Business & Technology

Free Cybersecurity Training Programs to Narrow the Skills Gap

By Rob Rashotte | May 06, 2020

Skills Gap Perspectives

With the global shortage of cybersecurity professionals having surpassed 4 million – according to a study conducted by (ISC)2 – the global cybersecurity workforce must now grow at a staggering rate of 145% each year just to meet the growing demand for skilled talent. As a result, 82% of employers claim to be dealing with a lack of experienced cybersecurity professionals within their organization. 

The cybersecurity skills gap has become an even more critical issue for many organizations transitioning to a remote workforce model. IT teams are stretched as they rapidly secure and scale their network to meet new demands. 

To help IT professionals looking to expand these timely security skills, Fortinet’s entire catalog of advanced security courses is available for free as part of our continued investment in closing the cybersecurity skills gap. We’ve received more than one million course registrations since the launch of this initiative in April 2020, demonstrating the need and desire for cybersecurity education as the threat landscape continues to evolve.

Free Cybersecurity Training is More Important Than Ever

The recent introduction of additional free cybersecurity courses further builds on Fortinet’s existing efforts to address the cyber skills gap through cybersecurity training and education. Fortinet established the Network Security Expert (NSE) Training Institute in 2015 - this iscomprised of the Fortinet Network Security Academy (FNSA) program, the Authorized Training Center program, the Fortinet Veterans Program, and the NSE training and certification program, which to date has issued more than 675,000 Network Security Expert certifications. In addition, the Fortinet NSE training and certification program was named “Professional Certification Program of the Year” by the 2019 CyberSecurity Breakthrough Awards.

Our latest training initiative opens up 24 self-paced advanced security courses for free to anyone interested in learning about cybersecurity. For those interested in pursuing certification, you will be pleased to know that the majority of the free training content comes directly from the NSE training and certification program. NSE certification is a great way for companies to validate skills and a great addition to a resume for students pursuing a career in cybersecurity.

Fortinet offers several programs and courses to close the skills gap:

1. Information Security Awareness

NSE 1 provides participants with a basic understanding of today’s threat landscape, including common tricks used by cyber criminals, and a familiarity with essential cybersecurity concepts. This awareness-focused course provides a foundational education in modern threat prevention and is well-suited for every employee.

2. Security Tools & Products

The lessons in NSE 2 help participants become familiar with common cybersecurity tools. These tools stretch across categories like cloud securitySD-WANendpoint securityfirewallsthreat intelligenceaccess control, and more. After clearing NSE 2, you will better understand which tools are necessary to protect modern networks and how they work.

3. Firewall Training

Designed for network security professionals, the FortiGate Essentials course teaches participants about the fundamental concepts of a next-generation firewall (NGFW). This includes configuring firewall policies, establishing user authentication, and setting up routing and SSL VPNs. After completing the course, you will be rewarded with a certification that attests to your skill in installing, managing, and configuring FortiGate firewalls.

4. Secure Device Configuration

The NSE 5 course focuses on security information and event management. In this free training program, you will learn about how to configure, architect, and discover devices on your network using FortiSIEM. Further, you will learn how to monitor and aggregate network performance data to ensure your network is running smoothly at all times. 

Training Programs for Students, Veterans and Nonprofits

NSE Institute’s training and certification program is also leveraged by the Security Academy and Fortinet Veterans Programs in an effort to train students, veterans, veteran spouses, and nonprofit constituents looking into a cybersecurity career. Through the Security Academy program, academic institutions and nonprofits receive access to Fortinet’s NSE training and certification curricula to prepare students and participants for a career in cybersecurity. Fortinet has more than 250 academic partnerships in more than 70 different countries and territories as part of the Security Academy program. 

As part of the Security Academy and Fortinet Veterans Programs, Fortinet collaborates with nonprofit organizations focused on helping Veterans and their spouses enter the workforce. Nonprofits joining the Security Academy program are able to provide their constituents with access to Fortinet’s NSE certifications and training, while the Fortinet Veterans Program helps veterans transfer relevant experiences to a career in cybersecurity.

Register for Our Free Cybersecurity Training Program Today

With an evolving and expanding remote workforce, more people are connecting from home networks for internet access, gaming, entertainment, education and training, and more. It has become abundantly clear that we are only as secure as the most vulnerable device or user in our networks, and cyber criminals are taking advantage of this by directly targeting remote users and teleworker environments. 

As the skills gap grows and the threat landscape becomes more complex, it is up to businesses like Fortinet to step up to the plate and help organizations address these challenges. Ultimately, Fortinet’s NSE Training Institute programs and overall skills gap initiatives, like our free training courses, are helping everyone better protect themselves and their organizations against threats across the globe. 

Find out more about how Fortinet’s Training Advancement Agenda (TAA) and NSE Training Institute programs, including the Certification ProgramSecurity Academy Program and Veterans Program, are helping to solve the cyber skills gap and prepare the cybersecurity workforce of tomorrow.