Collective Defense Key to Cybersecurity at Fortinet

By Sid Snitkin

Industry Trends

At the 25th ARC Industry Forum, Mr. Phil Quade, CISO at Fortinet, Said That Providing Collective Defense was Essential for Strong Cybersecurity

The 25th ARC Industry Forum saw many industry experts present their views on “Accelerating Digital Transformation in the Post-COVID World.”  One of the speakers Mr. Phil Quade, Chief Information Security Officer at Fortinet, spoke with Sid Snitkin, Vice President, Cybersecurity Services at ARC Advisory Group. Here are a few key takeaways from the interview. The video of the interview can be found here.



Cybersecurity at Fortinet

In this interview, Mr. Quade mentioned that Fortinet’s value-add to the cybersecurity domain is that it is optimized around the fundamentals of the cyber domain. Fortinet has created products that work well in the Cloud, in the Core, or at the Edge but importantly products and capabilities that integrate and connect to each other across the Cloud, Core, and Edge to provide collective defense, which is stronger than individual defense, to customers.

Mr. Quade also talked about the challenges customers experienced regarding the cybersecurity implications of remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic. He noted how this demonstrated the importance of “agility” in the deployment of new technologies and solutions. Companies must be able to quickly surge in new directions and ingest new capabilities without disrupting current operations. And this is important to folks in both the operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) communities. 


Digital Transformation Observations

Mr. Quade noted how digital transformation is changing the focus of security issues. He sees a new environment emerging, which he calls “Cy-Phy” (for cyber-physical). While security domains have included core, cloud, and edge, for quite some time, the edge is getting much more interesting with all kinds of new IoT devices that control the physical world. He thinks this creates a great opportunity for OT people to help IT understand what is needed to protect cyber-physical devices and converge IT and OT cybersecurity efforts. 

How Have Cyberattacks Such as SUNBURST Affected Companies?

Mr. Quade said, “If there is something good that comes out of attacks such as the SUNBURST, it is that it put on the forefront in people’s minds the importance of supply chains. Businesses that heavily rely on OT are subject to some of the most severe attacks in relation to advance persistent threats (APTs). These businesses have to be prepared to prevent, detect, and remediate against APTs.”

Future of Cybersecurity

Mr. Quade thinks the future is in artificial intelligence (AI). Past “PowerPoint promises” are finally being realized in many areas and he noted that Fortinet has the foundation to build AI, with its cloud, core, and edge capabilities that ensure data integrity, availability, and privacy. Companies will need a cybersecurity architecture that is optimized around elements such as speed, low latency, and the ability to do collective defense, to enable true AI applications. 

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