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Fortinet, Inc.
Industry Network security & Computer security
Founded 2000
Founder CEO: Ken Xie
CTO: Michael Xie
Headquarters Sunnyvale, California, United States
Products FortiGate UTM, Next Generation Firewall, Firewalls, Antivirus, Intrusion-prevention system, Antispyware, Antispam, VPN, Wireless security, Application Control, Web Filtering
Revenue Increase US$ 615.3 million (2013)[1]
Decrease US$ 72.09 million (2013)[1]
Decrease US$ 44.27 million (2013) [1]
Total assets Increase US$ 1.16 billion (2013)[1]
Total equity Increase US$ 585.76 million (2013)[1]
Number of employees
Slogan Security Without Compromise

Fortinet, Inc. is an American multinational corporation founded in 2000 by brothers Ken and Michael Xie. The company sells high performance network security products and services including their flagship integrated network security solution, the FortiGate firewall. Fortinet distributes its systems and subscription-based services using the channel partner sales method via more than 20,000 partners worldwide.[3] Fortinet is positioned as the revenue leader in unified threat management (UTM) solutions.[4]

Fortinet competes in the UTM and network security industry, and has the third-highest market share in security appliances after Cisco Systems and Check Point.[5]


In 1993, 29-year-old Ken Xie started Stanford Information Systems (SIS) with classmates and friends to develop and sell software-based firewalls. The part-time venture led Xie to realize the limitations of software-based firewalls and in 1997 he founded NetScreen with Yan Ke and Feng Deng. NetScreen developed ASIC-based Internet security systems and appliances and paved the way for what would become one of Fortinet's key technologies. In 2004 NetScreen was sold to Juniper Networks for $4 billion.[6]

In 1999, Ken Xie left NetScreen and founded Fortinet with his brother Michael Xie. With $1 million in angel funds and a personal investment of $50,000, Fortinet quickly grew, gaining recognition for their growth in Forbes Magazine, Entrepreneur, and on the Deloitte Fast 500.[7][8]

In 2009 the company filed for its initial public offering, opening at $12.50 per share and closing the same day $16.62, a 33% increase.[3]

Fortinet has made several acquisitions, including VoIP manufacturer TalkSwitch in April 2011,[9] application delivery controller (ADC) manufacturer Coyote Point Systems in March 2013,[10] and wireless networking provider Meru Networks in May 2015.[11]


FortiGate firewall platform[edit]

The FortiGate firewall is Fortinet's flagship integrated network security solution. The FortiGate offers data center firewall (DCFW), unified threat management (UTM), and next-generation firewall (NGFW) technologies including:

The FortiGate appliance makes use of FortiASIC technology, an Application-specific integrated circuit designed for accelerated processing of security and networking functions,[12] the FortiOS operating system,[13] and a cloud-based security subscription to the FortiGuard network.[14] The platform is also available as a virtual appliance.[15]

Advanced Threat Protection[edit]

Fortinet's premiere Advanced Threat Protection appliance, the FortiSandBox, is designed to identify and mitigate against advanced persistent threats. The system utilizes a dual-level Sandbox for run-time analysis of activity, antimalware technology, a real-time query of all FortiSandbox intelligence across customers and partners, and proprietary callback detection.[16] The FortiSandbox earned a recommended rating from NSS Labs as part of a 2013 Breach Detection Report.[17][18]

Wireless LAN[edit]

Fortinet has three main Wireless LAN products: FortiAP, FortiWiFi, and a WLAN planning utility called FortiPlanner. The FortiAP is a wireless access point that conforms to IEEE 802.11ac and 802.11n standards. Newer access points can be powered over ethernet and offer data rates in excess of 1 gigabits per second.[19] FortiWifi is a firewall appliance with wireless antennas allowing it to double as a wireless access point. FortiPlanner is a graphical Wireless LAN Planning and Post-Deployment Site Survey utility designed to simplify the deployment of wireless networks.[20] In 2014, Fortinet unveiled a 3G/4G Wireless WAN extender called FortiExtender[21]


Fortinet offers Ethernet Access and Data Center switches[22] [23] [24]

Criticism and controversy[edit]

US government sanctions violation[edit]

According to the OpenNet Initiative,[25] FortiGuard is used by the dictatorship of Myanmar to block communications critical of the regime carried over the Internet, a system known as the Myanmar Wide Web.[26] Fortinet has promised to investigate the allegations, and the implied violation of US government sanctions against the regime, noting that the software may have been sold to the regime by a third party;[27] meanwhile, the Myanmar government features its adoption of the Fortinet firewall on its official website[28] with other photos showing a Fortinet sales director presenting a gift to the Myanmar Prime Minister during a ceremony.[28] In 2005, after becoming aware that its product may have reached Myanmar, Fortinet conducted an exhaustive review of channel partners and their compliance with import/export controls. The company implemented additional back-end controls which now render a product useless if it is diverted without appropriate authorizations to a party located in a U.S. sanctioned country.[citation needed]

GPL violations[edit]

In 2005, the project uncovered evidence that Fortinet had used GPL code in its products against the terms of the license, and used cryptographic tools to conceal the violation. The violation was alleged to have occurred in the FortiOS system, which the project said contained elements of the Linux kernel. In response, a Munich court granted a temporary injunction against the company, preventing it from selling products until they were in compliance with the necessary license terms;[29] Fortinet was required to make the source code of GPL portions of their FortiOS freely available in compliance with GPL licensing.[30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "FORTINET, INC. ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K For the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2013". Fortinet. Retrieved 2 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "About Fortinet". 
  3. ^ a b Jin, Hao (March 21, 2010). "Fortinet IPO: Joining the Hot Network Security Sector". Seeking Alpha. Retrieved March 31, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Fortinet Named Leader of Worldwide Unified Threat Management Market for 23rd Consecutive Quarter by Leading Market Research Firm". 2012-01-11. 
  5. ^ Donovan, Fred (2014-03-10). "Cisco, Check Point, Fortinet top growing security appliance market, says IDC". FierceITSecurity. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  6. ^ "Ken Xie Builds Second Network Security Star". 2011-05-16. 
  7. ^ "Smokin'". 2005-05-30. 
  8. ^ "2008 Technology Fast 500" (PDF). 2008. 
  9. ^ "Fortinet Acquires TalkSwitch to Further Expand into Multi-Service Business Gateway Market". 2011-04-27. 
  10. ^ Kontzer, Tony (2013-03-27). "Fortinet Acquires ADC Vendor Coyote Point". Retrieved 2013-08-06. 
  11. ^ Lennon, Mike (2015-05-27). "Fortinet to Acquire Meru Networks for $44 Million". Retrieved 2015-06-17. 
  12. ^ "Fortinet beefs up security ASIC". 2007-06-13. 
  13. ^ "Fortinet overhauls operating system". 2012-10-18. 
  14. ^ "Fortinet FortiGuard Analysis & Management Services". 2012-01-11. 
  15. ^ Greene, Tim. "Fortinet goes virtual". Retrieved 2015-06-17. 
  16. ^ "US 8,693,348 B1". 2014-04-08. 
  17. ^ "FireEye, AhnLab score low in lab test of breach detection systems". Network World. Retrieved 2 May 2014. 
  18. ^ "Breach Detection System Product Analysis: Fortinet FortiSandbox 3000Dv1.2" (PDF). NSS Labs. Retrieved 2 May 2014. 
  19. ^ "Fortinet launches twelve network security products for ‘Connected UTM’ platform". 2014-02-12. 
  20. ^ "Fortinet’s new Connected UTM looks to simplify distributed wireless networks". 2014-01-13. 
  21. ^ "Fortinet Inc (FTNT) Launches "Connected UTM" Platform, Releases Twelve Network Security Products for Distributed Enterprises". 2014-01-13. 
  22. ^ "Secure Access Switch - FortiSwitch Series". 2012-01-11. 
  23. ^ "Access Switches - FortiSwitch". 2012-01-11. 
  24. ^ "Data Center Switches - FortiSwitch". 2012-01-11. 
  25. ^ "Internet Filtering in Burma in 2005: A Country Study". October 2005. Retrieved 2013-08-06. 
  26. ^ Zeller, Tom, Jr (2005-10-12). "Study Says Software Makers Supply Tools to Censor Web". The New York Times. 
  27. ^ Thomson, Iain (2005-10-19). "Fortinet investigates sanctions busting claim". Archived from the original on 2007-11-25. Retrieved 2013-08-06. 
  28. ^ a b "Prime Minister attends ceremony to introduce Fortinet Antivirus Firewall". 2004-05-16. Archived from the original on 2010-01-25. Retrieved 2013-08-06. 
  29. ^ " project was granted a preliminary injunction against Fortinet UK Ltd.". 2005-04-14. 
  30. ^ "Index of /pub/vendors/Fortinet/20050514". 2005-05-22. 

Fortinet FortiGate 6040E

External links[edit]