Business & Technology

Q&A with Bob Fortna President of Fortinet Federal Inc

By Shelly Scarpelli | December 04, 2017

Bob Fortna joined Fortinet as president of Fortinet Federal Inc. We sat down with Bob to get his perspective on his new role and learn about what he envisions for Fortinet in supporting Federal agencies and partners.

As the Fortinet Federal Inc. leader, what do you see as the company’s role as a Federal agency partner?

As prime targets for the most sophisticated adversaries seeking to impact national security, public safety, and civilian services, Federal Government agencies require the most comprehensive and ironclad cybersecurity available.  At the same time, they must work within mandated budget constraints, incorporate advancing technology, and remain open to interfacing with the citizens they serve. 

Fortinet is well positioned to help meet these demands. As a leading provider of cybersecurity solutions in the financial and manufacturing industries, Fortinet brings a wealth of technical know-how and best practices, along with its highly-rated products, to U.S. Federal agencies. In addition, our extensive Fabric-Ready alliance partners, including major networking, cybersecurity, and cloud-services providers, offer customers comprehensive solutions to meet their modernization objectives.

In addition, earlier this year we announced Fortinet Federal, Inc., a subsidiary of Fortinet, Inc., with a newly formed dedicated Federal Board of Directors, further expanding the company’s strategic commitment to the public sector.

Can you elaborate on how Fortinet and its partners support Federal requirements?

In addition to cybersecurity initiatives, IT modernization, data center optimization, and cloud migration are among the major technology challenges facing Federal professionals. Unlike many security tools, Fortinet solutions operate across the entire IT domain to support agency efforts to meet mission requirements and overcome the challenges of evolving their technology infrastructures in an integrated and consistent manner. From the data center to the edge, and through internal network segments, Fortinet has security covered for both classified and unclassified networks. Our portfolio of security products combat known and zero-day threats across multiple attack surfaces, keeping agency information assets safe while adhering to Federal standards.

A foundational element of our portfolio of offerings for Federal agencies is our Fortinet Security Fabric.  The Fortinet Security Fabric is architected to scale and adapt to the unique and complex security requirements of Federal entities and critical infrastructure sectors, and includes automated policy enforcement for regulatory and compliance mandates.

Fortinet’s solutions are on the NSA Commercial Solutions for Classified (CSfC) approved vendors list and are currently being used to protect both classified and unclassified Federal systems. Additionally, Fortinet is certified under relevant Federal certification programs focused on information assurance, including Common Criteria, FIPS 140-2, and JITC APL.

With Your Recent Outside Perspective, Why Should Federal Agencies Choose Fortinet Federal Inc.?

The Fortinet Security Fabric is a seamless architectural approach to security that has been designed to connect security components together into a unified, future-proof solution. It is able to dynamically adapt to shifting infrastructure and performance requirements to deliver an automated, powerful, and integrated security architecture at speed and scale for important agency missions, combined with comprehensive visibility and unified control across even the most complex and highly distributed network environments. When I speak with my agency contacts, this value proposition is welcomed over and over again.

How can Fortinet help Federal agencies fortify their security postures?

Detecting, preventing, and mitigating external and insider threats, as well as zero-day attacks remain among the highest priorities for government IT professionals.  In the Federal Sector, our mission is to ensure that Fortinet’s cybersecurity innovation keeps pace with the complex and critical security requirements placed on Federal agencies and offer solutions that can be applied within the framework of legacy environments.  This mission is enabled through building on our long-standing relationship with Federal agencies and by collaborating with them to define and deliver leading security solutions engineered to address today’s most sophisticated threat landscape. 

We also set priorities with Fortinet Federal’s Board of Directors, which is comprised of recognized former senior government, national, and global intelligence and cybersecurity leaders. They provide guidance and advise the Fortinet Federal Inc. team on evolving security challenges and government technology requirements.  The Board helps the sector achieve the independence and specialization required to meet Federal Government program objectives, while leveraging the significant expertise and support of the full Fortinet workforce.

Of immediate interest, Fortinet is particularly qualified to help agencies meet the new requirement to improve their email security, as specified in the Binding Operational Directive (BOD-18-01) issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  The DHS objective is to enforce strong cyber hygiene through the implementation of email protocols for encryption and authentication.  To meet this mandate, the Fortinet Secure Email Gateway (SEG) offers agencies a path to compliance with the DHS directive quickly and seamlessly.  Detailed information about this timely, affordable, and compatible solution is available here.

What is Fortinet’s role in the DHS CDM and GSA EIS Programs?

Fortinet Federal Inc. participates in these programs with industry-leading, third-party-validated solutions.  We work closely with prime contractors to ensure that the solutions they offer can incorporate our newest, most innovative technology.  Our technical experts also are available to help agencies meet the daunting challenge of selecting a partner with solutions that are best tailored to their specific agency mandate and technology needs.

Read more about Fortinet Federal Inc. or the Fortinet Federal Board of Directors