Movers and Shakers Interview with Mr. Rajesh Maurya- Regional Director, India & SAARC at Fortinet Inc.

Published: 1 Jul 2016

Rajesh Maurya has a rich experience of 19 years in Information Technology and has held various positions in Business Planning, Sales, Marketing, Channel Management as well as Team Management with various organizations in Information Security, Network Management, andIT Consulting. Mr. Maurya has been with Fortinet since 2004 and is now heading SAARC as the Regional Director. He has driven Fortinet's aggressive growth plan in the region, through market penetration and the expansion of the channel network. He has also been instrumental in expanding Fortinet's operations in India by adding more services to its wide range of security solution offering. Before joining Fortinet, Mr. Maurya worked with Sify and Microland. He Holds a MCS and a Graduation degree in Economic and Financial Accounting.

Parminder Kaur Saini (PKS), Industry Manager for ICT Group had the opportunity to conduct a Movers and Shakers interview with Mr. Rajesh Maurya, Regional Director, India and SAARC, Fortinet Inc. The Company recently won the 2016 Frost & Sullivan Network Security Vendor of the Year Award in India.

Fortinet (NASDAQ: FTNT) secures the largest enterprise, service provider, and government organizations around the world. Fortinet empowers its customers with intelligent, seamless protection across the expanding attack surface, and the power to take on ever-increasing performance requirements of the borderless network — today and into the future.

Given that Fortinet had an exceptionally strong year in 2015, how do you plan to move on from here?

Fortinet has specific solutions for BFSI, Retail, Healthcare, Education, Government, and Service Providers and our strategy is to increase our market share in every vertical. We will be hiring domain specialists for every vertical to share expertise with customers to help them deploy the right Fortinet solutions that will best fit their business needs.

Proof-of-Concept centers at Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, and Delhi will showcase our technologies for customers to evaluate the performance of our solutions in real environments. These centers will also provide advanced training to customers.

We have plans to expand our Technical Assistance Team (TAC) in India which provides Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 of phone support along with overseeing Professional Services to ensure expert and timely deployment of projects. Shortly after expansion, the India team will start servicing customers in other countries.

The Fortinet Innovation Center in Bangalore is our largest R&D center outside The United States of America We will add more researchers to our current team of 150 Wi-Fi and networking experts who have influenced Wi-Fi standards, generated many patents and also have been pivotal in developing Enterprise / Infrastructure Wi-Fi solutions for Fortinet.

What is the “X–factor” that provides Fortinet a competitive edge over others?

With Fortinet, organizations can securely build and grow their IT security infrastructure so that it remains in line with their evolving business requirements and the changing threat landscape.

Fortinet Security Solution is able to provide global protection of the network — from wired / wireless networks, devices and messaging systems to web applications, databases, and virtual compute environments. Physical and virtual appliances provide the flexibility to match security and ensure overall security posture in the enterprise's Software Defined Datacenter and the cloud. Single pane of glass management and centralized analysis ensure higher visibility and consistent policy creation and enforcement while minimizing deployment and configuration challenges.

Fortinet's global organization is capable of delivering products, people, and services wherever they are required. Fortinet's technical organization ensures customers' requirements are met throughout the pre and post-sales lifecycles, maximizing network availability and reliability.

Fortinet's solutions are engineered to meet the stringent requirements of the Service Provider / Carrier market, which means we can uniquely meet any need – no matter how complex – of large global enterprises.  More than 270,000 customers, including some of the largest brands in the world, trust Fortinet to secure their most valuable assets.

Fortinet launched several security products in 2015. How do you see them performing in the Indian market?

Fortinet has had an exceptionally strong year in 2015 that reflects our ability to execute in a strong security market. The revenue growth in India was the highest since we started operations a decade ago and is further evidence that our investment strategy in customer support, professional services, partner enablement, and training are paying off. In India, we added over 2,000 customers to our existing base of over 15,000 customers, which includes most of the leading Indian enterprises, nationalized banks, all major Telecom Service Providers, and PSUs.

Our performance was driven by the combination of our customer focus and strong competitive technology positioning, return on our sales and marketing investments, momentum with our partners and our ability to land new customers as well as expand within our existing accounts.

With cyber security remaining at the forefront of enterprise IT priorities, most of our technologies saw a wide adaptation among customers. Fortinet's Advance Technology solutions like DDoS Protection, Advance Threat Protection Solution, and Web Application Firewall saw a high demand and registered a growth of 55% over the previous year. Fortinet's market opportunity and competitive advantage is significant going forward. Our investments have helped lay the foundation for our future growth, increasing profitability as we continue to scale Fortinet into a multi-billion dollar business. We are well-positioned to benefit from secular tail winds such as security product consolidation, network segmentation, and cloud with our end-to-end security fabric. Additionally, we have embarked on a new FortiGate product refresh cycle with our FortiASIC CP9 chipset, which further strengthens our performance lead and competitive advantage.

How different would be your approach in strategizing the GTM for FortiGate and non-FortiGate security solutions?

Today's digital economy connects more users, devices, applications, and data than ever before to drive business value. Billions of new IP-enabled, non-user IoT devices are transmitting vast amounts of data traversing wired and wireless access points, through both public and private networks, and across traditional and cloud infrastructures. To successfully compete in this new digital economy, organizations need to implement a tightly coordinated security strategy that can see and govern this data across an entire borderless network without compromising agility or performance.

Fortinet's Security Fabric is an integrated, collaborative, and adaptive architecture designed to deliver distributed security for global enterprises providing protections against threats from IoT and remote devices, through the infrastructure core, and into the cloud.

FortiGate and Advance Technology Solutions are intelligently unified within Fortinet's Security Fabric through FortiOS. This enables the individual components to act and respond as one – all managed through a single pane of glass and leveraging a single source of security updates. These advanced and intuitive capabilities arm IT with universal visibility and control over IoT devices and how they interact with critical enterprise networks.

What are the some of the India-specific trends that is driving the demand for Network Security Solutions?

During the past 20 years or so, Indian business have made transformational changes or created entirely new business models through the use of technology that weren't even imaginable before. Technology has turned business on its head – the finished product was no longer the most important piece of the puzzle. It has been replaced by information – mountains of data that can be analyzed over and over again by the enterprise to drive business forward. Datacenters and websites have been transformed from cost centers into critical business assets. But a robust and secure network is required to make all of this work driving the demand for security solutions.

Added to this, today's enterprise environment is evolving and dynamic, driven largely by mobility, cloud services, encrypted communications, and more. This introduces new complexities creating a need to ensure the proper degree of security coverage to protect users, systems, and data.

Most importantly, Digital India, Smart Cities, and e-Governance are major drivers for security business creating the need to secure the New Digital Economy right from IoT to the cloud.

Is there any specific industry vertical or sub-market, which is under-exploited by the network security industry, you think can be a potential revenue pocket for the company?

Critical infrastructure industries in particular, such as utilities and natural resource producers, together with the communities and economies they serve, face not only particularly damaging outcomes from cyber security attacks, but also need to deal with significant complexity due to the scale of their operations. Solving ICS (industrial control systems) security issues requires a solution that unifies the best of current OT network security capabilities with an extensive understanding of ICS processes and protocols.

The machines and technology used to manage and run hydropower dams, oil and gas companies, and other infrastructures were never designed to be connected to remote or public networks. As these systems were isolated and physical access was often restricted, information security has never been accorded the highest priority.

Fortinet's rugged and outdoor products are industrially hardened appliances that deliver enterprise-class connectivity and security for critical control systems facing malicious attacks, as well as extreme weather and other demanding physical environments.

The Managed Security Services (MSS) space is the fastest growing among all security buckets in cyber security. How do you fit yourself in the MSS space in India? Do you look to improvise on providing network security through the cloud by partnering with the prominent MSS providers?

In India, Fortinet is creating an ecosystem with datacenter service providers and managed security service providers (MSSP) to give customers a broad choice of solutions for protecting their infrastructures. Fortinet's products empower MSSP with best-of-breed and adaptive security that fits any environment − SME, enterprise, datacenter or service provider networks. Our FortiGate network security platforms make up the backbone of managed security service providers' security portfolios − providing multiple advanced security controls in a single high performance appliance. MSSP, by partnering with Fortinet, can leverage our growing suite of emerging security products, to increase recurring revenue streams and grow their subscriber base while controlling costs and improving service efficiencies.

NxtGen Taps Fortinet to Secure its Enterprise Cloud and Datacenter Customers

NxtGen Datacenter and Cloud Technologies, one of India's leading providers of datacenter and enterprise cloud services, has deployed Fortinet's network security platforms to provide high-speed managed security services to businesses in the country.

The Fortinet deployment enables NxtGen to offer customizable cloud security services that gives customers the flexibility to set up firewall preferences of their choice. Their enterprise cloud services also provide gateway level advance threat protection with traffic scanning and reporting.

Sify Technologies Partners with Fortinet to provide Security Services on its entire range of IaaS offerings

Sify partners with Fortinet to provide on-demand security solution to their cloud computing customers and its Clean Connect service. The services are designed to guarantee secure bandwidth and clean connectivity to their enterprise customers. Fortinet's end-to-end virtualization functionality enables Sify to provision security resources, on demand, from a shared appliance while providing an unmatched range of security services quickly and easily to its customers.

Netmagic expands Managed Security Services portfolio with Fortinet's Solutions

Fortinet's FortiGate® security platform is being offered as part of Netmagic's comprehensive Managed Security Services portfolio to enterprises across the large, medium, and small enterprises in India. Fortinet's FortiGate appliances provide enterprise-class protection against network, content, and application-level threats. They give Netmagic an integrated security platform hosting the full range of security functions, including application firewall, VPN, Web filtering, IPS, antivirus, and antispam. In properly planned and sized networks and appliances, these features can be turned on without degradation of firewall performance.
At a global level, Fortinet partners with companies like Amazon Web Services, NTT Com, and Capgemini, to name a few, to help reduce customer cybersecurity costs and increased the resilience of clients' infrastructure and applications.

We understand that you have been doing well in the network security segment in India. However, could you please throw some light on the challenges that you, as a company, face here in executing your strategies?

Low awareness of network security issues:
To date, the majority of Indian enterprise security investments have focused on prevention with relatively limited introduction of detection and mitigation components. There is a need to educate customers on the importance of Advance Threat Protection Solutions to detect and mitigate advance threats. Most of the customers have a basic firewall, which they think is adequate to protect their networks. When we look at major threats, we see a common theme — low awareness among customers and lack of training. Additionally, the heightened risks associated with wireless networks and mobile devices require IT managers across Indian enterprises to take preventive measures to safeguard their business-critical data.

At Fortinet, one of the first steps with a customer is to educate them and help them identify what data is truly valuable to their organization and then draw a security framework they will need to protect their entire business.

Limited Security Budgets:

Many Indian organizations have limited security budgets to implement complete secure access architecture. With limited budgets, implementing gateway firewalls or wireless security will still not be good enough in today's scenario when they need advance solutions like Sandboxing, DDoS Protection or an Internal Segmentation Firewall.

Fortinet in India is helping customers to move toward a cohesive security solution that leverages integration, automation, and a common intelligence hub to close security gaps and to make cost and effort manageable for the average organization.

Lastly, what is your company's overall objective and strategic intent in the Network Security market place?

Fortinet's mission is to deliver the most innovative, highest performing network security platform to secure and simplify enterprises' IT infrastructure.

We deliver advanced and effective security together with maximum network throughput and performance by making sure that the network's security layer is fully integrated into the network infrastructure layer, eliminating the gaps, and handoffs that traditionally existed between them. This is done with a platform that has been purpose-built to perform both functions – FortiGate, FortiOS, and FortiASIC.

Our FortiGate enterprise firewalls are complemented by a range of solutions to deal with security in the branch to the datacenter to the cloud; end point protection for the desktop, mobile and wireless devices, and specific solutions for different applications in the network, web or email, so that our customers enjoy seamless, end-to-end protection. To ensure that the solution is able to provide protection through the threat lifecycle, all of the elements of the solution rely on the continuous and automatic updates provided by FortiGuard Labs, ensuring their continued security efficacy into the future.

All of this provides protection that is both from the outside in and the inside out. We will continue to leverage our market leading technology, large channel ecosystem, and outstanding service / support capabilities to make Fortinet the No. 1 network security vendor globally by 2020.

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