Assessing Dynamic Business Environments with Remote Cyber Threat Assessments

By Jon Bove and Neil Matz | October 28, 2020

Organizations across industries are deploying security tools on their networks to combat cyber threats and limit the impact of successful attacks. As these networks grow in complexity, however, measuring the effectiveness of the security solutions in place has become increasingly difficult. As a result, many organizations continue to rely on outdated or disparate tools to ensure network security without recognizing that their network has become less secure. 

To help organizations see and address the risks posed by expanding networks and inadequate security measures, Fortinet launched the Cyber Threat Assessment Program (CTAP) in 2015. Conducting a cyber threat assessment allows partners to identify gaps within key areas such as security, productivity, and performance on a customer’s network. Once an assessment is complete, partners can then work together with a customer to improve their security posture and optimize their network.

And now, given the recent widespread shift to telework and the need to sometimes work with customers from a distance, Fortinet has introduced remote CTAPs to help partners provide continued guidance to customers even as their network environments evolve or adapt to new realities. Remote CTAPs give partners a way to deliver additional value to their customer base while also expanding sales opportunities, even as they temporarily move away from their traditional hands-on model of network management and security. As customers continue to streamline their networks, remote CTAPs put partners in a prime position to maintain their role as a trusted peer without the need for on-site engagements.

How the Switch to Remote Operations Has Impacted Interactions

In recent months, the operational climate for partners has shifted substantially. Tried and true sales interactions have been curtailed. Prospects are less likely to want to meet with partners in person to discuss opportunities due to current global conditions. And with restricted access to data centers and test labs, partners are currently facing similar challenges, making it difficult to carry out traditional integration validation or proof of concept work. 

These factors make it critical that partners emphasize immediate value when meeting with prospects. Partners must emphasize the need for essential services, as most customers are not willing to invest in non-essential services at the moment.

The Partner Opportunity Around Remote CTAPs

Partners need a new strategy in their toolkit to stay competitive. This is where remote CTAPs can be of use. By adopting an assessment-based selling model combined with flexible tools accessible from anywhere, partners are able to run critical assessments remotely, helping to build pipeline while continuing to offer tangible value to their customers. 

Remote CTAPs can also be used to augment ongoing discussions. Using assessment reports, partners can augment sales interactions with actionable insights and impactful findings. This approach helps partners position themselves as an essential service, thereby streamlining the sales process. 

Analyzing Fortinet’s Remote CTAP Capabilities 

To help differentiate partner capabilities from the competition, Fortinet offers three remote cyber threat assessments. Below is a breakdown of each remote assessment type and how they can be leveraged to enhance customer network operations. 


The CTAP for Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) helps partners better understand customer network usage by monitoring key indicators. Using a FortiGate-VM virtual appliance, partners can remotely deploy a virtual FortiGate inside their prospect’s network to monitor traffic and generate a report with findings. The report provides valuable insight into a prospect’s security posture, focusing on threat prevention, user productivity, and network productivity. Once finalized, partners can use this report to guide discussions around security investments with key decision-makers.

CTAP for Email

CTAP for Email focuses on identifying gaps in a prospect’s current secure email gateway or hosted email platform. Performed remotely, a CTAP for Email redirects a copy of the prospect’s cloud-based emails to a hosted FortiMail Cloud instance for analysis. Once the analysis is complete, an email risk assessment report is generated, highlighting security threats found within attachments and URLs, as well as impersonation analysis, newsletter/spam information, and email utilization metrics. 


Deploying a CTAP for SD-WAN gives partners increased visibility into a prospect’s router usage, helping them identify network bottlenecks. Similar to the CTAP for NGFW assessment, partners remotely deploy a FortiGate-VM virtual appliance within a prospect’s network to monitor traffic. The resulting report provides insight into business application usage, potential WAN cost reductions, and security readiness. This is especially beneficial for sales discussions with networking decision-makers as it demonstrates value, such as improving user experience via direct internet applications and other potential performance optimizations. 

Final Thoughts on Remote CTAPs

Remote cyber threat assessments present partners with a new opportunity to demonstrate value to customers while maintaining safe business practices. The ability to monitor security and performance from remote locations plays an important role in strengthening and maintaining the customer/partner relationship in lieu of traditional sales interactions. By providing remote CTAPs, partners can continue to demonstrate value and efficiently interact with customers while expanding their sales pipeline. 

Learn more about how to leverage remote CTAPs to grow your business here.

Current partners can visit the Partner Portal to find important updates from Fortinet and our partner program.