Business & Technology

With More Than 340 Patents and Counting, Fortinet’s Visionary Innovation is Driving the Evolution of Security

By Darren Turnbull | November 22, 2016

On this anniversary of Fortinet’s founding, we wanted to look at what’s behind the company’s ability to innovate and transform network security so consistently and on such a massive scale. From its beginnings, Fortinet’s goal has been to deliver broad, truly integrated, high-performance security across the IT infrastructure. To meet that goal, Fortinet has grown up with and encouraged a culture of innovation – it is truly built into the company’s DNA. But what sets Fortinet apart is not simply our ability to create innovative security solutions. It is our vision and ability to accurately predict what solutions will be needed to protect the network of the future and keep increasingly sophisticated attacks at bay.

To foster a culture of invention, Fortinet created a patent reward program open to all employees, along with specialists to help guide new applicants through the patent submission process. We encourage everyone to submit ideas for consideration. And in the true spirit of innovation, an impressive number of patent applications and awards have come from outside our engineering teams, or through collaboration between technical and non-technical staff members.

In addition to public recognition and the patent bounty, awardees have a plaque recognizing their achievement placed on our expansive patent wall. This program is a huge part of why Fortinet earlier this year reached an innovation milestone – more than 300 patents issued worldwide, with over 250 patent applications pending - a record among security vendors. Fortinet’s drive for innovation has certainly not slowed since then. By the end of Q3 2016 (September), the number of Fortinet patents issued had risen to 343, now with an astonishing 280 additional patents pending.

But it’s not just the large number of patents awarded that is so impressive. It’s also the breadth of technologies covered by these patent filings, including CASB, malware detection techniques, firewalls, load-balancing, data leak protection, virus detection, hardware acceleration, wireless LAN, wired LAN, DDoS, cloud services, and much more. Each patent represents a new and useful invention in cybersecurity, which reflects not only Fortinet’s innovation leadership, but also its technology vision.

There are a lot of companies out there working hard to respond to the security problems enterprises are facing right now, but in most cases these responses are reactionary, which means they are usually too late. What Fortinet has consistently done is anticipate the threats and vulnerabilities of the future, then begin building solutions before these threats even emerge – sometimes even years before. That is the definition of visionary innovation.

We are committed to delivering the best technology to support our customers. One way we do that is to listen to their challenges so we can help meet their rapidly evolving needs, and focus on getting ahead of where they need to go. Our development teams are then incented to build and enhance our solutions to address these requirements as quickly as possible.

Innovation is core to our mission of delivering security without compromise. Our patented and patent-pending solutions are designed to deliver open, integrated, and forward-looking security and networking technologies, which enable enterprises to dynamically and securely adapt to change.

Today, Fortinet’s Security Fabric allows organization to deploy a fully integrated security architecture utilizing a wide array of leading Fortinet and third-party security tools across their entire distributed, and increasingly mobile enterprise networks. This security fabric collects and shares threat intelligence, tightly coordinates and synchronizes responses to threats, provides centralized policy management and orchestration, and automatically delivers highly adaptive threat protection.

Ken Xie, CEO and Founder of Fortinet, recently summed up our innovation approach: “When we founded the company 16 years ago, we foresaw the move to IoT, BYOD, and the cloud,” Xie said. “Our strong foundation of innovation and unprecedented patent portfolio has enabled us to stay ahead of the ever-evolving threat landscape. We were the first to identify the internal segmentation trend two years ago, which is now gaining significant momentum in the market. Our Security Fabric uniquely positions us to address the security challenges faced by enterprise customers both today and tomorrow.”