Is end-to-end network security really possible? | #ACCELERATE2017


Network security has been getting headlines lately, and protecting sensitive or proprietary data has moved to the forefront when it comes to C-level concerns and boardroom discussions. As Fortinet Inc. holds its Accelerate 2017 event in Las Vegas, the company is debuting its end-to-end security capabilities that it says allow businesses to safely share information across the network, securing the entire attack surface.

Lisa Martin (@Luccazara), host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile live streaming studio, had the opportunity to talk with John Maddison, SVP of products and solutions at Fortinet, and Joe Sykora, VP of the Americas channels and enhanced technologies at Fortinet, during Fortinet’s Accelerate 2017 event about how the company and its channel partners are attacking cyberthreats. (*Disclosure below.)

Maddison is a 20-year veteran of the telecom industry, infrastructure and IT security, and Sykora, who oversees 7,400 of the company’s partners and military channel strategy in America, received recognition as one of CRN’s 2015 Channel Chiefs: The 50 Most Influential. The pair took the opportunity to talk about the third-generation of security and the announcements the company made about new products and technologies that enable customers to trust their data.

New product that protects the network and a brand

Maddison also spoke on the company’s security fabric product announcement earlier this year, an offering that can efficiently handle cybersecurity challenges across attack surfaces. Coupling that with today’s announcement by Ken Xie, founder, chairman of the board and CEO of Fortinet, about the FortiOS release 5.6, using intent-based network security.

“These [product offerings] all come together to make sure that we’re continuing that effort to make customers are safer,” said Maddison. He went on to explain the importance of integrating the fabric into the infrastructure to secure the customer’s brand.

Supporting the brand is essential for Fortinet. The company expanded the fabric across multiple attack vectors that now covers email, web and endpoint. Additionally, Maddison unofficially announced partnerships with six new partners. “Companies like Cisco and HPE are actually joining our fabric-ready program … so we can cover the entire infrastructure of any company,” he revealed.

Retraining for a connected world

With the proliferation of IoT devices, Martin noted the lack of security and a gap regarding resources. To bridge the gap in network security programs, Fortinet launched the Network Security Expert program NSE in 2016.

According to Maddison, the company had 30,000 certificates issued on NSE, one of the largest security programs, because one of the big issues for customers and partners is the skills gap in cybersecurity.

Another pain point for businesses is that critical infrastructures are plugging into corporate networks using mobile and IOT.

“Attacks are going to happen. We know they are going to happen. It’s how fast can you react to those attacks. The fabric actually arms our partners to have information on what is actionable and what’s not,” expressed Sykora. He continued by saying that Fortinet is trying to automate more responses to threats in the future. However, the object is to simplify the technology for partners to react.

Both Maddison and Sykora contended that everyone and every vertical is at risk. “It’s important [to have] the fabric across the infrastructure and [have] the security vendors getting together and sharing threat intelligence,” expressed Maddison. He believes that a larger view of the attack surface is absolutely essential to stop the new type of threats.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of Fortinet Accelerate 2017(*Disclosure: Fortinet Inc. and other companies sponsor some Accelerate 2017 segments on SiliconANGLE Media’s theCUBE. Neither Fortinet nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo by SiliconANGLE