Fortinet and IBM expand strategic partnership

“Working Together to Address Today’s Digital Transformation Challenges” – Fortinet Security Fabric partners with IBM X-Force Threat Management Services

Earlier this month, Fortinet announced that it will be partnering with IBM’s X-Force Threat Management Services to offer an integrated and co-ordinated threat management platform.

The platform (‘XFTM’) will combine IBM personnel and solutions with Fortinet’s security suite to deliver “a true security transformation strategy”. One major problem for cybersecurity professionals is the difficulty of seamlessly integrating solutions in a complex multi-vendor environment, with visibility also posing a problem as analysts struggle with multiple threat reporting dashboards. Both Fortinet and IBM stress the platform’s unified approach, which IBM claims will “manage complexity by streamlining fragmented approaches”.

The partnership between Fortinet and IBM is not a new development, with the companies having enjoyed a strong strategic relationship over the years – for example, they also combined forces in September of last year to offer cloud security services.

XFTM also integrates solutions from other partners, including Carbon Black and Cisco, as well as incorporating IBM Watson’s AI capabilities, behavioural analytics, and IBM Resilient’s intelligent incident response program. ‘Managing complexity’ continues to be a theme – another key selling point of the platform is its use of machine learning to analyse and identify threats across attack surfaces, and respond automatically without requiring human intervention, allowing human analysts to focus on more complex tasks.

Although security stacks are getting larger and larger – a 2017 survey conducted by Cisco found that most organisations use anywhere between six and fifty separate products – many are still reluctant to entrust their security to an MSSP. Are platforms like XFTM the answer to reducing the problem of integration and simplifying visibility for analysts? Or will CISOs continue to judge high-maintenance but also highly customisable security environments worth the effort?

B2B media executive with an unusually broad and international range of experience in both the editorial and commercial aspects of publishing, social media and events. I write a range of content types on technical subjects in wholesale finance and IT and have interviewed senior figures from the public and private sector globally for many years.

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