Fortinet ramps up SASE prowess with Opaq buy

Fortinet ramps up SASE prowess with Opaq buy

Opaq has built a 100 per cent channel business, with its solutions designed to protect organisations’ distributed networks

Ken Xie, founder, chairman and CEO, Fortinet

Ken Xie, founder, chairman and CEO, Fortinet

Credit: Fortinet

Cyber security vendor Fortinet has acquired secure access service edge (SASE) cloud provider Opaq, with the start-up’s Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) cloud solution set to enhance the vendor’s existing SASE offering. 

Founded in 2017 and based in the US state of Virginia, Opaq has built a 100 per cent channel business, with its solutions designed to protect organisations’ distributed networks — from data centres, to branch offices, to remote users and internet of things (IoT) devices.

According to Fortinet, the combination of Opaq’s patented ZTNA solution with its existing Security Fabric platform creates a mix that enhances Fortinet’s existing SASE offering to form what it claims to be the “best-in-class SASE cloud security platform with the industry’s only true zero trust access and security”.

Indeed, integrated with Fortinet’s Security Fabric, Opaq SASE is touted to provide enterprise-grade security, deployed into a purpose-built private cloud with carrier-grade network performance.  

With a worldwide network of points of presence (POPs) and peering relationships, the combo sees customers benefit from a tailorable network fabric that provides low-latency access to users, devices and cloud services anywhere required.

Moreover, Fortinet claims its new Opaq offering will be particularly partner friendly, with the start-up’s platform purpose-built with partners in mind. In particular, it is designed to empower managed security service providers (MSSPs), carriers and high value-add partners to easily integrate the SASE multi-tenant platform into their own offering.

As such, partners have the potential to add value to business and government organisation customers with their existing network operations centre (NOC) and security operations centre (SOC) expertise and advanced professional services.

For Fortinet CEO, founder and chair Ken Xie, the acquisition comes at a moment that sees the market ripe for compelling solutions to protect organisations’ distributed networks.

“The recent SASE market momentum further validates our security-driven networking approach and underscores what we’ve been saying for years,” Xie said. “In this era of hyperconnectivity and expanding networks, with the network edge stretching across the entire digital infrastructure, networking and security must converge. 

“In fact the acquisition of Opaq actually further enhances our existing SASE offering enabling Fortinet to deliver the most complete SASE platform on the market. The Fortinet SASE platform delivers the broadest security and industry-leading SD-WAN and networking offerings that can all be delivered to customers and partners through a flexible, cost efficient and patented zero-trust cloud architecture,” he added.

The Opaq acquisition comes a handful of months after Fortinet moved to formally scrap its precious metal tier structure in an overhaul of its global partner program.

The network and content security vendor in March replaced its old tiers of Authorised, Silver, Gold and Platinum with Advocate, Select, Advanced and Expert for partners in Australia and New Zealand.

According to Fortinet, the new program — named Engage — aims to address partners’ engagement with customers and maintaining brand loyalty.

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