With the global shortage of cybersecurity professionals having surpassed 4 million – according to a study conducted by (ISC)2 – the global cybersecurity workforce must now grow at a staggering rate of 145% each year just to meet the growing demand for skilled talent. As a result, 82% of employers claim to be dealing with a lack of experienced cybersecurity professionals within their organization.
The cybersecurity skills gap has become an even more critical issue for many organizations transitioning to a remote workforce model. IT teams are stretched as they rapidly secure and scale their network to meet new demands.
To help IT professionals looking to expand these timely security skills, Fortinet has made its entire catalog of advanced security courses available for free as part of our continued investment in closing the cybersecurity skills gap. Since the launch of this free training initiative on April 28, we have seen more than 80,000 course registrations from people in 144 countries. This is a compelling indication of the need and desire for training as the threat landscape continues to evolve.
Free Cybersecurity Training to Narrow the Skills Gap
The recent introduction of additional free cybersecurity courses further builds on Fortinet’s existing efforts to address the cyber skills gap through training and education. Fortinet established the Network Security Expert (NSE) Institute in 2015, comprised of the Fortinet Network Security Academy (FNSA) program, the Authorized Training Center program, the Fortinet Veterans (FortiVet) program and the NSE training and certification program which to date has issued more than 350,000 Network Security Expert certifications. In addition, the Fortinet NSE training and certification program was named “Professional Certification Program of the Year” by the 2019 CyberSecurity Breakthrough Awards. Together the programs of the NSE Institute are well positioned to help build and augment skill sets, as well as help develop the next generation of security professionals, especially given the current times.
Our latest training initiative opens up 24 self-paced advanced security courses for free to anyone interested in learning about cybersecurity. For those interested in pursuing certification, you will be pleased to know that the majority of the free training content comes directly from the NSE training and certification program. NSE certification is a great way for companies to validate skills and a great addition to a resume for students pursuing a career in cyber security.
These 24 additional advanced courses join our three existing no-cost courses comprised of NSE 1 and NSE 2 lessons focused on overall cybersecurity awareness and the FortiGate Essentials course recently released. NSE 1 and NSE 2 lessons provide participants with a basic understanding of today’s threat landscape, including common tricks and strategies used by cybercriminals, a familiarity with essential cybersecurity concepts, and an introduction to critical security principles and technologies. The FortiGate Essentials course teaches participants about the fundamental concepts of a next generation firewall (NGFW) including configuring firewall policies, establishing user authentication, and setting up routing and SSL VPNs.
Training for Students, Veterans and Nonprofits
NSE Institute’s training and certification program is also leveraged by the FNSA and FortiVet programs in an efforts to train students, veterans, veteran spouses and nonprofit constituents looking into a cybersecurity career. Through the FNSA program, academic institutions and nonprofits receive access to Fortinet’s NSE training and certification curricula to prepare students and participants for a career in cybersecurity. Fortinet has more than 250 academic partnerships in more than 70 different countries as part of the FNSA program.
As part of the FNSA and FortiVet programs, Fortinet collaborates with nonprofit organizations focused on helping Veterans and their spouses enter the workforce. Nonprofits joining the FNSA program are able to provide their constituents with access to Fortinet’s NSE certifications and training, while the FortiVet program helps Veterans transfer relevant experiences to a career in cybersecurity.
Boldly Tackling the Skills Gap Challenges
With an evolving and expanding remote workforce, more people are connecting from home networks for internet access, gaming, entertainment, education and training, and more. It has become abundantly clear that we are only as secure as the most vulnerable device or user in our networks and cyber criminals are taking advantage of this by directly targeting remote users and teleworker environments. As the skills gap grows and the threat landscape becomes more complex, it is up to businesses like Fortinet to step up to the plate and help organizations address these challenges. Ultimately, Fortinet’s NSE Institute programs and overall skills gap initiatives, like our free training courses, is helping everyone better protect themselves or their organizations against threats across the globe.