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Middlesex University Dubai joins Fortinet Academic Partner Program to advance cybersecurity skillsets in UAE

Middlesex University Dubai joins Fortinet Academic Partner Program to advance cybersecurity skillsets in UAE

EducationMiddle EastTop Stories

Through the partnership, MDX and Fortinet will support students in the UAE seeking to build a career in cybersecurity, empowering local talents and reducing the cyberskills gap.

Middlesex University (MDX) Dubai has announced that it has partnered with Fortinet, a global cybersecurity leader driving the convergence of networking and security, by joining its Academic Partner Program. The alliance marks a significant step forward in the university’s commitment to elevating cybersecurity education.

As part of the Fortinet Training Institute, the Academic Partner Program is focused on equipping the workforce of the future, collaborating with higher education institutions worldwide to deliver Fortinet’s award-winning training and certifications to students, helping learners to become skilled cybersecurity professionals. Fortinet aims to train one million individuals in cybersecurity by 2026.

As an Academic Partner, MDX Dubai will integrate Fortinet NSE certifications directly into its existing courses and also facilitate the content as standalone self-paced learning for students, from the Fortinet Certified Fundamentals to Fortinet Certified Solution Specialist levels. To supplement the course content, MDX Dubai will also be able to use Fortinet network security technologies to give students a hands-on lab experience.

In addition to providing NSE courses at the university, MDX Dubai and Fortinet will collaborate in the fields of research and development and explore opportunities for knowledge sharing through workshops, guest lecture sessions, internships and faculty visits.

An MOU Signing took place at a ceremony attended by Fortinet executives and MDX Dubai undergraduate security students and staff at the university’s campus in Dubai Knowledge Park on December 11.

Mitigating cyber-risks by addressing the talent shortage

The partnership aligns with the UAE Government’s Advanced Skills Strategy and goals of Centennial Plan 2071, which has identified providing specialised skills to students as one of its key priorities. It also supports the aims of the UAE Cybersecurity Council, which has set out to develop a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy and a safe and strong cyberinfrastructure in the region.

“As malicious actors enhance their attack tactics, the cybersecurity skills gap is widening, impacting organisations right across the UAE. Fortinet’s 2023 Global Cybersecurity Skills Gap Report found that as a result of unfilled IT positions due to the skills shortage, 68% of organisations indicate they face additional cyber-risks,” said Alain Penel, Vice President, Middle East, Turkey and CIS, Fortinet.

“Our academic partners work tirelessly to bring cybersecurity education to higher education learners around the world, a crucial effort in helping to shrink the talent shortage. We’re thrilled to be working with MDX Dubai in this area and look forward to strengthening our partnership as we continue to train the workforce of the future,” he concluded.

Professor Fehmida Hussain, Deputy Director of Engagement and Student Experience and Head of Computer Engineering and Informatics, Middlesex University Dubai, said: “As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity, our partnership with Fortinet represents a significant milestone in our commitment to fostering industry-academia partnerships and enhancing the student experience. By integrating Fortinet’s NSE certifications into our courses, we aim to empower our students with practical skills and knowledge that is directly applicable in the dynamic field of cybersecurity.”

“This collaboration not only addresses the pressing skills gap but also aligns seamlessly with our mission to equip students with the expertise needed for success in the digital era. We look forward to a fruitful partnership with Fortinet, fostering a culture of innovation and excellence in cybersecurity education.”

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