Fortinet Dives Into SIEM Market With $28M Acquisition Of AccelOps

Fortinet is making its first significant foray into the SIEM market, the security vendor revealed Tuesday, with a $28 million acquisition of AccelOps.

AccelOps, based in Santa Clara, Calif., offers what it calls a next-generation security information and event management solution, which incorporates event management with response automation, external threat intelligence streams and analytics capabilities around intelligence and behavioral data. The company also offers security operations center and network operations center capabilities. It is located in the "niche" category on market researcher Gartner's 2015 Magic Quadrant for SIEM solutions.

Fortinet paid around $28 million in cash for the company, according to an 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday. Fortinet can pay up to $4 million in additional cash for AccelOps, contingent upon future performance, the filing said, though it did not specify under what conditions.

[Related: CRN Exclusive: Fortinet CEO Sounds Off On CMO Exit, Talks Future Marketing Vision And Product Strategy]

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The plan is to relaunch the AccelOps solution as FortiSIEM and integrate it into Fortinet's new Security Fabric strategy, John Maddison, senior vice president of products and solutions, said in an interview with CRN. The Security Fabric strategy, launched in April of this year, looks to bring the Fortinet products together into a single architecture.

"[Partners] don't want to go in and sell a point solution anymore. … They want to sell that solution set and reference architecture and best security architecture possible. That's what they've been asking for and what we're starting to give them," Maddison said.

The AccelOps solution will allow Fortinet to correlate visibility and threat intelligence to all corners of its network security ecosystem, as well as extend it to third-party vendor solutions, he said. That includes competitive solutions, he said.

"From our partners' perspective, this is another capability in the wide range of products in the Fortinet portfolio," Maddison said.

Maddison said Fortinet will also add network operations capabilities as part of the acquisition, allowing it to automate some support services and launch what it will call FortiCare360 Support, a new subscription service for security and performance audits.

Maddison said Fortinet chose AccelOps as an acquisition target because of its product, which he said is extremely scalable and matched the Fortinet portfolio from a flexibility perspective. AccelOps has about 60 employees, most of whom will be joining the Fortinet team, he said. He said Fortinet will definitely maintain all sales and engineering staff and will likely move them to the main Fortinet office in Sunnyvale, Calif.

Justin Kallhoff, CEO of Infogressive, a Lincoln, Neb.-based Fortinet partner, said the AccelOps acquisition fills a clear void in the security vendor's portfolio, and added that he wished that Fortinet had moved faster to fill that space instead of trying to build its own solution.

"I'm glad Fortinet did an acquisition in that space," Kallhoff said.

Maddison said Fortinet will be investing in training resources for partners to help them build solutions around the FortiSIEM offering. He said partners can expect a SIEM solution set within the next six months.

Fortinet also plans to build on the third-party vendors that connect into the FortiSIEM solution, particularly around APIs, Maddison said. That includes competitors, he said.

"When I've spoken to partners over the past 12 months, they're very excited about the expanded Fortinet portfolio, but they definitely want help on training and pulling the solution together and investing in that," Maddison said.

The acquisition has already closed, Fortinet said.