Founded in 2019, Fortinium is a privately owned, self–funded corporation under the laws. of Switzerland. With its consistent top–notch performance over the years, Fortinium has established itself as a leading security service provider, increasing security and productivity for staff, data and devices inside and outside the corporate network.
Within a span of four years, Fortinium has shown exceptional contribution in the realms. of security. It has displayed unparalleled expertise in securing internet and corporate application access from anywhere and any device without the requirement of VPN or other client deployment. The CEO Views is pleased to recognize Fortinium as one of the Top Security Companies of the Year 2023.
CEO Rey Schallberger is an accomplished entrepreneur with more than 30 years of experience in security centric software development, designing and provisioning secure workplaces for customers worldwide. The CEO Views interacted with Rey to gain better insights into the company.
From Inception to Success
Rey Schallberger ventured into entrepreneurship with the founding of the Brainwaregroup in 1989. Brainwaregroup was a market leader in Client Lifecycle Management and stood for provisioning and maintaining Millions of Windows Clients worldwide. Harboring a different perspective towards business development, Rey sold the company after 30 years. This is when his later co-founder and CTO Eyal Dotan showed him prototypes of a Remote Browser Isolation environment.
Managing Windows-based devices had always been a challenge due to the huge amounts of code and data to be delivered to any device and the frequent security patching required. With fast adoption of cloud-based applications Rey made his mind set to be part of a new generation of ‘endpoint management’ that would enable users to securely access all corporate and public services from any device and place worldwide simply by using a browser.
“Years before selling my last company in 2018, I was for many years in close contact with a dear friend who designed and engineered various virtualization and endpoint security solutions,” Rey continues. “He approached me with a piece of prototype code of Remote Browser Isolation and the question ‘if I would be interested to embark this journey together‘. We spent some serious workshops together, looking at functional ideas, markets and business plans – and the more discussions evolved the clearer it was that this was a “raw diamond ready to be polished.”
In early 2019, they registered Fortinium, backed by their private financing, and hired developers to be able to take the product from prototype to a stable core. The following years were not at all easy for them. “COVID as well as the war in Ukraine and the economic downturn came with. their problems and midway through development, we made a strategic re–design switching from Windows platform to Linux to ensure customers and partners would get ideal performance versus hosting cost,” shares Rey.
Secure Workspace Solution
Digitalization and Work–from–Home imply frequent usage of web–based content. In the meantime, more than 90% of malware incidents in hybrid working environments start with a ‘wrong click‘ on a web–based link. Fortinium employs so called Remote Browser Isolation Technology to separate execution of an accessed website into a cloud based virtual container while the user locally still sees and operates the website. As a result, any potentially embedded malware is not executing on the local browser and therefore cannot harm user, device and present data.
Saving Cost and Ensuring Productivity
Today’s development tools allow one to take many shortcuts using pre–built code. When it comes to sophisticated and highly scalable. deep–tech development like it is needed for the Fortinium environment, one enters new grounds. where every single piece of progress involves research, trial and optimization. Fortinium’s engineers spent lots of time investigating multiple solution patterns to ensure users will have a native browser experience in a 100% secure environment. Achieving this while balancing finances in a self–funded startup required a major commitment from all members involved and Fortinium finds pride in its team members.
“We as a small topic specialist constantly analyze what our customers need and ideas flow through the entire team”
Emerging Safety Technology Landscape
While Cloud adoption already grew well in many regions for some years, Europe hesitated until digitalization and later COVID finally accelerated its adoption exponentially. In parallel, the fast growth of hybrid work during COVID also led to an acceleration of endpoint-based hacking attacks which are mainly web-born and with that are demanding a strong answer.
Rey believes that hackers are here to stay wherever there is an opportunity. Hybrid work model is here to stay too. The new direction of data flow, formats and sources demands for a safer technology landscape on its trajectory. So, the demand of according technology which is safe yet simple to use is and will remain high.
Innovation: Recognizing the Gap
Innovation starts with ‘recognition of a gap‘ followed by analysis of the potential market size to fill that gap as well as identifying ‘what options are there to fill the gap‘. That is what Rey believes. Unfortunately, in today’s world staffing has become sensationally expensive which limits most startups in their runway until a prototype must deliver revenue. Additionally, many potential workers fear to join a startup for personal security reason.
“Fortiniums Founders had the ability to finance the entire startup path by themselves. It allows you to convince the best talent, constantly review your progress and decisions and change path or even refactor code to optimize where needed,” shares Rey.
Creating Values with Differentiation
As the industry gets crowded and competition fierce, Fortinium stays at the forefront. Deep production knowledge and ultimate dedication to provide a solution for the customers real world problems, have stood Fortinium in good stead. Fortinium’s Mission is to provide the Technological base for this: “Work with Anything from Anywhere“. In a more technical way which means, “Allow secure usage of any Website and Windows/Linux application from any place and device. No Training needed. No VPN. No Agent Installed.”
Rey illaborates, “We as a small topic specialist constantly analyze what our customers need and ideas flow through the entire team and with that get discussed in meetings or simply in front of the coffee machine. This allows us to provide new releases that do not just grow function by function but actually grow with ‘innovative solution clusters’ that allow customers to grow in their usage field. As a relevant topic on the side European companies. have long demanded more European Security Technology to protect their home base. FORTINIUM is exactly such a MADE IN EUROPE solution.”
Addressing Industry Pain Points
Existing security technology (Antivirus, Webfilters etc) focus on pattern–based technology to identify and fight a threat. This in essence needs a threat first to show up on production machines before it is identified and leads to security companies to work on a cure which in turn will take time to deploy. As a result of this delay 67% of companies in Europe suffered last year from succeeded malware attacks with significant damage.
FORTINIUM allows to isolates every web/app session from the device, user and data and with that blocks access to what every hacker is looking for data. Isolation works immediately. No detection or cure needed. This is the future of Malware avoidance.
Going ahead, Fortinium wants to focus its capacity first on European sales, later leveraging Worldwide Partnerships for a global growth path. Additionally at a later stage, it plans to expand its technology to reach into Telecom, Automotive, TVs or other environments of daily goods to address private demand of Web Security too.
Being an entrepreneur himself, Rey advices young entrepreneurs to ‘follow their dreams.’ He shares, “Chase your dream but define your budget upfront to ensure the risk you are taking does not harm your family.”