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Fortinet promises free cybersecurity training until skills gap trend reverses

In a bid to extend cybersecurity skills and capabilities, Fortinet has extended the availability of its free, self-paced Network Security Expert (NSE) training courses.

Fortinet’s free training initiative provides learners with access to more than 30 free security courses on topics ranging from secure SD-WAN to operational technology (OT) security to cloud security, with more courses expected to be added throughout the year.

Additionally, pre-recorded lab demos by cybersecurity experts are available for on-demand viewing, as well as preparation for NSE Certification exams.

Most of the free courses are part of the official curriculum for the Fortinet NSE Certification Program, which is an eight-level program that has issued more than half a million certifications.

Finally, the training initiative offers continuing professional credits. Individuals can use their free training completion as well as any NSE training course to gain Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits for CISSP and other (ISC)2 designations.

Learners earn one credit for every hour of NSE Training Institute training they do with Fortinet.

As the COVID-19 pandemic led to the exponential increase of teleworkers, the need for securing remote networks and users became a top priority for organisations, Fortinet states.

IT teams already challenged with finding security professionals due to the skills gap were faced with an even greater need for expertise to securely transition to a remote workforce.

The NSE Training Institute is a catalogue of self-paced courses free of charge designed to provide IT and security professionals with the opportunity to learn new skills, reskill or upskill their security knowledge.

Since opening these courses to the public, there have been more than 800,000 registrations.

Through the course of 2020, Fortinet saw an increase in registrations for its cyber awareness training, consisting of the NSE Certification Program’s training levels 1-3, its mid-levels 4-6 designed for a technical audience and levels 7-8 for advanced expertise.

As the need for enterprise-wide cybersecurity awareness has become such a critical priority for so many organisations, Fortinet also introduced the free Information Security Awareness and Training service.

The service leverages the NSE level 1 training and packages it together with a library of awareness assets and administration tools.

The service provides organisations with a solution to get started on an enterprise-wide cybersecurity awareness program for all employees.

Fortinet vice president, global training and technical field enablement, Rob Rashotte, says, “With over 800,000 registrations for our free training offerings in 2020, it has become clear that Fortinet’s NSE training is fulfilling a huge need for all levels of security professionals.

"As such we are committed to continue offering the entire catalogue of self-paced Network Security Expert training at no cost until we see the skills gap trend reverse.

"Together with our ecosystem of academic and commercial training providers as well as government and NGO partnerships, we will continue to provide the industry with a diverse, equitable and inclusive pipeline of security professionals.”