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Fortinet reduces cyberskills gap with Training Advancement Agenda (TAA)

Fortinet reduces cyberskills gap with Training Advancement Agenda (TAA)

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With the cyberskills gap still prevalent across the cybersecurity industry, organisations are attempting to tackle it in order to operate with a robust and responsive security model when it comes to defending against bad actors. Fortinet has revealed its Network Security Expert (NSE) Training Institute which creates a variety of opportunities through training, certifications and partnerships, with more than 1,000,000 registrations for its free courses to date.

Fortinet, a global leader in broad, integrated and automated cybersecurity solutions, is continuing to make significant progress in helping close the skills gap through the NSE Training Institute programmes and its Training Advancement Agenda (TAA). By increasing the access of training, developing cybersecurity career pathways and connecting individuals to employers, the NSE Training Institute is making big strides in advancing TAA efforts. The NSE Training Institute continues to grow globally, serving IT and security professionals and underrepresented populations. In addition to recently expanding NSE offerings, including the extension of more than 30 free, self-paced technical training courses, the NSE Training Institute welcomes new global partners working alongside Fortinet to close the cybersecurity skills gap, including Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS), Stanford University and University of California, Berkeley.

The skills gap remains a top challenge for organisations

The cyberskills gap is a top concern for CISOs as it helps contribute to security risks and the opportunity for bad actors to exploit vulnerabilities when strained security teams are short-staffed. The Fortinet Network Security Expert (NSE) Training Institute – comprised of the Certification Program, the Security Academy Program, the Veterans Program, Authorized Training Centers and the Information Security Awareness and Training Service – was established to address the widening cyberskills gap plaguing the industry.

For the first time since the NSE Training Institute’s establishment in 2015, the industry saw a decrease in the number of security professionals required to fill the gap in 2020 with a shrinkage from 4.07 million professionals needed to 3.12 million professionals according to an (ISC)2 report. While this demonstrates progress towards solving the issue, the gap is still a significant challenge for organisations of all sizes.

Fortinet creates opportunities through training, certifications and partnerships

To address the skills gap challenge, Fortinet’s NSE Training Institute offers a number of different programmes to individuals at all stages of their cybersecurity career. The TAA leverages several NSE offerings to close the cyberskills gap through training and certifications, career opportunities and partnerships. Below are some recent NSE Training Institute milestones: 

  • Partnering with organisations focused on women, minorities and veterans: The growth of Fortinet’s NSE Training Institute includes partnerships with organisations focused on women and minorities, like WOMCY Latin America, Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS), Women in Tech based in France and the International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals (ICMCP). Through the NSE Training Institute, Fortinet is also partnering with non-profits, most recently including Hire Heroes USA, to help veterans and military families. These partnerships bring untapped candidates into the cyber workforce by providing them with opportunities for training, certifications and connecting them with the Fortinet employer ecosystem.
  • Providing Fortinet curricula to students: Through the Security Academy Program, Fortinet supports almost 400 institutions in more than 85 different countries and territories. These academic institutions range from students in K-12 all the way to higher education and research institutions. New participants that have recently become Authorized Security Academies include: Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, University of Arkansas (ULAR), Francisco Gavidia University in El Salvador, University of Costa Rica, U-tad University in Spain, Women in Tech based out of France, Collège Communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB) in Canada, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) in Canada, Tower Australian College, Tennessee College of Applied Technology in the US and the University of Benghazi. Through the programme, institutions are given access to Fortinet’s NSE Certification Program content to integrate into their own curriculum, along with exam vouchers for those who complete the course, in order to prepare students for a career in cybersecurity and help develop the next-generation of cybersecurity professionals.
  • Free NSE Training courses reach more than 1,000,000 registrations: Recently, Fortinet announced the extension of all its advanced self-paced courses available free of charge to continue developing the world’s cyber workforce. The free cybersecurity training courses first introduced in early 2020 offer more than 30 self-paced, technical courses on critical topics ranging from Secure SD-WAN to Operational Technology to cloud security. There have been more than 1,000,000 registrations for these free courses to date. It leverages courses that count towards (ISC)2 CPE Submitter Program and the NSE Certification Program, Fortinet’s eight level certifications from cybersecurity fundamental education courses (NSE 1-3), technical product training (NSE 4-6), advanced solution-based training (NSE 7) and the cybersecurity expert recognition (NSE 8). Fortinet’s Information Security Awareness and Training Service is also offered to organisations free of charge, aimed at helping companies better educate their workforce on how to identify and protect themselves and their organisations against all types of cybersecurity threats.
  • Raising cyber awareness in young children: Fortinet recently released a children’s book designed to further increase cyber awareness among children ranging from seven to 12 years old. The book, Cyber Safe: A Dog’s Guide to Internet Security was co-authored by Renee Tarun, Deputy CISO at Fortinet.
  • Charting new education pathways: Fortinet has developed education pathways to further facilitate the transition into a career in cybersecurity and close the skills gap. The education pathways were created to help align Fortinet training and certifications with roles defined in the Cybersecurity Workforce Framework developed by National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), a part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Fortinet has defined four pathways for learners in some of the most critical areas in the industry: security operations, security-driven networking, adaptive cloud security and zero-trust network. 
  • Delivering expert training via Fortinet and our Authorized Training Centers: Fortinet Authorized Training Centers (ATCs) provide a global network of training facilities that deliver expert-level training in local languages. Fortinet has more than 80 ATCs worldwide and is continuing to expand the locations of the training centre partners to further the reach of NSE training. Fortinet’s ATCs are currently teaching in 72 countries and territories and can deliver training and local cultural support in 22 different languages.
  • New NSE courses and updates launched in 2021: New courses have been added to the NSE library, including NSE 5 FortiEDR 4.2, FortiAnalyzer 6.4 and FortiManager 6.4. A new technical course focused on OT security which outlines how to design, implement and operate an OT security solution based on Fortinet products has also been added. These courses are all available as self-paced as well as instructor-led and can be taken with Fortinet or one of our ATCs. Customers are also able to book private training sessions online that are customised for their organisation and delivered through a virtual classroom application.
  • Continued collaboration on Cybersecurity Learning Hub: As a founding partner of World Economic Forum’s Centre for Cybersecurity, Fortinet continues to build on its partnership with Salesforce.com and WEF on the Cybersecurity Learning Hub initiative. The Cybersecurity Learning Hub leverages NSE 1 and 2 courses to create free courses to further address the global skills gap issue. Together, Fortinet and the Cybersecurity Learning Hub have created four badges to cover the topics of Personal Digital Security, Cybersecurity Threat and Threat Actors, Digital Asset Security and Cloud Security Engineering.
  • Recognised award-winning cybersecurity training curriculum: The NSE Training Institute was recently recognised with four industry awards, including:
  • Gold for Best Cybersecurity Education Provider (North America) from the 2021 Cybersecurity Excellence Awards
  • Gold for Cybersecurity Training (North America) from the 2021 Cybersecurity Excellence Awards
  • Gold for Security Training and Educational Programs from the Globee 2021 Cyber Security Global Excellence Awards
  • Silver for Cyber and Info Security Marketing Campaign of the Year from the Globee 2021 Cyber Security Global Excellence Awards

“We are delighted at U-tad to join the Fortinet Security Academy Program to further prepare our students with the specialised skills to solve the cybersecurity challenges companies are facing today, making them a very attractive asset for the industry. Through the programme, our students have access to Fortinet’s internationally-recognised training and NSE certifications that further develop the next generation of professionals that Spain needs to help fill the cybersecurity skills gap,” said Jorge Calderón, Deputy CEO at U-tad, University of Technology, Arts and Design.

“IBB participates in the Fortinet Security Academy Program to provide resources for professionals to improve their knowledge in cybersecurity and contribute to their career goals. Cybersecurity is always evolving thus continued training and learning to refresh skills help security professionals to keep up with the rapidly changing security landscape. We anticipate an increase in the awareness, knowledge and competencies of everyone participating in the Security Academy Program that will positively contribute to the field of cybersecurity,” said Halil Karakaş, Director of Information Technology at IBB İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyesi (Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality).

“At WOMCY, we strive to empower and help our community develop their cybersecurity skills by offering programmes that will help them in their cybersecurity journey. The partnership between WOMCY & Fortinet is key to bring to our members the content that will allow them to enhance their cybersecurity knowledge. Fortinet’s strong NSE Curriculum covers key areas in cyber that cater to a diverse mix of members, from college students to senior professionals, all across Latin America. With NSE, we are able to offer programmes that will help our members differentiate their hard and soft skills to progress in the industry in order to close the skills gap,” said Vanessa Padua, Talent Leader at WOMCY, Latin America.

“UALR joined the Security Academy Program to provide students with hands-on experience with next-generation firewalls. This exercise allows us to engage students in a unique environment that is not seen in many cybersecurity programmes, and provide engaging learning to students even outside of the classroom,” said Sandra Leiterman, Managing Director UA Little Rock Cyber Gym.

“Cybersecurity is a growing field that is attractive to our veterans and military spouses. Fortinet creates new opportunities for them by providing quality training and pairing graduates of its programme with open positions in its client companies. We are grateful for our partnership with Fortinet,” said Sandy Kaider, Manager of Referral and Training Partners at Hire Heroes USA.

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