Top cybersecurity outfit Fortinet (NASDAQ: FTNT) has made good on its evolution into a hybrid software-security vendor. While other companies have been spending like crazy to acquire fast-moving cloud-computing upstarts to remain relevant, Fortinet has largely forged its own path forward and developed new products, mostly in-house.
But the work-from-home movement that picked up steam in 2020 looks like it’ll have real staying power, even as effects of the pandemic ease. To that end, Fortinet recently announced it made a $75 million investment in home networking hardware-maker Linksys — a potentially big deal for Fortinet’s future growth trajectory.
Fortinet is the second-largest cybersecurity pure play in terms of annual sales (Palo Alto Networks is the largest). Like other security vendors, Fortinet hails from a time when securing a physical location with a firewall was the industry standard. Firewalls — devices and software that control and monitor the traffic coming and going on a network — secure things like an office building’s network or a data center. Fortinet is still a best-in-class provider of these devices, especially for the physical assets that make modern cloud computing possible: data centers.