In recent months, several major cyberattacks (SolarWinds, the Colonial Pipleline, and more) aimed at critical U.S. infrastructure have shown how debilitating cyberattacks can be. Although it is not just organizations being targeted today. Cybercrime has become a topic of household conversation around the world as cyber adversaries target everyone.
Increasing public awareness through targeted education about cybersecurity continues to be important for creating a strong foundation of digital awareness across society. Cyber literacy is a necessary ingredient to building cyber resilience and offers a timely opportunity for greater engagement and partnership between the public and private sectors. Neither one can solve the problem alone and both private and public entities are directly affected if malicious cyber activity continues unabated.
In fact, a group of bipartisan lawmakers recently introduced the American Cybersecurity Literacy Act. This bill aims to establish a cybersecurity literacy campaign focused on cybersecurity risks and staying ahead of the cybercriminals who continue to target and disrupt the lives of individuals, businesses, government and other organizations.
As the federal government and other organizations work to improve security on all levels, Fortinet remains committed to maintaining our focus on cybersecurity education. Our training initiatives are designed to increase cybersecurity literacy, help close the workforce and skills gap, and prepare the cybersecurity workforce of the future as part of our Training Advancement Agenda (TAA).
Fortinet’s Training Advancement Agenda initiative aims to close the cybersecurity skills gap and increase cybersecurity literacy by offering free cybersecurity training courses, increasing access to critical security training, developing cybersecurity career pathways, and connecting professionals to employers.
Powered by the NSE Training Institute’s (NSE) extensive training and education programs, the TAA initiative provides the structure and resources to improve cybersecurity knowledge around the world. NSE training includes more than 30 technical courses on critical topics ranging from personal online security to specific technologies such as SD-WAN. NSE 1 and 2 are particularly relevant to the goal of increasing awareness and adherence to good security practices and cyber hygiene because these lessons provide a basic understanding of today’s threat landscape. These broad awareness courses meant for anyone, have information about the common tricks and strategies used by cybercriminals, essential cybersecurity concepts, and provide an introduction to critical security principles and technologies. NSE training is important because building ‘human firewalls’ can be just as important as establishing a strong security network.
Fortinet offers basic cybersecurity training for free with additional free courses for advanced security professionals, technical training for IT professionals, and security awareness training for teleworkers. The NSE program’s self-paced courses have generated over 1 million registrations.
Through Fortinet’s Security Academy Program students of all levels are provided a wide range of training materials, in addition to testing and certifications services. Authorized Academies can integrate NSE Training material directly into their course curriculum or offer courses for continued education. The program works with academic institutions and non-profit organizations to diversify the cybersecurity workforce, bridge the gap between learning and careers, and improve cybersecurity literacy among students and young children. The Security Academy Program supports more than 350 institutions with students ranging from K–12 to higher education located in more than 85 different countries and territories.
Additionally, Fortinet Authorized Training Centers (ATCs) provide a network of training facilities around the world that deliver expert-level training in local languages. More than 80 ATCs in 72 countries and territories are available to deliver training in 22 different languages. These programs and centers extend Fortinet’s global reach and align with the TAA initiatives by offering the resources for cybersecurity literacy to people outside of the U.S.
Malicous cyber actors are becoming increasingly sophisticated and IT professionals face groups of cybercriminals performing rapid cyberattacks. At the same time, many organizations are understaffed and overwhelmed as IT and security teams face an ever-increasing number of security notifications and alerts. The cybersecurity skills gap poses a growing threat to corporate security networks and critical infrastructures.
The NSE Training Institute aims to diversify the cybersecurity talent pool by partnering with organizations focused on supporting women, minorities and veterans. Fortinet’s Veteran’s program draws from diverse talent pools and provided them with free training and support to jumpstart their career in cybersecurity. A natural synergy exists between veterans, who have demonstrated dedication and a focus on national defense through their military service, and defending critical information for businesses and government agencies. Fortinet leverages this synergy and provides veterans with the resources and connections to advance their careers in cybersecurity.
The Veteran’s Program focuses on easing veterans’ transition into the cybersecurity industry by helping them find opportunities at Fortinet or within Fortinet’s ecosystem of partners, distributors, resellers, and customers. Participants also have coaching opportunities from security professionals and additional resources and opportunities from veteran and military spouse-focused non-profit organizations.
As the digital landscape continues to grow, cybercriminals will become more sophisticated and persistent in their attacks. The difference between a compromised network and a secure one lies in the hands of all of us, and both users and security professionals can benefit from training resources to identify potential threats and improve our cyber hygiene. Continuing to build the cybersecurity workforce and close the skills gap is a key part of reducing overall cybersecurity risk.
Find out more about how Fortinet’s Training Advancement Agenda (TAA) and NSE Training Institute programs, including the Certification Program, Security Academy Program and Veterans Program, are helping to solve the cyber skills gap and prepare the cybersecurity workforce of tomorrow.