Fortinet acquires Bradford Networks, adds machine learning to FortiWeb WAF


Fortinet has announced that it has acquired Bradford Networks, a network security provider, as well as brought machine learning to its FortiWeb Web Application Firewall (WAF) software 6.0.

Fortinet had quite a few interesting announcements recently, including the new Fabric Connectors, which bring security automation and DevOps in most complex multi-vendor ecosystems by both unifying and easing security and management, and more; acquiring Bradford Networks, a company founded in 1999 which has both been working with Fortinet and catering to some rather important customer in manufacturing, government, retail and technology; as well as adding AI-based Machine Learning for Advanced Threat Detection to its FortiWeb Web Application Firewall (WAS) software 6.0.

The acquiring of Bradford Networks will definitely strengthen Fortinet’s IoT security offering, at least according to John Maddison, SVP of Products and Solutions at Fortinet.

“Our goal is to build a Security Fabric from IoT all the way into the cloud,” Maddison said. “We have good visibility at the access point, switching and gateways, but we also have a lot of devices where we didn’t have a mechanism to identify them. Bradford Networks really allows us to focus in on the NAC marketplace and also IoT security. It brings those two markets together, and it gives us that extra visibility on the end points without having to put devices on every single endpoint.”

Ken Xie, Founder, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer at Fortinet, added that “As large organizations continue to see high growth in network traffic and the number of devices and users accessing their networks, the risk of breach increases exponentially. According to a recent Forrester study, 82 percent of companies surveyed are unable to even identify all devices accessing their networks. The integration of Bradford Networks’ technology with Fortinet’s security fabric enables large enterprises with the continuous visibility, micro-segmentation, and access control technology they need to contain threats and block untrusted devices from accessing the network.”

According to Fortinet, the acquisition will enhance the Fortinet Security Fabric by converging access control and IoT security solutions to provide large enterprise with broader visibility and security for their complex networks by enhancing IoT  security, give complete, continuous and agentless visibility of endpoints, users, trusted and untrusted devices and applications accessing the network, give accurate event triage and threat containment as well as provide easy and cost-effective deployment.

The Ai-based machine learning for FortiWeb WAF will bring several improvements and allow the software to use machine learning for behavioral-based threat detection in web applications. The FortiWeb WAF is available in hardware and as a software-as-a-service (SaaS), as well as in a virtual setting for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and soon Google Cloud.

The Web Application Firewall (WAF) market is definitely growing so it does not come as a surprise that Fortinet wants to strengthen its position in this market.

You can check out more about Fortinet’s new FortiWeb Web Application Firewall (WAF) software 6.0 over on Fortinet’s dedicated blog.


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Slobodan Simic is foremost an IT enthusiast who discovered his knack for writing, which lead to becoming both an IT journalist and later an Editor for a number of publications. He has been covering anything from the consumer- and professional-oriented hardware to software markets and networks. With a focus on chasing down leads, making sure that fresh content is ready for publishing, as well as keeping up with the evergrowing and evolving IT world, writing has become more of his passion rather than just a job.