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Fortinet buys ZoneFox to boost insider threat detection offering

US security giant Fortinet has snapped up Edinburgh-based insider threat detection specialist ZoneFox.

Fortinet said the deal, the value of which is undisclosed, would enable its customers to gain “deeper visibility into endpoints and associated data flow and user behaviour”.

ZoneFox was spun out of Edinburgh Napier University by its founder and CEO Dr Jamie Graves in 2009. It has since gone on to establish a reputation for developing cutting-edge threat detection solutions, powered by machine learning.

Fortinet is one of the world’s biggest enterprise security vendors, with a market cap of nearly $13.9bn (£10.7bn) and clients including some of the “largest enterprise, service provider and government organisations around the world”.

Graves said the acquisition encompasses “both our technology and entire team”, suggesting no redundancies will be made. “[It] will enable our employees to thrive as part of the Fortinet family, whilst accelerating the route to global markets for our cutting-edge [user entity and behaviour analytics] technology”.

“ZoneFox will always have its roots in Scotland and will remain part of the local Scottish security community to both access and develop talent,” he added. “I would like to thank everyone who has supported us on the journey so far; Scottish Enterprise, Edinburgh Napier University, our seed and Angel Investors, mentors, customers, colleagues, friends, and family.”

Verizon’s latest “Data Breach Investigations Report” revealed that 30 per cent of breaches involved insiders acting negligently or maliciously. Commenting on the deal, Ken Xie, the CEO of Fortinet, said: “By combining ZoneFox’s cloud-based threat-hunting technology with Fortinet’s existing endpoint and SIEM security offerings, we are well positioned to provide our customers with an integrated approach to defend against insider threats, eliminate network blind spots and protect today’s expanding attack surface with automation and machine learning.”