Fortinet, a global leader in broad, integrated and automated cybersecurity solutions, today announced more than 20 new academic institutions and non-profits worldwide have recently joined Fortinet’s Security Academy Program to provide students, veterans and veteran families with advanced cybersecurity training and certifications. The expansion builds on the program’s momentum, which is available in more than 80 countries and is comprised of over 300 Authorized Security Academies.
Rajesh Maurya, Regional Vice President, India & SAARC at Fortinet said, “The cyber skills gap affects organizations worldwide and ultimately impacts the digital economy. This is why Fortinet heavily invests in training and education through our Corporate Social Responsibility efforts, including our NSE Training Institute programs. Through these programs, we aim to create more cybersecurity career pathways and a diverse pipeline of security professionals.”
Closing the Skills Gap through Global Collaborations and NSE Training Institute
One-way Fortinet is creating new opportunities in the digital economy is through global collaborations across sectors. Through its involvement as a founding member of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Centre for Cybersecurity and the Cyber Threat Alliance, Fortinet partners with global leaders, like Salesforce – the global leader in Customer Relationship Management (CRM), to further innovate and develop impactful global solutions for challenges such as the talent shortage.
The Fortinet Network Security Expert (NSE) Training Institute was established in 2015 to advance Fortinet’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives to close the cybersecurity skills gap and make it easier for anyone to start a career in cybersecurity regardless of their previous access to education, background or life experiences. The NSE Training Institute is made up of the Security Academy Program, Certification Program and Veterans Program. Fortinet continues to grow the NSE Training Institute’s programs with recent milestones including:
The NSE Certification Program has issued more than 450,000 certifications worldwide, with more than 200,000 of certifications achieved in 2020.
In April 2020, Fortinet opened its entire catalogue of NSE self-paced security training courses, including pre-recorded labs, free of charge to the general public. The courses cover a range of topics – such as cloud security and secure SD-WAN – and total more than 350 hours of free training.
Fortinet was recognized by Military Times in its “Best for Vets: Employers” rankings for 2020 through the Veterans Program work. The Veterans Program connects military veterans and their spouses with potential employers.
Continued Learning Through the Security Academy Program
The Security Academy Program focuses on creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive pipeline of security professionals. The program does this by partnering with academic institutions and nonprofits worldwide. Through the Security Academy Program, institutions around the world have incorporated Fortinet’s NSE training and certification content into their students’ curriculum.
Military veteran-focused nonprofits joining the Security Academy Program provide their constituents with access to Fortinet’s NSE training and certifications, while the Veterans Program helps Veterans transfer relevant experiences to a career in cybersecurity.
Below are testimonials from academic institutions and nonprofits focused on serving veterans and their families that have recently joined the Security Academy Program.
“Cybersecurity training is more important than ever as the skill gap has become a critical issue for many organizations. Bennett University has signed up with Fortinet Security Academy program to help build and augment skill sets, as well as help develop the next generation of security professionals. By providing this industry-recognized certification as part of our curriculum we will ensure that our students gain the required expertise to become part of an elite group of skilled security professionals for whom we are witnessing a great demand”, said Dr Deepak Garg, Professor and Head, Department of Computer Science Engineering CSE at Bennett University.
“In the face of mounting cybercriminal activity and increasingly sophisticated forms of attacks, companies are looking for cybersecurity professionals to defend against threats. Through the Fortinet Security Academy Program, students can expand and up their skill levels for a career in cybersecurity. This collaboration will help Seacom Skills University to assist in the global cause of creating a more educated workforce by helping our graduates to fill the skill gap in the industry”, said Anish Chakraborty, Chairman, Seacom Skills University
“The partnership with Fortinet has been remarkable and will provide a pathway for students to gain the knowledge and skills needed to compete in a rapidly growing global marketplace. Kennedy-King College has undertaken equity and workforce-focused IT expansion initiative, with a goal to reduce the digital divide currently separating underserved and underrepresented populations from careers in the IT industry. After meeting with the Fortinet team and learning about the Security Academy Program, we knew the partnership would position us to better address this important equity imperative. We are both enthused and confident that Fortinet’s Security Academy Program will serve our students well and ultimately prepare them for high-skill, high-demand work in the IT sector”, said Eddie Phillips, Ed.D., Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at City Colleges of Chicago, Kennedy-King College“We were looking to add to our existing robust cybersecurity training curriculum. We joined the Security Academy Program right as the world started to shift to online learning due to the pandemic, so access to the NSE training’s established online curriculum that is instructor-led or self-paced was especially beneficial. The path to NSE certifications is also helpful in providing students with further validation to employers of their expertise that they can immediately use in the workplace”, said Steve Morrill, Director of Technology & Cyber Science at Loyola Blakefield.
“Networks are a fundamental component of any modern organization’s information systems. The advancement of technology and digital innovations also implies an increase in threats and vulnerabilities. This is why at CIISA we feel that it is crucial to prepare our students to be capable of developing an advanced security posture for their future employers. Joining Fortinet’s Security Academy Program will further allow us to provide high-level training in the ICT area in Chile”, said Sebastián Otazo Muñoz, Director of Networks, Telecommunications and Cybersecurity Area at CIISA.
“The Autonomous University of Guerrero State in Mexico is committed to developing highly qualified IT professionals. We joined the Security Academy Program because it offers a great opportunity to train students on relevant skills for a career in cybersecurity, which is one of the most in-demand areas in IT. Students will have the opportunity to develop hand-on practices through virtual labs to acquire cybersecurity skills that will make them more confident and stand out”, said Felix Angel, Engineering Faculty at Universidad de Autonoma Guerrero
“Companies of all sizes and from both private and public sectors need cybersecurity professionals. The need for security professionals will continue to grow and we want to make sure our students acquire the knowledge they need to be successful in their future careers. Fortinet’s Security Academy Program will further help us build our cybersecurity curriculum to set our students up for success to enter the workforce”, said Diego Bolatti, Director of Information Labs at UTN Regional Faculty Resistencia.
“We have noted an increase in employers seeking to hire employees with relevant cybersecurity qualifications. As such, the collaboration with Fortinet will further assist us in equipping our students with in-demand cybersecurity skills employers seek. We look forward to numerous students benefiting annually from the Security Academy Program training resources, leading to them joining the workforce and filling critical cybersecurity roles in Kenya”, said Dr Joseph Sevilla, Director of the @iLabAfrica Research Centre at Strathmore University.
“Seneca College strives to prepare our students for the workforce and the Security Academy Program was a great way to teach them key competencies associated with network security. Fortinet is at the forefront of this field and our students will benefit immensely from training in this space. We have deployed virtual firewalls and created a robust virtual lab curriculum that integrates many aspects of the Security Academy Program in tandem with other security concepts tied to the Security+ certification. It is our hope that students will continue their learning and get certified in both of these areas after they graduate. Students will gain a broad understanding of security awareness and be able to configure and maintain the Fortinet brand of firewalls, which will prepare them for work in the IT security field”, said Peter Moscone, Program Coordinator at Seneca College of Applied Arts & Technology.
“Through our partnership with Fortinet as part of the Security Academy Program, O2O will further be able to expand O2O’s resources for those looking to enter the cybersecurity industry. Access to Fortinet’s Network Security Expert (NSE) training courses and certifications is an exciting and important step forward in equipping our students with even more resources to succeed in growing and in-demand careers. We are proud to work with Fortinet to advance employment opportunities for veterans, service members and their families”, said Michael Bianchi, IVMF Senior Director for Education & Career Training at Onward to Opportunity.
“With a growing global demand for qualified cybersecurity professionals, our partnership with Fortinet provides innovative new pathways for veterans and their families to gain new skills. The collaboration between Soldier On and Fortinet will enable over 3,000 veterans and family members currently supported by the Soldier On Pathways Program to be connected with new digital learning opportunities in high-demand areas like cybersecurity, giving them more avenues into employment”, said Ivan Slavich, Chief Executive Officer at Soldier On.
“Fortinet’s Security Academy Program grants access to the NSE training and certifications, providing military spouses with an opportunity to obtain valuable skills in a high-demand career field. Blue Star Families ensures that wherever American military families go, they can always feel connected, supported and empowered to thrive. Within a month of launching our new partnership with Fortinet, over 60 Blue Star Families military spouses have expressed interest in pursuing the Fortinet cybersecurity training and we anticipate many more will take advantage of the program as they look for careers in the field”, said Denise Hollywood, Chief Community & Programs Officer at Blue Star Families.