How Partners Can Grow Their Business and Skillsets with NSE 8 Certification

By Jon Bove | July 16, 2019

The cybersecurity skills gap has left many organizations unable to fill security positions, whether they have been priced out of the market or simply cannot find qualified candidates. As a result, many companies are turning to VARs, MSSPs, and other service providers to help fill these roles, answer questions, and deploy cutting-edge technology that can provide rapid response to attacks with minimal intervention. The expectation is that these partners can help organizations determine where vulnerabilities exist within their network, connect them with the controls necessary to mitigate those vulnerabilities, and facilitate the ongoing maintenance of these tools.

As such, Fortinet seeks to empower our partners with the background and experience necessary to meet the needs of their customers through the suite of Fortinet solutions, many of which comprise the Fortinet Security Fabric. The Fabric is deigned to leverage integration and automation to provide true defense in-depth. To assist with this, we have built the Network Security Experts (NSE) program.

This tiered program is composed of eight levels, and offers courses, exams, and hands-on practicums to technical professionals looking to grow their business with the advanced security skills they need to stay a step ahead of resourceful cyber criminals. These courses range from high-level overviews of the threat landscape, to how to implement firewalls and security analytics, to the highest technical levels of security configuration at level eight. 

Securing Digital Transformation with NSE 8

Fortinet’s Network Security Experts program is designed to give students, including our partners, the skills and first-hand experience required to secure their customers’ networks from existing and evolving threats. By the time partners reach level eight, they are able to configure, install, and troubleshoot comprehensive, integrated network security controls in a live environment.

To earn the level 8 certification, partners must complete a written and practical exam. While this can be done independent of the first seven levels of NSE, partners are encouraged to take each course leading up to this final level.

The NSE 8 certification covers the essential elements of security required by organizations undergoing digital transformation, addressing issues such as moving to the cloud, managing the increasing number of applications and devices in use, and deploying SD-WAN. Partners also become familiar with deploying and managing FortiGate on the AWS and Azure platforms, designing enhanced security solutions, networking and advanced routing, security event management, and more.

Completing this certification enables partners to showcase their value to customers, assist with acquisition and retention of clients, accelerate sales, and offer updated services. Furthermore, this independent validation of their security skills is a draw for employers – especially now, when cybersecurity skills and experience are in such demand.

Staying Up to Date on New Products and Features

As cybercriminals continue to develop sophisticated cyberattacks designed to infiltrate networks and avoid detection, new security tools are being developed in conjunction to minimize the efficacy of these attack strategies and technologies.

At Accelerate 2019, for example, Fortinet announced several new product innovations that better enable partners to secure customer networks:

  • FortiDeceptor: This new solution assists with breach protection by redirecting threats away from critical assets. The differentiator here is that it protects networks from both insider and external threats using a fabricated deception network that forces attackers to reveal themselves. 
  • FortiOS 6.2 Fabric Extensions: These important updates are essential for partners to learn about and master. These tools expand the abilities of the Security Fabric, while reducing the complexity involved with designing, deploying, and managing a holistic security architecture – thereby assisting partners in establishing and maintaining customer controls. These extensions span application delivery controllers, including FortiCASB, FortiNAC, FortiDDoS, and more.
  • Cloud Security Updates: Several cloud security upgrades have recently been released, including our Virtual Security Processor, FortiCASB 4.1, and FortiMail 6.2. These solutions enable your customers to securely take advantage of everything the cloud has to offer, facilitating the migration of high-performance applications and the ability to securely deploy critical applications such as O365.

As new solutions are released, partners that have already been certified, or those just starting on the path to NSE certification, will need to continually learn how these tools fit into the existing Fabric, as well as how to configure them. To ensure partners remain up to date on these latest advancements and trends, Fortinet will be also be hosting the NSE Xperts Academy at locations around the world. These multi-day events will offer technical workshops led by solution experts to ensure partner use, combined with expert recommendations around these solutions informed by the latest trends and threat intelligence.

NSE Xperts Academy sessions cover a variety of pressing topics, including:

  • Securing operational technology (OT)
  • Exposing and remediating attacks with FortiDeceptor
  • Public cloud networking and reference architectures
  • Securing the access layer with FortiNAC
  • Threat identification and remediation with FortiSIEM

Attending these and other pertinent workshops allow partners to continue to hone their skills, ensuring the highest levels of security for customer networks as threats and networks continue to evolve. 

Final Thoughts

Fortinet is committed to providing our partners with the training and resources needed to leverage the Security Fabric to its fullest extent in their customer’s networks. By achieving the NSE 8 certification and then reviewing ongoing advances in tools and trends at our Xperts Academy events, partners can provide maximum value to customers while growing their individual skillsets.

To learn more about the NSE Xperts Academy, visit the Partner Portal.

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.