Fortinet (NASDAQ: FTNT), 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 programs 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.
The Skills Gap Remains a Top Challenge for Organizations
The cyber skills 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 – composed 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 cyber skills 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 toward solving the issue, the gap is still a significant challenge for organizations 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 programs to individuals at all stages of their cybersecurity career. The TAA leverages several NSE offerings to close the cyber skills gap through training and certifications, career opportunities and partnerships. Below are some recent NSE Training Institute milestones:
- 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 program, 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 10,00,000 registrations for these free courses to date. It leverages courses that count toward (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 organizations free-of-charge, aimed at helping companies better educate their workforce on how to identify and protect themselves and their organizations 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 amongst children ranging from 7 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 center 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 customized for their organization 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.
Recognized award-winning cybersecurity training curriculum: The NSE Training Institute was recently recognized 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®
Rajesh Maurya, Regional Vice President, India & SAARC at Fortinet, said, “Fortinet is committed to solving today’s biggest cyber challenges, including addressing the talent shortage the industry faces, as both a technology company and learning organization. Through our Training Advancement Agenda (TAA) we’re working to solve the cyber skills gap by offering training, connecting professionals to employers and forging partnerships to bring untapped talent into the industry. We continue to see the impact of this agenda carried out largely through our NSE Training Institute programs.”