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Fortinet doing its bit to ease security skills gap

Networking security player Fortinet has kicked off a global programme aimed at increasing the security skills of the next generation of workers

Trying to deal with the cyber security skills crisis is a problem exercising a lot of minds in the industry as they try to help improve customer knowledge around the latest threats.

Only yesterday, the Institute of Information Security Professionals (IISP) annual report of its members found that getting hold of skilled staff was a major headache and that follows in the wake of warnings from NTT Com Security and KPMG around the issue.

In response some distributors have increased the training they provide, groups like the IISP have advised customers to provide more cyber skill support in-house, and vendors have also stepped up to meet the challenge.

The UK might not be included in the first wave of locations for its global network security academy but it is likely to be part of the plans for Fortinet.

The firm has teamed up with educational institutions and non-profit groups to try to increase the number of cyber security experts that are entering the market.

In the first wave seven organisations in the US, Canada and in some EMEA locations, including Austria, have signed up with the promise of 20 more sites to open in the next quarter.

“It’s no secret that security threats are increasing and impacting organizations in all industries, of all sizes, worldwide. Current estimates show up to one million cybersecurity job openings with demand expected to rise to 6m globally by 2019," said Ken Xie, founder, chairman of the board and CEO at Fortinet.

"We are partnering with organizations around the globe, in an innovative way, to help fill the pipeline of cybersecurity experts needed to manage and thwart increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks," he added.

The training and examinations are sponsored by Fortinet and it will help prepare the instructors but the delivery of the course will be in the hands of the partner educational institutions.

At the moment the closest location of the academy to the UK is Austria and Christian Schöndorfer, IT professional at the Austrian training partner HTL Rennweg, said that working with the vendor provided it with the chance to make sure that students were getting exposed to the latest information and armed with the skills to join the networking workforce of tomorrow.  

“As technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, it is up to academic institutions to offer courses that align with the technical needs the future generations of the world’s workforce will need in order to stay competitive," he said.

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