing model, and benefits the partner with a consistent and recurring source of revenue.
How would Fortinet transform to the new security paradigm and changing business climate in 2019?
As the speed of threats rapidly increases, the time windows for prevention, detection, and remediation continue to shrink. Rapid response times are crucial, which makes the implementation of truly expansive and integrated security automation essential, from data collection to coordinated responses to threats. At the same time organizations are facing challenges figuring out how to inspect and secure the growing volume of encrypted traffic, battling the persistence of botnets, and addressing new malware trends such as cryptojacking.Partners have a sizable business opportunity in helping customers successfully address today’s security challenges. Customers need to automate their security hygiene measures and replace isolated security devices with an integrated security fabric architecture that can seamlessly span the growing attack surface. The Fortinet Security Fabric delivers broad protection and visibility to every network segment, device, and appliance, whether virtual, in the cloud, or on-premises. Automatically synchronize your security resources to enforce policies, coordinate automated responses to threats detected anywhere in your network, and easily manage all of your different security solutions and products through a single console.
What are your future plans?
Partners have always been a critical element of Fortinet’s go-to-market strategy. Our goal is to help partners get aligned with our Partner Program and Fortinet Vision to accelerate their business by delivering superior security technology solutions to their customers. The Fortinet Security Fabric provides our partners with a foundational security architecture that they can build their businesses and practices around. Fortinet’s vast breadth of integrated solutions span the entire digital attack surface – from IoT, to endpoints, web applications, and multi-cloud networks – and provide an ideal entry point for security consolidation that channel partners can build their ‘security stack’ around. As organizations seek ways to reduce operational complexity, partners who can assist in selecting and integrating tools and streamlining security processes can play a critical role in their ability to succeed in today’s markets. This is place where Fortinet partners can provide value in simplifying and securing the networks of their customers, while growing their own business.