Fortinet Acquires ENhanced Network Access Control (ENAC) Vendor, Bradford Networks

Well known security company, Fortinet, acquired privately-held Bradford Networks on June 4, 2018, citing the need to extend segmentation and security to the edge of enterprise networks, including Internet of Things (IoT).  Fortinet does not expect the transaction to have a material impact on the Company’s 2Q or full year results, which is consistent with our estimates of revenue for Bradford.  Historically, from a market share standpoint, we have categorized Bradford in the Other category of ENAC.

Fortinet cites the growth in IoT and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) – both of which are largely wirelessly connected devices in the enterprise setting as reasons why Fortinet felt a need to acquire Bradford.  Fortinet, like other ENAC vendors, cites the value of quarantining badly behaving devices (using words like “posture” to describe this function), wired + wireless environment support and automatic segmentation.  What will Fortinet’s entry to the ENAC market mean to the networking industry.  Well, Fortinet is one of the players in WLAN, albeit a low single digits percentage revenue player.  But, like other WLAN vendors, it now has an ENAC solution.

The main vendor ENAC vendor without a WLAN owner is recently IPO’d ForeScout – will it survive long as a standalone?  Maybe, because its market capitalization is relatively large compared to the remaining WLAN players.  Interesting, Fortinet takes the time to explain that it will continue to work closely with Bradford competitors who have competing solutions, such as Aruba ClearPass, ForeScout CounterAct and Cisco ISE through its Fabric Partner Program, citing the need for open standards.