Fortinet Acquires Cybersecurity Automation Platform CyerSponse for SOAR Capabilities

With the rise of cloud-based technology, smart devices, and decentralized workforces – cybersecurity has become an increasingly complex challenge for companies to manage. The net must be cast wider and further than ever before to properly protect the data and systems being accessed by users on their smartphones, tablets, and laptop computers.

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A shortage of qualified cybersecurity talent has left many IT teams in the lurch when it comes to securing their systems. Enter automated software options like SOAR (security orchestration automation and response) and SIEM (security information and event management) – these solutions automate the collection of data and assist with detection and response to threats posed by bad actors using technology like machine learning. These applications help security teams keep up with demand without sacrificing staff hours to sift through mountains of information.

Companies like CyberSponse, a provider of a SOAR security platform, are springing up in response to growing demand for greater visibility into more complex network environments. The platform helps teams with threat and vulnerability management, incident response, and operations automation for workflows, processes, policy execution, and reporting. The small startup was recently snapped up by American multinational cybersecurity firm Fortinet to augment its product line.

“The growing number of security tools being deployed by enterprises have introduced operational complexities that make organizations more vulnerable to breaches,” said Ken Xie, co-founder and CEO of Fortinet. “With the integration of CyberSponse’s powerful SOAR platform into the Fortinet Security Fabric, we will offer customers accelerated incident response and the ability to standardize and scale processes that will enhance security posture and reduce business risk and associated costs.”

SOAR and SIEM services represent a small but rapidly developing segment of the cybersecurity market. It’s expected to generate more than two billion dollars in revenue within the next five years, and big businesses are taking notice. Fortinet’s decision to acquire CyberSponse was savvy one, according to Nicholas Rossolillo, founder and president of Concinnus Financial. It falls in line with the company's growth strategy and was likely purchased for a reasonable price, given that it was a smaller shop.

“This is an ideal match. CyberSponse’s mission has always been to make security operations management effortless and effective with innovative yet disruptive technology,” said founder and CEO of CyberSponse, John Loomis, of the deal with Fortinet. “The combined powerhouse Fortinet’s Security Fabric and CyberSponse’s SOAR technology will ensure customers are protected by the most sophisticated global security operations platform that includes hundreds of integrations enabling streamlined out-of-the-box playbook execution.”

Fortinet stands apart from many of its cybersecurity competitors that have been forced to spend big money on buying small cloud-based startups to stay ahead in a rapidly changing industry. The firm has been able to keep much of its innovation in-house, and revenues rose a respectable 19 percent compared to the same time frame last year. Combined with its conservative approach to managing expenses, Fortinet's earnings per share were up 41 percent this year. Consequently, the Silicon Valley-based company is well-positioned to serve both its clients and its investors in the future.

“Organizations are still looking for advanced incident response capabilities that can help them be more efficient,” said Jon Oltsik, senior principal analyst with the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG). “To meet these goals, large organizations will gladly embrace a SOAR solution from Fortinet.”

Fortinet was founded in 2000 by Ken and Michael Xie, and currently secures some of the largest businesses, services providers and government agencies spanning the globe. They provide intelligent, streamlined protection across a broadening expanse of data and devices and are trusted by more than 425,000 customers to protect their businesses.