Image: Fortinet presentation on the risks of IoT devices at the RSA cybersecurity conference
If you follow the world of cybersecurity, you've probably heard of Fortinet. In just over 20 years, they have become the largest cybersecurity company in the world.
Fortinet dominates the industry with over 800 patents, 50 hardware and software products, and billions in yearly revenue.
Fortinet provides integrated cyber solutions for all kinds of organizations, from hospitality and health care, to financial services companies and governments.
But did you know that Fortinet is also a cybersecurity training provider? They partner with educational institutions across the globe, helping schools deliver cutting-edge training.
Most importantly, they provide globally-recognized cybersecurity certifications that help newcomers prove their expertise, learn how to use Fortinet products, and advance their careers.
So, we're very pleased to announce that Herzing College is now a Fortinet Academy partner.
This week, we interviewed Al Nasturzio, Director of Training and Education Partners at Fortinet, to get all the details on how this partnership will benefit our IT and cybersecurity students.
Q: Can you give us some background on Fortinet? What is the company known for?
Al Nasturzio: Fortinet is the global leader in cybersecurity. We've been around for over 20 years. Fortinet has over 50 integrated products on both the hardware and software side completely focussed on cybersecurity.
We do over $3 billion a year in sales, with 500,000 customers worldwide and close to 9000 employees.
We have a large presence in Canada, including a support and development centre in Burnaby, British Columbia, where a lot of our research and development happens.
We also have a big facility in Ottawa.
Q: What is the Fortinet Academy all about? What kind of cybersecurity training and certifications do you offer?
Al Nasturzio: The Fortinet Academy provides cutting edge training and industry-recognized certifications in cybersecurity.
We offer 8 levels of certifications, known as NSE certifications.
NSE levels 1-3 provide a foundation in cybersecurity. NSE levels 4-6 focus on technical skills. NSE 7 is an advanced certification, and NSE 8 is our expert level certification.
We have 350 training partners around the world. We work with universities and colleges like Herzing.
Our mission is to close the global cybersecurity skills gap by providing cutting edge training and certifications.
The 8 different levels of NSE certification from Fortinet (source: fortinet.com)
Q: Can you tell us about the partnership with Herzing College? How does it work?
Al Nasturzio: We partnered with Herzing College to give your IT students access to our courses and certification opportunities.
It's all part of our mission to make quality cybersecurity training available to more people, and support newcomers who are entering the industry.
We are providing Herzing IT and cybersecurity instructors with course materials, instructor guides, and access to our training labs.
The best part? All Herzing IT students and alumni are welcome to take all of our cyber courses for free.
Plus, they get a voucher for their first NSE certification exam - a $400 value. If a student or alumni wants to take a Fortinet certification exam, they can do that for free.
The NSE 4 certification would be the logical place to start for Herzing cybersecurity graduates.
Q: What are the advantages to getting certified with Fortinet?
Al Nasturzio: The biggest advantage is that our NSE certifications are respected by employers across the world. Getting certified shows employers you have the skills needed to get the job done. It's proof of your competence as a cybersecurity professional.
One of our certifications combined with a Cybersecurity diploma from Herzing College will give you a competitive edge on the job market.
Our certifications also prepare you to use Fortinet products and technologies, which are in very high demand across Canada.
Companies are looking for cyber professionals who know how to implement our products. So getting trained in these tools gives graduates another big advantage.
Q: How did Fortinet cybersecurity solutions become so popular?
Al Nasturzio: We are the largest cybersecurity company in the world. That means organizations across the planet have come to rely on our products.
We also have special initiatives to help more women enter the cyber field, and to support veterans transition from military life to positions in IT and tech.
Fortinet provides a link between employers and up-and-coming cyber professionals.
We don't just develop cutting-edge cybersecurity products. We work hard to push the industry forward and create new employment opportunities.
Q: What are the most common types of cybersecurity threats you're seeing right now?
Al Nasturzio: I would say ransomware. Criminals hack into a system and prevent the company from carrying on business. They demand a ransom to release the system, essentially holding vital information hostage until the company pays up.
These types of attacks have been all over the news recently and are definitely on the rise. They can do major damage.
Quite often, hackers take advantage of end users who don't know enough about identifying threats, phishing scams, suspicious messages, files, etc.
All it takes is for one employee to open a bad attachment and the entire system is compromised.
That's why we do a lot of cyber awareness training for corporations. We teach end users how to identify threats so they don't accidentally open the door to hackers.
Our NSE certifications 1 and 2 focus on these kinds of foundational skills and knowledge.
Q: Which cybersecurity skills are most in-demand right now? What are companies looking for in new hires?
Al Nasturzio: Over the past year or so, I've noticed that entry-level skills are still very important. Having a strong computer networking background and skillset is critical.
Many companies are hiring people with strong networking backgrounds, and then training and promoting them into cybersecurity roles.
There are huge opportunities to start in a beginner role and advance into more specialized cyber positions.
So, the ability to continue learning, develop your skills, and earn certifications is very important.
The threat landscape is changing very quickly. Employers want people who can adapt, think critically, solve problems, and learn quickly.
I think we're going to see an increase in entry-level roles, with lots of opportunities for talented newcomers.
Learn more about Cybersecurity Training at Herzing College
Herzing College offers a 12-month Cybersecurity Specialist diploma. This program is available at the Toronto and Ottawa campuses as well as online.
Our students have full, free access to Fortinet courses and can take their first NSE certification exam for free (a $400 savings).
Click below to explore the Cybersecurity Specialist program and learn more about courses, certifications, and careers.