Fortinet in a fortified position in APAC, says its regional chief
By Benjamin Cher June 14, 2016
- 30% year-on-year growth from Asia Pacific alone
- Region a hotbed of mobile malware and ransomware
US-headquartered cybersecurity firm Fortinet Inc believes that it is in a good position in Asia Pacific, thanks to what it calls its ‘security fabric’ outlook, among other factors.
“Fortinet is in a position that a lot of our competitors want to be in,” its Asia Pacific vice president George Chang told Digital News Asia (DNA) in Singapore.
This is thanks to the story that Fortinet is bringing, where it pieces together different security components, he declared. “The Fortinet story is a security fabric story; everything is pieced together with different security components.”
The company’s business growth reflects that as well – its Asia Pacific business has been growing 30% year-on-year, according to Chang, without giving actual figures.
“If you compare us with our competitors, our business has been growing steadily at a high rate; we have been acquiring a lot of new brands and logos as well as customers,” he said.
A lot of this revenue is being generated by the telco vertical, but Chang said Fortinet also has a strong presence in the large and small and medium enterprise (SME) space.
This has translated into Fortinet being named one of the Asia Pacific market leaders last year by research firm Frost & Sullivan.
“As per Frost & Sullivan’s 2015 figures, we are the market leader in a lot of countries in the Asia Pacific region,” said Chang. “We are in the top three across Asia Pacific.”
Fortinet’s strategy for the region includes a continued focus on its channel tier model.
“Enabling channel development plays a big part for us; we have a strong pool of authorised reseller channels in the region,” said Chang (pic).
“We have been deep-diving into accounts and investing in sales teams to go after global accounts, and this has been working well for us,” he added.
Research plays a key role in this strategy, with Fortinet looking to increase the size of its team in this area, which includes beefing up the number of consultants and Fortiguard threat analysis team members.
Over the past two years, it has increased the number of threat analysts from three to 15, according to Chang, and will be looking to further boost this headcount.
“The reason is simple: Threats come from everywhere, but most of the time vendors only report on threats from the United States.
“But hey, a lot of threats come from here [Asia Pacific], so we are putting localised people in the region to understand the threats much faster, which helps our customers,” he added.
Riding on rising threats
But Fortinet’s growth in the region is not solely due to it pulling itself up by its britches. Within this growth lies an inescapable truth: Cyberthreats are on the rise.
There has been an explosion in mobile malware, according to Fortinet global security strategist Derek Manky (pic).
“From the first quarter (Q1) of 2015 to Q1 2016, just in terms of the number of malware families we have observed through Fortiguard Intelligence, there has been a 541% growth – from 22,000 to 145,000,” he said.
Ransomware is also a concern, according to Manky.
“In Asia Pacific, the CryptoWall [ransomware] is very strong, with a 390% growth from Q1 2015 to Q1 2016 – 72% of all global CryptoWall activity,” he said.
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