Business & Technology

Bridging the Cybersecurity Skills Gap with the Fortinet Network Security Academy

By Jennifer Teeters | July 20, 2018

Today’s threat landscape continues to grow in both frequency and sophistication. Unfortunately, as the attack surface continues to present a greater threat to businesses and organizations across sectors, the well-versed and highly-skilled cybersecurity professionals needed to combat this widening attack surface are in short supply. This cybersecurity skills shortage is leaving existing IT personnel across industries strained as they attempt to maintain effective security posture with dwindling resources. What’s more, 3.5 million global cybersecurity jobs are estimated to remain open by 2021, illustrating that the need for new cybersecurity professionals is real and the shortage isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

Addressing the cybersecurity skills gap is a multifaceted and complex issue. While today’s businesses and organizations can leverage a variety of solutions to maintain effective security posture, to truly solve the problem, the cybersecurity industry needs to look toward the future—more specifically, the future of cybersecurity education.

This revelation has prompted Fortinet to launch its worldwide Network Security Expert (NSE) program, an eight-level certification program aimed at advancing technical professionals in their skills and knowledge of today’s modern cybersecurity landscape. The program focuses on a range of training—from basic introductory knowledge, to mastery of today’s modern cybersecurity concepts. Each level of certification includes a variety of self-paced and instructor led courses with hands-on, practical training for today’s modern cyber threats.

The globally recognized industry training and certification offered in our NSE program is now available to educators and students with the Fortinet Network Security Academy (FNSA). This comprehensive program aims to facilitate network security education across the globe, offering real-world training and in-depth curriculum for academies and educators to help prepare their students to enter the job market with the network security skills businesses need.

Preparing for the Future

The FNSA program, which is currently available across 105 academies in 36 countries, was created to help mitigate the skills gap by arming the future of cybersecurity with the tools and knowledge to address today’s evolving cyber threats and better bolster interested students in the number of learning opportunities made available to them. This program helps cybersecurity students build applicable and highly-demanded workforce skills by leveraging Fortinet’s comprehensive network security platform to teach students about modern network administration and security.

The FNSA aims to give students real-world applicable skills, enabling them to build upon their existing cybersecurity knowledge and further facilitate their learning by building a workforce skilled in all aspects of our industry-leading security platform. Our programs offer varying levels of cybersecurity proficiency, culminating toward an industry-recognized Network Security Expert level 4 exam and certification. This security certification offered through Pearson, highlights FNSA students’ overall:

·       Network security skills and experience

·       Value to current and future employers

·       Knowledge of Fortinet’s comprehensive security network

FNSA was created to address the international shortage of cybersecurity experts and to build a workforce skilled in all aspects of Fortinet’s network security platform who will be recognized in the industry among an elite group of security professionals. The Academy brings the training and certification opportunities previously only offered to Fortinet customers, employees and partners to educational institutions, non-profit organizations and veterans programs. Students leave the program with the skills needed to help protect global organizations from cyber threats

Helping Educators Make an Impact

To properly staff businesses and organizations with the cybersecurity professionals they need, we’ve begun to look toward the future and how to better facilitate cybersecurity learning in the education sector. In this effort, Fortinet works with a number of colleges and universities to expand cybersecurity curriculum and internships aimed at facilitating hands-on experience that can translate over into the job market.

However, we understand that within the education sector itself, curriculum development, lead times for course creation and approval, allocating funding and resources can make cybersecurity education difficult. To help, we’ve developed our FNSA program as a comprehensive solution that can be used “off-the-shelf,” or refined to fit in-line with an educational institution’s current curriculum. By training educators to deliver Fortinet courses, we hope to facilitate the growing demand for network security education, making it easier for students and educators alike. In this effort, the Fortinet Network Security Academy helps fill the gap in cybersecurity education, providing cost-effective solutions that put students in front of the real-world devices that make them highly attractive across the job market. 

We’ve also recognized the potential for those currently unfamiliar to network security to learn cybersecurity skills and ultimately gain mastery of core concepts and practices within the industry. Fortinet offers our fundamental technical training course on The Threat Landscape to help those interested in pursuing network security an opportunity to learn essential skills. 

Final Thoughts

As the cybersecurity skills gap is continuing to grow, the rapidly-expanding attack surface is as well. Across industries, cybersecurity professionals armed with the tools and knowledge to combat these threats are crucial. However, the cybersecurity skills gap means these network security personnel are in short supply. With this in mind, we developed the Fortinet Security Network Academy to help students looking to actively receive hands-on, relevant cybersecurity education to help take their skills into the job market.

Learn more about the Fortinet Network Security Academy. Interested in incorporating the FSNA into your educational institution? Apply now

Educate yourself: Check out our entry level designation of the Fortinet Network Security Expert (NSE) program. It is intended to provide a basic understanding of the threat landscape facing networks today. Anyone interested to learn about the threat landscape and cybersecurity should take this course for more learning.