Industry Trends

Cybersecurity Skills Shortage Is Not Just About Having the Right Products and Technology; It’s About Solving the People Challenge

By Stephan Tallent | March 22, 2016

It’s evident that demand for trained and experienced cybersecurity professionals far exceeds supply. With 46% of organizations now claiming that they have a problematic shortage of cybersecurity skills, significantly up from last year at just 28%, its apparent that the growing cybersecurity talent shortage is starting to represent a global security risk. [i]  

Lacking a comprehensive cybersecurity education and training strategy, large organizations are going to continue to battle highly sophisticated and well-organized cyber-adversaries with their own skeleton crew.

According to a Peninsula Press analysis of numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 209,000 cybersecurity jobs in the U.S. are unfilled and postings are up 74-percent over the past 5 years; while the demand for information security professionals is expected to grow by 53-percent through 2018. Fortinet has been at the forefront of addressing the security and talent gap issue with the Fortinet Veterans Program and today’s launch of the Fortinet Network Security Academy (FNSA), designed to develop and train action-oriented cybersecurity experts to address the global skills shortage.

FortiVets Translate Armed Defense Skills Into Cyber Protection

When Andrew Adrian, an amphibious assault vehicle crewmember in the United States Marine  

Corps, finished his tour of duty in 2014, he wasn’t sure what to do next – a dilemma for many former Marine and military personnel. Entry back into civilian life and transitioning into the private sector for employment proves to be a very daunting task for several of today’s veterans.

While most former military personnel do not have cybersecurity training, they do have compatible skills, including data analysis, an enemy mindset and teamwork that transition well into the IT security industry.

The Fortinet Veterans Program capitalizes on the natural synergy between national defense in the Armed Services and protecting critical information for businesses and government agencies. The mission of the program is to help veterans across the country transition into the cybersecurity industry through employment at Fortinet as well as at our distribution and technology partners. Founded with the help of Veterans and free of charge to join, the program enables Fortinet partners to view current FortiVets, participants of the program who are available for hire, ensuring that they are matched with trained and skilled cyber business professionals.

Today, dozens of FortiVets have already been trained with many more currently enrolled or successfully starting their careers in cybersecurity. With Fortinet product training as well as business education and mentoring, FortiVets experience career opportunities across cyber business, including sales, marketing, engineering, and HR. The program seeks to bridge the gap between the supply of veterans and the demand for qualified professionals in the cybersecurity industry.

The Fortinet Veteran Program is currently available in the U.S. with expansion to Canada and the UK planned for Q2, and additional geographies in the second half of 2016. For more information on the program, email

Fortinet Network Security Academy Creates Global Pipeline of Cybersecurity Talent

Expanding upon the success of the Veterans program, today we introduced the FNSA, which further extends the company’s dedication to training talent to address the international cybersecurity skills shortage and to build a workforce skilled in all aspects of Fortinet’s end-to-end network security fabric.

The Academy brings the training and certification opportunities previously only offered to Fortinet customers and partners to a variety of external educational institutions, non-profit organizations and veterans programs. Training for faculty is free of charge for these organizations, arming the professors with the skills required to teach students who will learn how to protect global organizations from cyber threats in the future.

Seven organizations from the United States, Canada, and EMEA have joined the Academy already, with 20 additional global FNSA sites expected to open within the next quarter. To learn more about the program or how to become an Academy site, email

Solving the People Challenge Through Veterans and Students  

Through our work with the Veterans and Academy programs, Fortinet is committed to solving the global cybersecurity skills shortage by confronting the real issue – the talent gap. Ensuring that the future of our society and global economies are secure absolutely depends on leading security technology innovation, but it is also heavily contingent on the people who run and operate our global cyber businesses. Behind the tools of cybercrime are people. On the other side, we need well-trained professionals to help curb the ever-expanding landscape of cybersecurity threats. 

[i] ESG Brief: Cybersecurity Skills Shortage: A State of Emergency, February 10, 2016