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Fortinet

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Fortinet, Inc.
Public
Traded asNASDAQFTNT
S&P 500 Component
IndustryNetwork security and computer security
Founded2000; 18 years ago (2000)
FounderKen Xie and Michael Xie
HeadquartersSunnyvale, California, U.S.
ProductsFortinet Security Fabric[1]
FortiGate UTM
FortiGate enterprise
FortiGate carrier
FortiWeb
FortiSIEM
FortiSandbox
FortiClient
Servicesnext generation firewalls
antivirus programs
intrusion-prevention system
antispyware
antispam
VPN
wireless security
application control
web filtering
Security information and event management
RevenueIncrease US $1,494.93 million (2017)[2]
Increase US $109.804 million (2017)[2]
Decrease US $31.399 million (2017)[2]
Total assetsIncrease US $2,257.916 million (2017)[2]
Total equityDecrease US $589.377 million (2017)[2]
Number of employees
5,066 (2017)[2]
Websitewww.fortinet.com

Fortinet is an American multinational corporation headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. It develops and markets cybersecurity software, appliances and services, such as firewalls, anti-virus, intrusion prevention and endpoint security. It is the fourth-largest network security company by revenue[citation needed].

Fortinet was founded in 2000 by brothers Ken and Michael Xie. It raised about $93 million in funding by 2004 and introduced ten FortiGate appliances. That same year was the beginning of a recurring patent dispute between Fortinet and Trend Micro. The company went public in November 2009, raising $156 million through an initial public offering.[3] Throughout the 2000s, Fortinet diversified its product lines, adding products for wireless access points, sandboxing, and messaging security, among others.

Corporate history[edit]

Early history[edit]

Prior to Fortinet, Ken Xie founded and served as an executive for NetScreen, and Michael Xie served as an executive for ServeGate.[4][5] 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."[6] In 2004, amid fundraising for Fortinet, NetScreen was acquired by Juniper Networks for $4 billion.[4]

Fortinet spent two years in research and development,[7] before introducing its first product in 2002.[5] The company raised $13 million in private funding from 2000 to early 2003.[5] An additional $30 million in financing was raised in August 2003, followed by $50 million in March 2004.[8] Fortinet's first channel program was established in October 2003.[9] The company began distributing its products in Canada in December 2003, through Westcon Canada, and in the UK in February 2004 through Norwood Adam.[5] By 2004 Fortinet had offices in Asia, Europe and North America.[7]

A German Linux programmer from gpl-violations.org obtained a preliminary injunction against Fortinet's UK subsidiary in April 2005, due to allegations that the company was using encryption to hide its use of Linux kernels that are subject to the GNU General Public License (GPL). The license's terms require disclosure of the source code.[10][11] The following month Fortinet agreed to make its source code for GPL-licensed elements available upon request, modified its licensing terms and made other changes, ending the dispute.[12]

Growth and expansion[edit]

Fortinet became profitable in the third quarter of 2008.[13] Late that year 2008, Fortinet acquired the database security and auditing intellectual property of IPLocks, and extended job offers to the company's 28 employees.[14] In August 2009, it acquired the intellectual property and other assets of Woven Systems, an ethernet switching company.[15] According to market research firm IDC, by November 2009 it held over 15 percent of the unified threat management market.[16] Also in 2009, CRN Magazine's survey-based annual report card (ARC) placed Fortinet first in network security hardware.[17]

In November 2009, Fortinet had an initial public offering. It was planning to raise $52.4 million through the sale of 5.8 million shares.[16] Many stockholders also sold their shares simultaneously.[18] 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, raising $156 million in financing.[19]

By 2010, Fortinet had $324 million in annual revenues.[5] That November, Bloomberg covered rumors that IBM was considering acquiring the company,[20] which Fortinet denied.[21][22] In December 2012, Fortinet acquired XDN (formerly known as 3Crowd), which provided an app-hosting service called CrowdDirector.[23] The following year, in 2013, Fortinet acquired application delivery company Coyote Point for an undisclosed sum.[24][25]

Recent history[edit]

In July 2013, Fortinet made changes to its reseller program, Security Operations Center "SOC" in a Box, in order to provide monthly financing options for managed security service vendors with less experience and less capital.[26][27] The program had previously been reorganized in 2006 for enterprise companies.[5] In December 2013, Fortinet sued Sophos under allegations that it was poaching Fortinet employees and infringing on Fortinet patents.[28][29] The legal dispute was settled two years later in mediation with non-disclosed terms.[30]

In May 2015, Fortinet acquired the Silicon Valley-based Wi-Fi hardware company, Meru Networks, for $44 million.[31][32] In late 2015, Fortinet security researchers demonstrated a Fitbit hack that gained access through Bluetooth, then allowed the hacker into synchronized devices.[33][34] The following year, the company acquired an IT security, monitoring and analytics software vendor, AccelOps for about $28 million.[35]

Fortinet runs the Network Security Academy, which was founded in early 2016. It provides resources to universities teaching IT security classes.[36]

Products and Research[edit]

Fortinet released its first product, FortiGate, a firewall, in 2002, followed by anti-spam and anti-virus software.[5][37] According to ZDNet, the company was best known for its Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) products, products which analyze hardware and software security alerts. AccelOps product was renamed as FortiSIEM [38] Fortinet has four research and development centers in Asia, as well as others in the US, Canada and France.[39] It also hosts a certification and training program with eight levels of NSE certification.[40][41]

In May 2004, Trend Micro filed a legal complaint against Fortinet alleging that its antivirus technology infringed Trend Micro's patents on methods for scanning email and internet traffic.[42] That August the International Trade Commission ruled against Fortinet, prohibiting the sale of affected products. Fortinet said Trend Micro's patents were too broad, but it complied with the ruling.[43] Fortinet and Trend Micro reached an agreement with undisclosed terms in January 2006 and Fortinet modified its antivirus products to avoid Trend Micro's patents.[44][45] A few years later, an attorney from the International Trade Commission filed an opinion for another case that said he felt the related patents from Trend Micro were invalid. Fortinet made a new legal filing and in December 2010, the US Patent and Trademark Office declared the patents as invalid.[5][46]

In 2005, Fortinet founded the FortiGuard Labs internal security research team.[47] That same year, a study by OpenNet found that Fortinet's appliances were being used for internet censorship in Myanmar. Fortinet said its products were sold by third party resellers and it respects US embargoes, however photographs were found of a Fortinet salesperson with Burma's Prime Minister.[48][49] In 2008, Fortinet researchers said a Facebook widget from Zango had tricked more than three million users into downloading malicious spyware under the guise of telling users their secret crush.[50] Zango denied the allegations, saying their software was opt-in.[51]

The company founded the Cyber Threat Alliance with Palo Alto Networks in 2014, in order to share security threat data across vendors. It was joined by McAfee and Symantec later that year.[52][53] In 2017, Fortinet created a standalone subsidiary, Fortinet Federal, focused on cybersecurity products for government agencies. Former National Security Agency director Mike McConnell is on Fortinet Federal’s board,[54] and 12 of the 15 U.S. Cabinet departments use Fortinet products.[55] That same year, Fortinet researchers discovered a spyware that scams victims by impersonating the IRS[56] and MacRansom, a ransomware program specifically targeting Mac computers.[57][58]

References[edit]

  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. ^ a b c d e f "Fortinet Inc. Annual Report 10-K (2017)". Fortinet.com. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  3. ^ nasdaq.com
  4. ^ a b Thurm, Scott (10 February 2004). "Juniper to Acquire NetScreen in Deal For $3.63 Billion".
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Hill, Karen (2012). International Directory of Company Histories:Fortinet. 128. St James Press. pp. 223–227.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ a b Natividad, Beverly (March 2, 2004). "Real-time firewalls preserve performance". BusinessWorld.
  8. ^ "Fortinet's Money Machine Rolls On". Network Computing. March 3, 2004. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  9. ^ Torode, Christina (October 24, 2003). "Fortinet Adds New Partner Program". CRN. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  10. ^ Galli, Peter (May 14, 2005). "Fortinet Under Fire for Allegedly Violating GPL Terms". eWeek. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  11. ^ Marson, Ingrid (April 14, 2005). "Fortinet accused of GPL violation". ZDNet. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  12. ^ Marson, Ingrid (April 26, 2005). "Fortinet settles GPL violation suit". CNET. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  13. ^ Cowan, Lynn (November 19, 2006). "Security Security: Fortinet IPO Jumps 33%". The Wall Street Journal. p. C6.
  14. ^ McMillan, Robert (June 17, 2008). "Fortinet buys assets of security vendor IPLocks". IDG News Service. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
  15. ^ Kotadia, Munir (August 20, 2009). "Woven Systems technology lives on with Fortinet". IT News. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  16. ^ a b "Computer security co. Fortinet plans IPO this week". Seattle Times. November 17, 2009. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  17. ^ DeMarzo, Robert (September 25, 2009). "Fortinet IPO: Love Of Services". CRN. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  18. ^ Jackson, Kelly (November 18, 2009). "Product Watch: Fortinet Issues An IPO". Dark Reading. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  19. ^ McMillan, Robert (November 18, 2009). "Security Vendor Fortinet Sparkles in IPO". IDG News. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  20. ^ Burrows, Peter (November 1, 2010). "Fortinet Said to Be Approached by IBM; Shares Soar". Bloomberg. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  21. ^ "Fortinet Says IBM Acquisition Talk Untrue". Reuters. January 11, 2010. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  22. ^ Prince, Brian (November 1, 2010). "Fortinet Denies IBM Acquisition Rumors". eWeek. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  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. ^ Lawson, Stephen (March 22, 2013). "Fortinet to Buy Coyote Point to Merge Security with Application Delivery". IDG News Service. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  25. ^ King, Rachel (March 22, 2013). "Fortinet buying Coyote Point for application delivery model". ZDNet. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  26. ^ Westervelt, Robert (July 10, 2013). "Fortinet Refines MSSP Program For Broader Reach". CRN. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  27. ^ "We Are A 100 Percent Channel Company". CRN. July 15, 2013.
  28. ^ Wright, Rob (December 20, 2013). "Sophos CEO Slams Fortinet In Response To Employee Poaching Lawsuit". CRN. Retrieved July 6, 2016.
  29. ^ Williams, Martyn (December 17, 2013). "Fortinet sues Sophos over alleged employee poaching". PCWorld. Retrieved July 6, 2016.
  30. ^ Kuranda, Sarah (December 10, 2015). "Sophos And Fortinet End 2-Year Legal Feud Over Patents, Talent, Secrets". CRN. Retrieved July 6, 2016.
  31. ^ Owens, Jeremy (May 27, 2015). "Biz Break: Fortinet steps up security challenge to Cisco with Meru acquisition". The San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved June 10, 2015.
  32. ^ Kuranda, Sarah (May 27, 2015). "Fortinet Dives Deep Into Enterprise Secure Wireless Market With Meru Networks Acquisition". CRN. Retrieved June 10, 2015.
  33. ^ Weise, Elizabeth (October 22, 2015). "Fitbit hacked from 10 feet away, security firm says". USA TODAY. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
  34. ^ fitbit (February 11, 2016). "Fitbit hack: '10 second' vulnerability makes wearables spew malware (Wired UK)". Wired UK. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
  35. ^ Kuranda, Sarah (June 7, 2016). "Fortinet Dives Into SIEM Market With $28M Acquisition Of AccelOps". CRN. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  36. ^ "Intel, Fortinet, launch cybersecurity initiatives". San Jose Mercury News. March 22, 2016. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
  37. ^ "Fortinet UTM: Product Overview and Analysis". www.esecurityplanet.com. Retrieved 2018-11-12.
  38. ^ Gagliordi, Natalie (June 7, 2016). "Fortinet acquires security analytics firm AccelOps". ZDNet. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  39. ^ Yu, Eileen (August 27, 2014). "Fortinet establishes R&D lab in Singapore". ZDNet. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
  40. ^ Solomon, Howard (July 29, 2014). "New online IT training touted to help meet skills shortage". IT World Canada. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
  41. ^ Solomon, Howard (July 29, 2014). "Fortinet creates new Network Security Expert certification". IT World Canada. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
  42. ^ Gross, Grant (May 13, 2005). "Judge rules for Trend Micro in Fortinet patent case". Infoworld. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  43. ^ Roberts, Paul (August 9, 2005). "ITC Rules Against Fortinet in Patent Dispute". eWeek. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  44. ^ Hooper, Larry (January 30, 2006). "Fortinet, Trend Micro Settle Antivirus Patent Dispute". CRN. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  45. ^ Dunn, John (August 11, 2005). "Fortinet ordered to suspend U.S. sales". Computerworld. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  46. ^ Shimel, Alan (April 12, 2011). "The Patent That Refuses To Die". Network World. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
  47. ^ "Comparing the best NGFWs on the market". SearchSecurity. Retrieved July 15, 2016.
  48. ^ Zeller, Tom (October 12, 2005). "Study Says Software Makers Supply Tools to Censor Web". The New York Times. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
  49. ^ IBP, Inc. (August 1, 2013). Myanmar Internet and E-Commerce Investment and Business Guide - Regulations and Opportunities. Lulu.com. pp. 57–58. ISBN 978-1-4387-3445-3.
  50. ^ Messmer, Ellen (January 3, 2008). "Facebook's "Secret Crush" malicious widget tricks users". Network World. Retrieved August 5, 2016.
  51. ^ Hines, Matt (January 3, 2008). "Facebook hack fuels Web 2.0 concerns". InfoWorld. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  52. ^ Eddy, Nathan (September 17, 2014). "McAfee, Symantec Join Cyber Threat Alliance". eWeek. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
  53. ^ Albanesius, Chloe (February 13, 2015). "Obama Wants Tech Firms to Alert Feds to Cyber Threats". PC Magazine. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  54. ^ Edwards, Jane (May 16, 2017). "Fortinet Unveils New Federal Subsidiary, Names Board Members". GovCon Wire. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  55. ^ Wilkers, Ross (May 15, 2017). "Fortinet unveils new federal arm". Washington Technology. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  56. ^ Barth, Bradley (April 13, 2017). "SC Exclusive: Spyware disguises itself as IRS tax notification". SC Media. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
  57. ^ Ward, Mark (June 13, 2017). "Apple Mac computers targeted by ransomware and spyware". BBC News. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
  58. ^ Dellinger, AJ (June 12, 2017). "New Ransomware and Malware Attack on Macs, Macos Allows Hackers to Pay to Use". Newsweek. Retrieved July 10, 2017.

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