Fortinet’s Security Academy Program is adding to its list of academic institutions that form the program’s backbone.
The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology and the Ontario College of Management and Technology are joining Fortinet’s Security Academy Program. Built to address a cybersecurity skills gap that many security leaders say directly contributed to more than 70 per cent of intrusions over the past year, Fortinet’s Security Academy Program now boasts more than 15 Canadian universities and non-profit organizations.
The program falls under the umbrella of Fortinet’s Network Security Expert (NSE) Training Institute, established in 2015 to advance cybersecurity training and education. NSF also includes the NSE Certification and Veterans programs.
BCIT’s interim dean Kacem Habiballah says the institution and its staff and students can feel the effects of a growing threat landscape. More than 70 per cent of emails received by the institution is spam, and the number of cyberattacks lodged against BCIT has increased as well, Habiballah says.
BCIT introduced elements of Fortinet’s training resources into its two-year security program in the fall of 2019. The program, which features education material from other vendors, received a lot of praise from its participants while running during the pandemic.
“When the pandemic really hit, having the program involve Fortinet and an instructor who’s trained and certified, just made it so much easier for our students to take their education remotely,” Habiballah said.
Ottawa’s Rob Rashotte, vice-president of global training for Fortinet, says that while expanding its reach across Canada is important, Fortinet remains “very selective” with its partnerships.
“We don’t just want to issue lots of press releases,” he said, adding how Fortinet has made a number of its resources available for free online. “Although self-based training might seem very attractive and we’ve made it available for free, we absolutely still need to engage with partners that have the ability to provide high-quality instructor-led training, virtual or in the classroom.”
In a previous interview, Rashotte said that he was “encouraged” to see more people obtaining relevant cybersecurity certifications. Fortinet’s skills shortage report says that among its survey respondents, 81 per cent have earned certifications themselves, and 85 per cent report that others on their team have certifications.