Fortinet, Siemens pair up to better secure operational technology

Fortinet also landed a SD-WAN deal from SoftBank ahead of its first investor day.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Fortinet and Siemens unveiled a partnership designed to better secure operational technology networks in markets such as utilities, transportation and oil and gas.

The announcement comes as Fortinet holds an analyst meeting in New York on Monday. The investor meeting is Fortinet's first in its decade as a public company. Fortinet competes with Palo Alto Networks, Checkpoint, and Cisco among others.

Under the alliance, Siemens will integrate its industrial and operational technologies and control systems with Fortinet's cybersecurity platform and Fortinet Security Fabric. The aim is to better secure edge computing and Internet of Things devices. The two companies also entered a global resell agreement.


Fortinet's security fabric. 

The first effort from Fortinet and Siemens will be the integration of the FortiGate Next-Generation Firewall with the Ruggedcom Multi-Service Platform family of switches and routers. The Siemens gear is typically used in industrial settings such as electrical substations. Siemens will also bundle Fortinet's FortiGate Next-Generation firewall with its equipment.

Fortinet Chief Marketing Officer John Maddison said in an interview that edge computing and IoT are increasingly critical growth markets for Fortinet now and in the future. "Edge computing will need low latency compute and be built out in factories and other industrial areas. Coupled with 5G there will be a need for a new security model," said Maddison.

For now, Fortinet is growing at a rapid clip courtesy of its SD-WAN security portfolio. To that end, Fortinet announced that SoftBank will use Fortinet SD-WAN to expand its managed security services. SoftBank in Japan provides SD-WAN services to enterprise customers.

SoftBank will provide advanced security services, network analytics, and cloud on-ramp connectivity to enterprises. Maddison said Fortinet's SD-WAN portfolio for carriers is faring well as many are choosing to pull back from software-defined approaches to integrated hardware and software security appliances to improve performance.

In its just reported third quarter, Fortinet delivered a net income of 46 cents a share on revenue of $547.5 million, up 21% from a year ago.  Ken Xie, CEO of Fortinet, said that the company saw strong growth in its security fabric, cloud, and SD-WAN offerings.

For fiscal 2019, Fortinet projected revenue between $2.13 billion and $2.15 billion with non-GAAP earnings between $2.39 and $2.41 a share.

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