Fortinet Continues to Expand Its Gen AI Product Line

Fortinet remains bullish on artificial intelligence (AI), especially generative AI (Gen AI), and continues to expand its line of Gen AI products, according to company executives who spoke to analysts during the company’s earnings call for the first quarter (ended March 31) on Tuesday.

Earlier on the same day, the company announced what it called the “industry’s first” generative AI Internet of Things (IoT) security assistant, along with new GenAI capabilities for network and security operation.

“The cybersecurity sector faces a significant skills gap approaching 4 million professionals. Gen AI tackles this challenge by augmenting the need for technical proficiency,” Fortinet said in a news release announcing FortiAI, Fortinet’s Gen AI assistant.

FortiAI “supports and guides security operations (SecOps) and network operations (NetOps) teams so they can configure and manage changes to their network and investigate and remediate threats faster than ever before,” the company said. “Its intuitive interface allows individuals, regardless of expertise, to engage using natural language, effectively bridging the industry’s skill shortage.”

Since launching its FortiAI line in 2023, Fortinet has “continued to deepen Gen AI features across the Fortinet Security Fabric,” it said.

Ken Xie, Fortinet’s CEO, said on Fortinet’s prior earnings call that his company already started using Gen AI across its “entire product line.” Applying Gen AI across Fortinet’s full product line allows its customers to “optimize [their] security effectiveness and operational efficiency,” he told analysts Feb. 6, during an earnings call for the fourth quarter and fiscal 2023 (ended Dec. 31).

Overall, he said at the time: “We have invested heavily in AI across every function and product. For over a decade, Fortinet has used machine learning and AI to provide advanced threat intelligence across more than 40 products from network, end point and application security. Our solutions apply AI and ML across the expanded digital attack surface automatically containing and remediating incidents within seconds, where the industry averages for detection and remediations [are] several days.”

The company’s FortiAI technology, meanwhile, was “already available” on FortiSIEM and FortiSOAR, and “more products will be adding this functionality in the coming months,” he told analysts in February.

FortiAI is the next generation of Fortinet’s malware detection technology, which uses Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) that the company says can “deliver sub-second malware detection and verdict.”

On the May 2 earnings call, Xie told analysts: “Our Gen AI technology FortiAI is being deployed across both networking and security products.”

Also on the May 2 call, Keith Jensen, Fortinet’s CFO, told analysts that the Fortinet Gen AI assistant “follows our FortiAI launch last year, by supporting and guiding SOC and NOC teams as they configure and manage changes to their network and investigate and remediate threats.”

FortiAI’s interface “allows individuals to engage using 30 different natural languages, bridging the industry’s skill shortage,” Jensen said.

The company, meanwhile, reported on May 2 that its Q1 total revenue grew 7.2% from the same quarter last year to $1.35 billion. Service revenue was $944.4 million for Q1, an increase of 24% compared to $761.6 million for the same quarter of 2023.

Net income grew to $299.3 million from $247.7 million for the same quarter of 2023.