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Key Lessons Learned at Fortinet’s Accelerate Event

Key Lessons Learned at Fortinet’s Accelerate Event

Security vendor Fortinet held its annual Accelerate event April 8-11 in Orlando, Fla. My research has found that cybersecurity remains the No. 1 concern for both IT and business leaders. Not since Y2K have I seen a single theme unify technology and business leaders for this long a period of time. The event was hosted by Fortinet, so a large part of the show was dedicated to new products, but a number of sessions were dedicated to larger security trends.

The security industry has been in a state of change for several years, and the show was helpful in codifying many thoughts regarding the evolution of this market. Security professions need to understand what these changes are and adjust strategy accordingly. Below are my top lessons learned from the event.

Lesson No. 1: Security must be built into digital transformation plans.

It’s hard to speak to anyone in the business world without the topic of digital transformation coming up. During his keynote, Fortinet Executive Vice-President of Product and Solutions John Maddison described digital transformation as the application of new technology to change or create new processes. I think most IT pros and would agree with this definition, but the key thing to understand that is that the new technologies such as IoT, cloud, SD-WAN and mobility also create new security risks. Businesses need to stop thinking of security as an afterthought and spend the time to bake security into their digital initiatives. If this is done correctly, it can accelerate digital initiatives. If security is bolted on afterward, it can significantly delay the rollout of new services.

Lesson No. 2: Machine learning is mandatory for security.

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