Industry Trends

Addressing the Cybersecurity Talent Shortage Takes a Village

By Fortinet | July 02, 2019

This is a summary of a byline article written for Dark Reading by Fortinet’s VP of Global Training and Technical Field Enablement, Rob Rashotte. The entire article can be accessed here.

Unfilled cybersecurity jobs due to a severe shortage in available individuals with appropriate skills and experience is currently estimated to be close to 3 million globally. Because this skills gap continues to accelerate, it is now considered to be one of the top cybersecurity risks facing many organizations. 

However, the true challenge goes beyond the lack of cybersecurity professionals. Today’s technology users suffer from a general lack of awareness of even the most basic threats, putting the organizations they work at constant risk of a potentially serious breach. And that is due to a failure in understanding that cybersecurity is everyone's job, and organizations need training and education programs that address many different audiences.

Cybersecurity Vendors Can Play a Critical Role

Filling this gap will require support from every sector – public and private – by supporting things like education, cross-training, and mentoring, both for cybersecurity professionals and every day users. Cybersecurity vendors have a critical role to play as well, that goes well beyond simply providing training on their own products and solutions.

“According to Ponemon's "2018 Cost of a Data Breach" report, 70% of data loss now occurs because of misconfigured cloud storage servers, databases, networks, and even firewalls. Today's data leaks caused by negligence now happen half as frequently as security attacks, with breaches due to such lapses having increased by well over 400% over the previous year.”

Rob Rashotte, Dark Reading, May 24, 2019

Cybersecurity vendors have a successful track record of providing training for the users of their security solutions. However, if they truly want to become trusted advisers for their customers, they “need to adopt a training and education strategy with a much wider focus than their own products and solutions.”

Such training, education, and funding needs to address:

  • Security operations center teams delivering companywide awareness programs for employees
  • Customers implementing and managing cybersecurity solutions
  • Recruitment programs focused on women and minorities, along with high-potential candidates such as veterans transitioning back to civilian careers or IT staff members who show an interest in security
  • Professional services organizations providing services to assist customers
  • Academic institutions conducting research on advanced topics such as artificial intelligence and its applicability to cybersecurity
  • Governments and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) tasked with establishing cybersecurity policies and global initiatives
  • Teenagers and parents — both in school and at home
  • Technical colleges and universities implementing new cybersecurity programs or integrating cyber into more traditional IT and computer science courses


“[Any] comprehensive training and education strategy must include strategic partnerships within government, academia, and NGOs. For cybersecurity vendors, this provides a means for their subject matter experts to share their knowledge and vision with thought leaders and the next generation of cybersecurity experts.”

Rob Rashotte, Dark Reading, May 24, 2019

The crisis of the current – and growing – cybersecurity skills gap cannot be overstated. Our society relies more than ever on the availability of a global digital infrastructure, and the reality is this is a “looming existential threat to the ongoing viability” of our digital economy. Cybersecurity vendors are uniquely positioned to help by “extending their ability to train and educate customers and partners” to a global audience at all levels of experience.

This is a summary of an article written for Dark Reading, entitled, “How Security Vendors Can Address the Cybersecurity Talent Shortage”, written by Fortinet’s VP of Global Training and Technical Field Enablement, Rob Rashotte, and published on on May 24, 2019. 

Learn more about how Fortinet’s NSE Institute provides critical cybersecurity training and education to solve the cyberskills gap and prepare a future cybersecurity workforce.