With the aim to close the cyber security skills gap, the cybersecurity firm Fortinet is introducing Fortinet Network Security Expert (NSE) Institute cloud certifications and cyber security awareness training at no cost for individuals or organizations that are seeking to deploy a cyber security awareness training program, said the company.
“This unprecedented shortage in the cyber security workforce has resulted in security operations teams who are over worked and understaffed and it continues to benefit our cyber adversaries. Fortinet is more than a technology company; we’re also a learning organization. Fortinet is dedicated to closing the cyber skills gap and goes well beyond providing training on products and solutions as part of our commitment to deliver a response to the growing global cybersecurity threat,” said Rajesh Maurya, Regional Vice President, India & SAARC at Fortinet.
Citing a 2019 Gartner survey the company asserted the global talent shortage is now the top emerging risk facing organizations. The expansion of the digital marketplace has generated more jobs than the current supply of security professionals can meet. A problem of scale; there is currently not an efficient way to create skilled security practitioners at the same rate. Unfortunately, there are not enough skilled humans available to properly plan, manage, integrate, and optimize security devices, strategies, and protocols. For example, according to a recent workforce development survey, 59% of organizations have unfilled cybersecurity positions, with Frost & Sullivan forecasting a shortfall of 1.5 million by 2020.
In today’s global cybersecurity threat landscape, education is crucial to the success of organizations. Creating and executing a strategy with a wide scope can be a daunting task, but this is precisely the mandate and strategy of the Fortinet NSE Institute. The Fortinet NSE Institute was created to provide broad-based training that arms participants with a foundational understanding of the threat landscape, as well as the cyber security fundamentals and skills to implement strategies and technical concepts that are in high demand.
While the Institute’s flagship NSE Training and Certification program has issued nearly 200,000 certifications, it is equally focused on education programs such as the Fortinet Network Security Academy program for high schools, colleges and universities, the FortiVets program that facilitates the transition of exceptional military veterans into the cybersecurity industry by providing professional networking, training, and mentoring, as well as free publicly available awareness training that can be accessed by any company wishing to deploy an internal cyber security awareness program for employees.
Fortinet said that here are now over 140 academies in more than 50 different countries and it has provided nearly 200,000 NSE certifications, building a skilled workforce that will be recognized in the industry as an elite group of security professionals. In addition, the company recently made public cyber security awareness trainings NSE 1 and 2, whereby these free offerings are now available to the public at large. For example, any Security Operations (SecOps) team seeking to deploy a cyber security awareness training program now has an easy and no cost way to get started.
During the past year, the number of NSE8 certifications awarded has doubled, a certification designation that identifies a candidate’s comprehensive knowledge of network security design, configuration, and troubleshooting for complex networks. There has been an average of 300 – 600 student sessions around the world per week, based on recent company data, said the company.
The company said, in addition to the established company-led training and education programs, a comprehensive training and education strategy must include strategic partnerships within government, academia and NGOs, such as Fortinet’s strategic relationships with organization such as the World Economic Forum (WEF) and its Centre for Cybersecurity, the Global Threat Alliance, CompTIA, and various university research programs.
Fortinet will continue its efforts to broadly and globally collaborate, innovate and develop powerful global solutions to reduce global cyberattacks, contain current and future cyberattacks, and deter cybercrime.