Fortinet Unveils Security Update Feature

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Fortinet, a maker of ASIC-based security appliances, Monday unveiled a new antivirus push-update capability.

With the new capability, all of its network-based FortiGate antivirus/firewall devices can now receive antivirus and intrusion-detection push updates from the FortiResponse Distribution Network, the company said.

The capability, delivered via an upgrade to the FortiOS firmware, protects networks from attacks without waiting for an administrator to request an update, company executives said. Equipped with the update feature, FortiGate provides better protection than software-based antivirus products, they said.

To effectively block attacks, updates must be in realtime, said Ken Xie, president and CEO of Fortinet, based here. The FortiResponse Distribution Network, which operates continuously worldwide, will provide protection within minutes of a new virus, said James Liu, director of product management.

Solution providers can earn recurring revenue by selling the update service, Xie said. The company has about 100 solution providers in the United States and is aggressively recruiting more, he said. Fortinet hopes to have between 300 and 400 VARs by the end of this year.

James Shen, president of Fine Tec, a solution provider based in San Jose, Calif., said his clients welcome the ability to receive automatic antivirus and intrusion-detection updates.

"The push-update feature leaves the decision to the customer to decide when and how to get the database updated," he said.

Also, it blocks viruses or intruders from getting into the network if an administrator hasn't acted quickly enough to manually update a system, he said. Other solutions require manual updates, he said.

Pricing for the push-update service is included in a Fortinet support/maintenance contract, which is based on a percentage of the customer installation of the FortiGate devices. For customers without a support contract that upgrade to the new firmware, the update service will be turned on for 90 days and require a subscription fee for continuation after that period.

Pricing for the FortiGate product line ranges from $695 to $19,995.

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