Fortinet is an American multinational corporation headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. It develops and sells cybersecurity solutions, such as physical firewalls, antivirus software, 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, sandbox (computer security) and messaging security. The company went public in November 2009.


Early history

In 2000, Ken Xie and his brother Michael Xie 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."

Fortinet introduced its first product, FortiGate, in 2002, followed by anti-spam and anti-virus software. The company raised $13 million in private funding from 2000 to early 2003. Fortinet's first channel program was established in October 2003. The company began distributing its products in Canada in December 2003, and in the UK in February 2004. By 2004 Fortinet had offices in Asia, Europe and North America.

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. The dispute ended a month later after Fortinet agreed to make the source code available upon request.

Growth and expansion

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

According to market research firm IDC, by November 2009 Fortinet held over 15 percent of the unified threat management market. Also in 2009, CRN Magazine's survey-based annual report card placed Fortinet first in network security hardware, up from seventh in 2007. In November 2009, Fortinet had an initial public offering. By the end of the first day of trading the company had raised $156 million in financing.

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

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

Recent history

In July 2014, Fortinet announced a technical certification program called the Network Security Expert (NSE) program. 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. Also in 2016, Fortinet launched a program called FortiVet to recruit military veterans for cybersecurity jobs.

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

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. In late 2019, Fortinet acquired enSilo and CyberSponse. Also in 2019, Fortinet's FortiGate SD-WAN and Next Generation Firewall received a "Recommended" rating from NSS Labs.

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

In September 2021, Fortinet pledged to train one million people in support of President Joe Biden's call to action to address the talent shortage in American cybersecurity.


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