This is a good article. Click here for more information.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Fortinet, Inc.
S&P 500 Component
IndustryNetwork security and computer security
Founded2000; 21 years ago (2000)
FounderKen Xie, Michael Xie
Key people
Ken Xie (CEO)
Michael Xie (CTO)
Keith Jensen (CFO)
ProductsFortinet Security Fabric[1]
FortiGate UTM
FortiGate enterprise
FortiGate carrier
Servicesnext generation firewalls
antivirus programs
intrusion-prevention system
wireless security
application control
web filtering
Security information and event management
RevenueIncrease US $2.16 billion (2019)[2]
Increase US $109.804 million (2017)[3]
Decrease US $31.399 million (2017)[3]
Total assetsIncrease US $2,257.916 million (2017)[3]
Total equityDecrease US $589.377 million (2017)[3]
Number of employees
6,015 (2019)

Fortinet is an American multinational corporation headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. It develops and sells cybersecurity solutions, including but not limited to physical products such as firewalls, plus software and services such as anti-virus protection, intrusion prevention systems and endpoint security components.

Fortinet was founded in 2000 by brothers Ken Xie and Michael Xie. The company's first and main product was FortiGate, a physical firewall. The company later added wireless access points, sandboxing, and messaging security.

By 2004, Fortinet had raised over $90 million in funding. The company went public in November 2009, raising $156 million through an initial public offering.[4]

In 2016, Fortinet released its Security Fabric architecture that included integration and automation with other network security devices and third-party vendors.[citation needed]

Corporate history[edit]

Early history[edit]

Prior to Fortinet, Ken Xie founded and served as an executive for NetScreen, a company that was acquired by Juniper Networks in 2004. Michael Xie served as an executive for ServeGate.[5][6] In 2000, they co-founded Appligation Inc. The company was renamed to ApSecure in December 2000 and later renamed again to Fortinet, based on the phrase "Fortified Networks."[7]

Fortinet introduced its first product, FortiGate, in 2002, followed by anti-spam and anti-virus software.[6][8] The company raised $13 million in private funding from 2000 to early 2003.[6] An additional $30 million in financing was raised in August 2003, followed by $50 million in March 2004.[9] Fortinet's first channel program was established in October 2003.[10] The company began distributing its products in Canada in December 2003, and in the UK in February 2004.[6] By 2004 Fortinet had offices in Asia, Europe and North America.[11]

In April 2005, a German court issued a preliminary injunction against Fortinet's UK subsidiary in relation to source code for its GPL-licensed elements.[12][13] The dispute ended a month later after Fortinet agreed to make the source code available upon request.[14]

Growth and expansion[edit]

Fortinet became profitable in the third quarter of 2008.[15] Later that year, the company acquired the intellectual property of IPLocks, a database security and auditing company.[16] In August 2009, Fortinet acquired the intellectual property and other assets of Woven Systems, an ethernet switching company.[17]

According to market research firm IDC, by November 2009 Fortinet held over 15 percent of the unified threat management market.[18] Also in 2009, CRN Magazine's survey-based annual report card placed Fortinet first in network security hardware, up from seventh in 2007.[19]

In November 2009, Fortinet had an initial public offering, wherein the company planned to raise $52.4 million through the sale of 5.8 million shares.[18] Over 6 million shares were also sold by stockholders.[20] Just before the first day of trading, Fortinet increased the share price from $9 to $12.50 and the price increased in the market to $16.62. By the end of the first day of trading the company had raised $156 million in financing.[21]

By 2010, Fortinet had $324 million in annual revenues[6] and held the largest share of the unified threat management market according to IDC.[22]

Fortinet made four notable acquisitions from 2012 to 2016. The company acquired app-hosting service XDN (formerly known as 3Crowd) in December 2012,[23] Coyote Point in 2013,[24] and Wi-Fi hardware company Meru Networks in 2015.[25] In June 2016, Fortinet acquired IT security, monitoring and analytics software vendor, AccelOps.[26]

Recent history[edit]

In July 2014, Fortinet announced a technical certification program called the Network Security Expert (NSE) program.[27] In March 2016, Fortinet launched a Network Security Academy to help fill open cyber security jobs in the U.S. Fortinet donated equipment and provided information to universities to help train students for jobs in the field.[28] Also in 2016, Fortinet launched a program called FortiVet to recruit military veterans for cybersecurity jobs.[29]

In January 2017, it was announced that Philip Quade, a former member of the NSA, would become the company's chief information security officer.[30] At the end of 2017, Fortinet reported $416.7 million in revenue, a 15 percent increase from the previous year.[31] In June 2018, Fortinet acquired Bradford Networks, a maker of access control and IoT security solutions.[32] In October 2018, Fortinet acquired ZoneFox, a threat analytics company.[33] In January 2019, it was announced that Fortinet and founder Ken Xie would participate in the annual World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland.[34]

In September 2019, Fortinet settled a whistleblower lawsuit regarding what the company has described as an "isolated incident" of sales of intentionally mislabeled Chinese-made equipment to U.S. government end users.[35][36] In late 2019, Fortinet acquired enSilo and CyberSponse.[37][38] Also in 2019, Fortinet's FortiGate SD-WAN and Next Generation Firewall received a "Recommended" rating from NSS Labs.[39]

In July 2020, Fortinet acquired OPAQ Networks.[40] OPAQ is a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) cloud provider based in Herndon, Virginia.

Products and research[edit]


Fortinet released its first product, FortiGate, a firewall, in 2002, followed by anti-spam and anti-virus software.[6][8] FortiGate was updated to use application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) architecture.[41] The company has used ASIC in several of its products, including to support its SD-WAN features.[42][43]

Initially the FortiGate was a physical, rack-mounted product but later became available also a virtual appliance that could run on virtualization platforms such as VMware vSphere.

Fortinet later merged its network security offerings, including firewalls, anti-spam and anti-virus software, into one product.[22] In April 2016, Fortinet began building its Security Fabric architecture so multiple network security products could communicate as one platform.[44] Later that year, the company added Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) products.[45] In September 2016, the company announced it would integrate the SIEM products with the security systems of other vendors.[46]

In 2017, Fortinet announced the addition of switches, access points, analyzers, sandboxes and cloud capabilities to the Security Fabric, in addition to endpoints and firewalls.[47][48] Later in 2017, Fortinet created a standalone subsidiary, Fortinet Federal, to develop cybersecurity products for government agencies.[49] Fortinet has received security effectiveness certifications through NSS Labs.[50] Gartner, a research and consulting firm, has ranked Fortinet within the top three companies in its Magic Quadrant for enterprise network firewalls, which measures market trends and direction.[51]

In July 2018, the company launched FortiGate SD-WAN, its proprietary SD-WAN service.[52] FortiGate SD-WAN was included in the Challenger category of Gartner's Magic Quadrant for WAN Edge Infrastructure later that year, joining the Leader category in 2020.[53][54] Later in 2018, Fortinet released FortiGuard (AI) to better detect new and unknown threats, and also announced the 6.0 version of its FortiOS security operating system with enhanced centralized management and expanded cloud capabilities.[55]

The FortiGate 6501F. Presented by Fortinet, February 5, 2018[56]

In May 2004, Trend Micro, a competing cyber security and defense company, filed a legal complaint against Fortinet. Though the International Trade Commission initially ruled against Fortinet,[57] the Trend Micro patents at the center of the dispute were later declared as invalid in 2010.[58] In 2005, an OpenNet study suggested that Myanmar, which was under American sanctions, had begun using Fortinet's FortiGuard system for internet censorship. Fortinet stated that their products are sold by third party resellers, and that they acknowledged US embargoes.[59]

In 2019, Fortinet grew to 21,000 WAN edge customers, according to a Gartner report.[60]

In February 2020, Fortinet released FortiAI, a threat-detection program that uses artificial intelligence.[61][62] In July 2020, Fortinet launched multi-cloud SD-WAN.[63] That year, BT Security selected Fortinet and other Threat Alliance members as Critical Partners.[64] As of 2020, Fortinet has been awarded over 640 patents.[65][66]

As of January 2021, the FortiGate line of firewalls is and remains the company' main product which accounts for most of the gross revenue.


In 2005, Fortinet created the FortiGuard Labs internal security research team.[67]

In 2008, Fortinet researchers sent a report to Facebook highlighting a widget from Zango that appeared to be tricking users into downloading spyware.[68] By 2014, Fortinet had four research and development centers in Asia, as well as others in the US, Canada and France.[69]

In March 2014, Fortinet founded the Cyber Threat Alliance (CTA) with Palo Alto Networks in order to share security threat data across vendors.[70] It was later joined by McAfee and Symantec.[71] In 2015, the CTA published a white paper on the CryptoWall ransomware, which detailed how attackers obtained $325 million through ransoms paid by victims to regain access to their files.[72]

In April 2015, Fortinet provided threat intelligence to Interpol in order to help apprehend the ringleader of several online scams based in Nigeria. The scams, which resulted in compromise of business emails and CEO fraud, had cost one business over $15 million.[73] The following year, in March 2016, Fortinet and technology company, Cisco, joined NATO in a data-sharing agreement to improve their information security capabilities.[74]

In January 2017, Fortinet worked with Interpol to conduct an investigation into web security in several southeast Asian countries. The investigation identified compromised websites, including government-operated web servers.[75] Later that month, Fortinet researchers discovered a spyware that scammed victims by impersonating the IRS.[76] Also in 2017, researchers helped identify malware, called Rootnik, and ransomware, called MacRansom, that targeted Android and MacOS systems respectively.[77] In 2018, Fortinet entered into an information-sharing agreement with Interpol.[78]


  1. ^ Greene, Tim (April 25, 2016). "New security fabric to unite Fortinet gear with that of other vendors". Network World. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
  2. ^ "Fortinet Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2019 Financial Results". Fortinet. February 6, 2020. Retrieved July 13, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d "Fortinet Inc. Annual Report 10-K (2016)". Fortinet. Archived from the original on April 9, 2017. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Thurm, Scott (10 February 2004). "Juniper to Acquire NetScreen in Deal For $3.63 Billion".
  6. ^ a b c d e f Hill, Karen (2012). International Directory of Company Histories:Fortinet. 128. St James Press. pp. 223–227. ISBN 978-1-55862-810-6.
  7. ^ Kenneth Tam; Martín H. Hoz Salvador; Ken McAlpine; Rick Basile; Bruce Matsugu; Josh More (December 31, 2012). UTM Security with Fortinet: Mastering FortiOS. Newnes. pp. 16–17. ISBN 978-1-59749-977-4.
  8. ^ a b "Fortinet UTM: Product Overview and Analysis". Retrieved 2018-11-12.
  9. ^ "Fortinet's Money Machine Rolls On". Network Computing. March 3, 2004. Retrieved March 10, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ Torode, Christina (October 24, 2003). "Fortinet Adds New Partner Program". CRN. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  11. ^ Natividad, Beverly (March 2, 2004). "Real-time firewalls preserve performance". BusinessWorld.
  12. ^ Galli, Peter (May 14, 2005). "Fortinet Under Fire for Allegedly Violating GPL Terms". eWeek. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  13. ^ Marson, Ingrid (April 14, 2005). "Fortinet accused of GPL violation". ZDNet. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  14. ^ Marson, Ingrid (April 26, 2005). "Fortinet settles GPL violation suit". CNET. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  15. ^ Cowan, Lynn (November 19, 2006). "Security Security: Fortinet IPO Jumps 33%". The Wall Street Journal. p. C6.
  16. ^ McMillan, Robert (June 17, 2008). "Fortinet buys assets of security vendor IPLocks". IDG News Service. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
  17. ^ Kotadia, Munir (August 20, 2009). "Woven Systems technology lives on with Fortinet". IT News. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  18. ^ a b "Computer security co. Fortinet plans IPO this week". Seattle Times. November 17, 2009. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  19. ^ DeMarzo, Robert (September 25, 2009). "Fortinet IPO: Love Of Services". CRN. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  20. ^ Jackson, Kelly (November 18, 2009). "Product Watch: Fortinet Issues An IPO". Dark Reading. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  21. ^ McMillan, Robert (November 18, 2009). "Security Vendor Fortinet Sparkles in IPO". IDG News. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  22. ^ a b Kaplan, Thomas. "Fortinet's Shares Take Wild Ride on Deal/No Deal". DealBook. Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  23. ^ Davis, Jim (December 17, 2012). "Did Fortinet acquire XDN in a bid to add more cache to its portfolio?". 451 Group. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
  24. ^ King, Rachel (March 22, 2013). "Fortinet buying Coyote Point for application delivery model". ZDNet. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  25. ^ Kuranda, Sarah (May 27, 2015). "Fortinet Dives Deep Into Enterprise Secure Wireless Market With Meru Networks Acquisition". CRN. Retrieved June 10, 2015.
  26. ^ Kuranda, Sarah (June 7, 2016). "Fortinet Dives Into SIEM Market With $28M Acquisition Of AccelOps". CRN. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  27. ^ Solomon, Howard (July 29, 2014). "New online IT training touted to help meet skills shortage". IT World Canada. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
  28. ^ "Intel, Fortinet, launch cybersecurity initiatives". San Jose Mercury News. March 22, 2016. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
  29. ^ "Cybersecurity skills shortage: vendors step up to address workforce shortfall | Verdict". 30 May 2018. Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  30. ^ "Exclusive: Ex-NSA Cyber Boss Named Fortinet Information Security Chief". Fortune. Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  31. ^ Kovar, Joseph F. "Fortinet CEO Xie Says Company Primed For Growth, Touts New Third-Gen Firewall Appliance And FortiGate Virtual Machine". CRN. Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  32. ^ Novinson, Michael. "Fortinet Snaps Up IoT-Focused Security Firm Bradford Networks". CRN. Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  33. ^ Novinson, Michael (2018-10-23). "Fortinet Buys Threat Analytics Startup ZoneFox To Fight Insider Threats". CRN. Retrieved 2020-04-27.
  34. ^ "Fortinet to lead cyber security discussion at WEF annual summit".
  35. ^ Townsend, Kevin. "Fortinet Settles Whistleblower Case for $545,000". Securityweek. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  36. ^ Stone, Jeff (16 April 2019). "Fortinet settles charges of selling intentionally mislabeled Chinese-made tech to U.S. military". Cyberscoop. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  37. ^ "Fortinet Acquires Endpoint Security Firm enSilo | SecurityWeek.Com". Retrieved 2020-04-27.
  38. ^ Arghire, Ionut (13 December 2019). "Fortinet Acquires SOAR Platform Provider CyberSponse". Security Week. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  39. ^ Auger, Steve (2019-08-08). "Fortinet: A Strong Buy (NASDAQ:FTNT)". Seeking Alpha. Retrieved 2020-11-18.
  40. ^ "Fortinet Acquires OPAQ Networks". 2020-07-21. Retrieved 2020-07-22.
  41. ^ Kovar, Joseph F. (6 February 2018). "Fortinet CEO Xie Says Company Primed For Growth, Touts New Third-Gen Firewall Appliance And FortiGate Virtual Machine". CRN. Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  42. ^ "Fortinet CEO: SD-Wan, Edge, Automation Key to Next-Gen Security". 28 February 2020. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  43. ^ "New ASIC bolsters Fortinet SD-WAN performance". Tech Target.
  44. ^ Greene, Tim (2016-04-25). "New security fabric to unite Fortinet gear with that of other vendors". Network World. Retrieved 2019-01-24.
  45. ^ Gagliordi, Natalie (June 7, 2016). "Fortinet acquires security analytics firm AccelOps". ZDNet. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  46. ^ "Fortinet Introduces Partner Program to Integrate Its Security Fab". 27 September 2016. Retrieved 2019-01-14.
  47. ^ Kuranda, Sarah (10 January 2017). "CRN Exclusive: Fortinet Launches New FortiOS, Security Operations Solution". CRN. Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  48. ^ Kuranda, Sarah (11 April 2017). "Fortinet Extends Security Fabric To The Cloud, Creating New Cloud Security Opportunities For Partners". CRN. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  49. ^ Wilkers, Ross (May 15, 2017). "Fortinet unveils new federal arm". Washington Technology. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  50. ^ "Quality of Experience is What Distinguishes SD-WAN Products, Says". SDxCentral. 9 August 2018. Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  51. ^ "eWEEK's Top 11 Vendors for Next-Gen Firewalls". eWEEK. Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  52. ^ "Fortinet transitions from partner to FortiGate SD-WAN vendor". SearchNetworking. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  53. ^ Brown, Matt (8 November 2018). "Here's Who Made Gartner's First-Ever Magic Quadrant For WAN Edge Infrastructure". Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  54. ^ "SASE, Acquisitions Drive SD-WAN Competition, Gartner States - SDxCentral". SDxCentral. 2020-09-27. Retrieved 2020-11-18.
  55. ^ "Fortinet Enhances Network Security OS, Adds AI-based Threat Detection | SecurityWeek.Com". Retrieved 2018-12-18.
  56. ^ "Fortinet Introduces Industry's Fastest 100 Gbps+ Next-Generation Firewall Appliance". Fortinet. Retrieved 2019-02-16.
  57. ^ Gross, Grant (May 13, 2005). "Judge rules for Trend Micro in Fortinet patent case". Infoworld. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  58. ^ Shimel, Alan (April 12, 2011). "The Patent That Refuses To Die". Network World. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
  59. ^ Zeller, Tom (October 12, 2005). "Study Says Software Makers Supply Tools to Censor Web". The New York Times. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
  60. ^ "Fortinet Leapfrogs Cisco With 21,000 SD-WAN Customers - SDxCentral". SDxCentral. 2019-12-17. Retrieved 2020-11-18.
  61. ^ Mann, Tobias (24 February 2020). "Fortinet Forges FortiAI Security Appliance". SDX Central. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  62. ^ "Fortinet expands AI security range with FortiAI". Channel Pro. Retrieved 2020-04-27.
  63. ^ "Fortinet Debuts Multi-Cloud SD-WAN - SDxCentral". SDxCentral. 2020-07-14. Retrieved 2020-11-18.
  64. ^ Raywood, Dan (2020-08-27). "BT Security Announces Vendor Partners to Simplify and Strengthen Protection". Infosecurity Magazine. Retrieved 2020-11-18.
  65. ^ "Patents Assigned to Fortinet, Inc. - Justia Patents Search". Retrieved 2020-11-18.
  66. ^ "Fortinet crosses innovation milestone of over 500 issued patents - ET CIO". Retrieved 2020-11-18.
  67. ^ "Comparing the best NGFWs on the market". SearchSecurity. Retrieved July 15, 2016.
  68. ^ Messmer, Ellen (January 3, 2008). "Facebook's "Secret Crush" malicious widget tricks users". Network World. Retrieved August 5, 2016.
  69. ^ Yu, Eileen (August 27, 2014). "Fortinet establishes R&D lab in Singapore".
  70. ^ "Battling ransomware a priority for cybersecurity company". Santa Cruz Sentinel. 2016-03-21. Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  71. ^ Albanesius, Chloe. "Obama Wants Tech Firms to Alert Feds to Cyber Threats". Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  72. ^ "Why Cisco, McAfee Say Security Vendors Must Share Threat Intel to". 19 December 2017. Retrieved 2019-01-14.
  73. ^ "Exclusive: Kingpin Behind Suspected $60 Million Online Scams Nabbed". Fortune. Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  74. ^ "Cisco, Fortinet cosy up to NATO for infosharing". Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  75. ^ tweet_btn(), Richard Chirgwin 26 Apr 2017 at 03:01. "Interpol unplugs nearly 9,000 Asian command and control networks". Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  76. ^ Barth, Bradley (April 13, 2017). "SC Exclusive: Spyware disguises itself as IRS tax notification". SC Media. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
  77. ^ Dellinger, AJ (June 12, 2017). "New Ransomware and Malware Attack on Macs, Macos Allows Hackers to Pay to Use". Newsweek. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
  78. ^ Symington, Steve (17 July 2018). "Why Fortinet, Inc. Stock Has Popped 51.7% So Far in 2018 -". The Motley Fool. Retrieved 2018-12-20.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]