Industry Trends

Rickard Sellstedt, an NSE 8 Network and Security Engineer

By Rickard Sellstedt | October 26, 2021

Today’s evolving cyberthreat landscape calls for more resources and more people with diverse skills to stay ahead of cyber adversaries and keep attacks at bay. Defeating cybercriminals requires more than just addressing attacks as they occur or after they happen; it takes continuous learning about cybersecurity and the threat landscape to get out ahead. As the world of cybersecurity progresses on both sides, with cybercriminals continuing to up the ante with new, sophisticated attacks, security professionals must invest in learning opportunities, including a focus on certifications and cybersecurity training. 

The Fortinet NSE Training Institute continues to advance Fortinet’s Training Advancement Agenda (TAA) by offering a variety of programs ranging from free training to advanced cybersecurity resources to arm today’s cybersecurity workforce with the knowledge and tools that they need to be effective. 

Rickard Sellstedt, a network and security engineer based in Sweden working for Xite, shared some learnings and perspective about his journey to achieving NSE Level 8 certification, the highest designation, showing mastery of both the cyberthreat landscape and technology. 

How Is the Threat Landscape Today? Do You Think it’s More Sophisticated Now?

Yes, I would say that cybercriminals are more sophisticated. They are much more proficient at exploiting even a small security hole to gain access to everything within a customer’s network. Gaps in the company’s network not covered by a combination of best practices and proper security solutions are how they get in.

For the general public, cybercriminals are attacking through phishing emails at a greater rate. If an individual isn’t using proper security solutions or doesn’t have any certification or training around phishing, they become much more vulnerable to these attacks. 

People are moving around so much more than before as well. Employees may be working from an office one day and working from home or a hotel or coffee shop on another. These workers need the same security at these remote locations as they have in the office. 

The Importance of Certification and Training

Since starting in the security business, I have always been certified by a couple of vendors. But I have to admit that getting Fortinet NSE 8 certification was really hard. When an individual is successful at achieving level 8, it really shows that they know what they’re doing and that they have expert knowledge in network security design, configuration, and troubleshooting for complex networks. What NSE Level 8 also tests is an individual’s proficiency in networking and security in general. You have to bring all your accumulative knowledge to the table when testing for NSE 8. 

Certifications are also very important when you are recruiting new talent for your organization. We do a lot of recruiting with universities, and we’re encouraging all new recruits to get their Fortinet NSE certifications. We pay special attention to resumes that list Fortinet, as we are well aware of the level of knowledge that is required to achieve these certifications.

What Does NSE 8 Certification Mean for Your Career?

The certification has helped me develop my career as well the success of my organization. We’re now working with some of the biggest companies in Sweden. Like our organization, our customers are also looking for expertise in the cybersecurity field. They place value on the Fortinet NSE certifications. I know that if I didn’t have that certification, we wouldn’t be working with them. We have one customer that switched to us from another consultant company because we have more knowledge of routing, network security, Fortinet’s Security Fabric, and overall switches and Wi-Fi

From an individual standpoint, I now work with senior architects and consultant customers. As an NSE 8, I lead a team of colleagues with NSE 4 or NSE 7 certifications.

What Advice Would You Give to People Who Are NSE 5 Who Want to Proceed to Level 8?

First, I would tell them to get a lot of hands-on knowledge with the Fortinet products to get there. But you also need to learn a lot about routing, switching, and the Security Fabric. But overall, any technical knowledge about security helps. It helps you work through tough situations and figure out how to solve challenges for customers. It takes time and dedication, but the reward is worth it.

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 close the cyber skills gap and prepare the cybersecurity workforce of tomorrow.