Today’s networks are more sophisticated than ever, constantly welcoming new technology designed to boost productivity and more effectively manage customer relations. At the same time, this push for digital transformation has also introduced new threats and opened the door for cybercriminals to infiltrate new network environments and exploit critical data. And to complicate this challenge further, organizations are also struggling with another issue – the cybersecurity skills gap.
In a recent study conducted by ISC2, it was found that while approximately 2.8 million professionals currently work in the cybersecurity field around the world, an additional 4 million trained workers are needed to fully bridge the skills gap and properly defend organizations against threat actors. In other words, there are simply not enough skilled professionals to keep up with the level of sophisticated threats and attacks that are deployed on a regular basis. And this gap only looks to widen. While this has become cause for grave concern for many, hope is not entirely lost.
With an understanding of the strong – and negative – impact that the skills gap can have on organizations, a number of organizations, public and private, are stepping up to the plate. Fortinet has long been a strong advocate for and example of training individuals to either join the cybersecurity profession or extend their skillsets to provide even better service. And Fortinet is committed to continuing to play a key role in addressing this issue by helping to fill available cybersecurity positions with qualified candidates. One way this is being achieved is through the prioritization of cybersecurity training for partners, veterans, and students alike.
Understanding Fortinet’s Commitment to Cybersecurity Training
One of the most prevalent cyber risks across today’s organizations is a lack of awareness of even the most basic attacks, which leaves organizations exposed to social engineering techniques and phishing emails – attack strategies that, according to the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, lie at the heart of 32% of all successful network breaches. With this in consideration, it is more crucial than ever that cybersecurity vendors like Fortinet, who have the skills and technologies at their fingertips, establish training and education programs for organizations that address their variety of audiences, from front office staff to backend engineers, to drive the message that cybersecurity is everybody’s job.
Here are a few highlights of the cybersecurity training and learning opportunities offered through Fortinet.
The Fortinet Network Security Expert (NSE) Program
This eight-level certification program is designed for technical professionals looking to gain independent validation of their network security skills and experience. Consisting of both self-paced and instructor-led courses and practical, experience-based exercises, the Fortinet NSE program helps participants demonstrate mastery of complex network security concepts.
More than 270,000 NSE certifications have been issued so far, of which approximately 300 are for the prestigious NSE level 8. As illustrated by the growth in NSE certifications in 2019, Fortinet’s commitment to cybersecurity training is stronger than ever. There was also a significant growth in Fast Track program participation in 2019, which are comprehensive workshops that cover significant cybersecurity topics. This brings the total number of customers and partners that have participated in the Fast Track program since its inception to over 30,000. By taking part in programs such as these, technical professionals, including partners, can enhance and certify their knowledge of the modern threat landscape along with Fortinet’s wide range of products and solutions.
Fortinet Network Security Academy (FNSA)
The main purpose of the Fortinet Network Security Academy is to shape the next generation of cybersecurity professionals by providing industry-recognized Fortinet training and certification opportunities to secondary and university students, as well as to individuals working with participating non-profit organizations. By collaborating with the FNSA program, academic institutions and nonprofit organizations gain access to Fortinet’s NSE certification curricula – ensuring that participants gain the knowledge required to become part of an elite group of skilled security professionals.
The FNSA program provides cybersecurity training and certification opportunities that were once exclusive to Fortinet customers, employees, and partners. With more than 200 participating academies located in more than 60 different countries, the FNSA ensures that participants from across the world graduate from this program with the skills they need to defend networks against ever-evolving cyber threats.
Fortinet FortiVet Program
The Fortinet Veterans program centers on one primary goal – helping veterans transition from their military career to one in the cybersecurity industry. The FortiVet program also provides a number of benefits beyond technical training, including professional networking, mentoring, and related educational guidance to make transitioning to the civilian workforce as simple as possible for these individuals.
A key component of the FNSA and FortiVet program is Fortinet’s collaboration with nonprofit organizations that work to help veterans and their spouses make the transition from military life. As FNSA participants, these nonprofits are able to provide their constituents with access to Fortinet’s NSE certifications and training, while the FortiVet program additionally helps veterans shift relevant experiences and skills to a career in cybersecurity. Several veteran-focused nonprofits became academies in 2019, including Corporate America Supports You (CASY), TrainOurTroops, VetCTAP, Coding for Veterans in Canada, and TechVets in the United Kingdom.
As the skills gap grows and the threat landscape becomes more complex, it is up to vendors like Fortinet to step up to the plate and help organizations address these challenges. By going beyond product offerings and providing cybersecurity training and learning opportunities, Fortinet has demonstrated time and again that it is not a one-trick pony. Helping to advance network security skills and collaborating with academic institutions and nonprofits is just one piece of the puzzle, but its impact should not be underestimated in the fight to protect organizations across the globe.
Find out more about Fortinet’s NSE Institute programs, including the Network Security Expert program, Network Security Academy program and FortiVets program, which provide critical cybersecurity training and education to help solve the cyber skills gap and prepare the cybersecurity workforce of tomorrow.
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