Business & Technology

Fortinet Fabric-Ready Partner Spotlight: Q&A with Mykola Konrad Vice President, Product Management at Ribbon Communications

By Mykola Konrad | November 09, 2017

Fortinet spoke with Fabric-Ready Partner, Ribbon Communications to learn what’s top of mind for its customers, the key IT challenges they are facing, and how Ribbon Communications' approach to integrated security is helping drive business and customer success.

The Fortinet Fabric-Ready Partner Spotlight is a series of blogs that highlights the great work and achievements of Fortinet’s Fabric-Ready technical partners.

Tell us a bit about Ribbon’s business and the types of customers that you serve.

Ribbon is a company with two decades of leadership in real-time communications. Built on world class technology and intellectual property, Ribbon delivers intelligent, secure, embedded real-time communications for today’s world. The company transforms fixed, mobile and enterprise networks from legacy environments to secure IP and cloud-based architectures, enabling highly productive communications for consumers and businesses. With locations in 28 countries around the globe, Ribbon’s innovative, market-leading portfolio empowers service providers and enterprises with rapid service creation in a fully virtualized environment. The company’s Kandy Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) delivers a comprehensive set of advanced embedded communications capabilities that enables this transformation. To learn more visit

What is the top IT challenge or concern that your customers face today?

Every day, Ribbon helps its customers with the challenges of intelligent session control and interworking for disparate network infrastructures to ensure a reliable communication experience. However, one of the top challenge we see today is protecting and securing real-time communications.

Attacks against real-time communications (RTC) are some of the fastest growing and most misunderstood threats organizations face today. Our customers are adopting IP-based voice, video and instant messaging services as they come to the peak of their digital transformation journey. And some of those services, like voice, have never operated over IP before, meaning there is a new IP application that organizations must protect. Beyond that, RTC is now a wide-open window in and out of the core network supporting voice, video and file transfer. So, it’s not just a matter of protecting what gets onto the network, but what leaves the network as well.

Ribbon recently joined Fortinet’s Fabric-Ready Partner Program. Can you share a bit about your history of working with Fortinet and why being an alliance partner in our program is important for your business and customers?

Network consolidation, new models for embedding communications into applications, and the move to cloud-based architectures have blurred the lines between real-time communications and data-based services. These trends, coupled with a zero-trust security posture, mandate that every application must be secured on the network.

Earlier this year, Ribbon announced an initiative that combines the capabilities of Ribbon SBCs and industry-leading firewalls, such as the FortiGate next-generation firewall, to provide a truly unified security perimeter for enterprises. The initiative addresses the growing need for enterprises to secure both IP-based data and SIP-based real-time communications in a cohesive, consistent manner as they migrate to UC.

Our partnership with Fortinet is another important milestone in our strategic vision to elevate real-time communications security and help customers stem the rising tide of ransomware, DDoS, and other network attacks. Ribbon is excited to be the first Fortinet program partner whose focus is on security for SIP-based communications and looks forward to improving threat intelligence sharing between SIP and data communications.

Are you seeing a shift in IT or cybersecurity buying criteria from your customers for solutions that are by nature more open, automated and able to interoperate with their existing infrastructure?

Simply put, yes. Under the current UC security perimeter arrangement, firewalls, SBCs, and other network devices work independently and separately to address data and real-time communications traffic. This can lead to major security vulnerabilities with RTC, especially when SBC are not present. By distributing threat intelligence policies across the communications network, enterprises and service providers can close the security gaps exposed by RTC. Distributed security policies between Ribbon’s SBCs and Fortinet’s next-generation firewalls can stop malicious users at the edge of the network and enable organizations to have a more effective and holistic security methodology across converged shared data/communications network.

Instead of starting over, security leaders should work to monetize what is already in their network. By taking stock of solutions that already exist across the network, they can set a plan to improve utilization of those solutions to ultimately drive more value from what they already have through contextual collaboration.

In an industry where continued technology innovation is a business driver imperative, how do competition and open collaboration across multi-vendor ecosystems, like Fortinet’s Fabric-Ready Program, give you a leg up to deliver what your customers demand today and into the future?

The ability to share contextual network intelligence in real time across network devices helps to unify the security perimeter and prevent attacks from slipping through network defenses. Through the program, Ribbon and Fortinet will work together to validate and integrate end-to-end security solutions that protect against both data and real-time communications threats. This collaboration provides customers with a pre-validated solution from Ribbon, Fortinet, and other technology partners. This integration will assure faster time-to-deployment and fewer technical support requirements, helping customers worry less about security and focus more on growing their business.


For more information, download our paper and learn about the top threats that enterprise security leaders are being forced to address and the security approaches to evaluate to protect against them.