Vishak Raman, Vice President of Sales, India, SAARC and Southeast at Fortinet “Fortinet has a long history of working to close the cyber skills gap and we are proud to share we recently hit a significant milestone by achieving more than 1 million Network Security Expert (NSE) certifications issued to date. Continued learning through training and certifications is a critical way to stay ahead of cyber adversaries who are constantly evolving their attack strategies and methods. This is why Fortinet’s Training Institute is dedicated to offering award-winning cyber training and certifications for security professionals to upskill and advance their knowledge or for those considering reskilling. At the same time, for organisations looking to build cyber awareness in their employees and strengthen their posture, the Fortinet Training Institute offers its Security Awareness and Training service.”
Fortinet (NASDAQ: FTNT), a global leader in broad, integrated and automated cybersecurity solutions, today announced it has issued more than 1 million Network Security Expert (NSE) certifications to date, further advancing its commitment to close the cybersecurity skills gap. Adding to this milestone, Fortinet continues to expand the global impact of its training and certification programs with the addition of new courses in priority cybersecurity areas, new training partners, and by expanding access to cyber training and education to empower untapped talent. Fortinet also continues to help organisations build a cyber-aware workforce through its existing Security Awareness and Training Service and through a recent initiative tied to the 2022 White House National Cyber Workforce and Education Summit, by providing a tailored version of the service available for K-12 school districts in the U.S. free of charge.
Advancing skill sets in cybersecurity professionals to keep up with threats
With more than 80 per cent of breaches being attributed to a lack of cyber skills according to a global 2022 Fortinet report, the cybersecurity skills gap continues to be a top-of-mind concern for organisations. In an effort to help close the cyber skills gap, Fortinet through its Training Advancement Agenda (TAA) and Fortinet Training Institute initiatives is focused on upskilling security professionals to stay ahead of threats with the following efforts:
- Validating skills and experience with NSE certifications: As part of Fortinet’s progress to close the skills gap, the Fortinet Training Institute achieved the milestone of over 1 million NSE certifications issued to date. The eight-level training and certification program is designed to provide technical professionals with independent validation of their security and networking skills as well as work experience. Fortinet’s 2022 Global Skills Gap report revealed that 95 percent of leaders believe technology-focused certifications positively impact their role and their team, while 81 percent of leaders prefer to hire people with certifications. The Fortinet Training Institute aims to provide professionals the opportunity not only to gain skills to ward off cyber threats, but also career growth opportunities, as leaders value certifications. In addition, NSE training curriculum is easily accessible to empower access to learning and is offered in instructor-lead, virtual instructor-led, and free self-paced training formats.
- Developing courses in key cybersecurity areas across all industries: The Fortinet Training Institute is continuously updating its training with content that is relevant and dynamic for the issues and challenges cyber professionals face today. For example, the OT Security curriculum, as part of NSE level 7, provides a solid understanding of how to design, implement and operate an OT security solution for critical infrastructures. Other topic areas where the Fortinet Training Institute has expanded curriculum include Zero Trust Network Access and Secure SD-WAN, among others. Additionally, Fortinet offers low-cost labs to further advance skill sets for anyone taking technical, advanced or expert level training.
- Leveraging threat intelligence from FortiGuard labs in curriculum: The Fortinet Training Institute curriculum is developed by Fortinet’s world-class trainers and curriculum developers with an in-depth knowledge of industry-leading technology and the evolving threat landscape. The training curriculum is augmented with FortiGuard Labs’ threat intelligence, a global research team comprised of experienced threat hunters, researchers, analysts, engineers, and data scientists. In addition, the curriculum is designed to evolve based on the latest threat intelligence from FortiGuard Labs, ensuring that anyone taking training and pursuing certification obtains the most relevant skills and knowledge.
- Offering opportunities for professionals to upskill through Fortinet’s global authorised training centers: Fortinet Authorised Training Centers (ATCs) are a network of accredited training organisations in more than 130 countries and territories around the world, teaching in 26 different languages. ATCs deliver the Fortinet Training Institute’s cybersecurity training in local languages. New ATCs that have recently joined the program, extend the availability of Fortinet’s training to security professionals around the world, including: Exclusive Networks (USA), Wavelink (Australia), HRP (Hungary), and DACAS (The Caribbean).
Expanding access to cyber training and empowering untapped talent
Fortinet is increasing access to cybersecurity training so that more people, regardless of their educational background, current career or life experience, can access cyber courses and help kickstart a career in cybersecurity. Fortinet is also empowering untapped talent pools, including women, students, veterans and more, to reskill or expand their skills for a career in cyber, helping to address the industry talent shortage. As part of this focus, Fortinet made a commitment in September of 2021 to train 1 million people in cybersecurity over 5 years between 2022-2026 and is on track to meet this through various initiatives, including:
- Enhancing organisations’ cybersecurity awareness training for all employees with the security awareness and training service: Any company looking to further protect their security posture by advancing all their employees’ cyber skill sets and knowledge can easily deploy the Fortinet Training Institute’s Security Awareness and Training Service. This service introduced earlier this year is a SaaS-based offering that delivers timely awareness training on today’s cybersecurity threats. It helps IT, security, and compliance leaders build a cyber-aware culture where employees recognise and avoid falling victim to cyberattacks.
- Offering a free security awareness and training service for K-12 school districts in the U.S.: Fortinet announced that it has made its Security Awareness and Training Service available to K-12 school districts across the United States free of cost, making the training available to approximately 8 million faculty and staff. Educational institutions have seen an increase in bring your own devices (BYOD) making schools and students more vulnerable to cyber threats due to the expanding attack surface and, thus, must ensure they are securing their critical digital assets and sensitive information. With the tailored service, school districts can implement training for staff and faculty to expand their skill sets and cyber knowledge, so they don’t fall victim to popular threat methods as part of the overall school cybersecurity strategies.
- Expanding academic partner and education uutreach programs partnerships: With more than 470 Authorised Academic Partners around the world across more than 90 countries and territories, the Fortinet Training Institute continues to work with education institutions globally to help prepare the cyber workforce of the future. Among the new institutions worldwide that have joined the Academic Partner Program are: Universidad Panamericana (UP) in Mexico,Technological University of Queretaro (UTEQ) in Mexico, KLE Tech University in India, South Regional TAFE in Australia, Università of Tor Vergata of Roma in Italy, Cybersecurity Business School in France, UIB – Universitat de les Illes Balears in Spain, Polytechnic Institute of Guarda in Portugal, University West – Högskolan Väst in Sweden, South Texas College in the United States and more. As Authorised Academic Partners, these institutions are using Fortinet’s award-winning technical training in their classrooms and providing students with valuable industry certifications to add to their resumes upon graduation.
Similarly, the Education Outreach Program is expanding Fortinet’s reach by partnering with additional organisations who represent traditionally underrepresented groups in the high-tech sector such as women, veterans, economically disadvantaged and more. New outreach partners include Cerco IT and National Economic Education Trust (NEET).