QueenslandFortinet, a leader in broad, integrated, and automated cybersecurity solutions, has announced it has partnered with veteran support organisation, Soldier On, to provide free cybersecurity training to Australian veterans transitioning to civilian careers. As part of Fortinet’s Training Advancement Agenda (TAA), the training is also available to veterans’ families, and is provided by the Fortinet Security Academy Program.

The Security Academy Program is an initiative of Fortinet’s TAA. The TAA is built on Fortinet’s Training Institute and was created to reduce the skills gap by introducing more diversity and education to the industry. The program provides students, veterans, and veterans’ families with advanced cybersecurity training and certifications. The initiative aims to close the skills gap in cybersecurity while also providing ex-servicemen and women with an opportunity to reinvent their careers. Moving from a career in protecting Australia’s physical security to protecting its cybersecurity offers significant opportunities for veterans.

The partnership allows any veteran who has worn a uniform for one day in any time period since 1990, or one of their family members, to access Fortinet’s Network Security Expert (NSE) training at no cost.

Glenn Maiden, director of threat intelligence, Fortinet’s FortiGuard Labs, said, “Fortinet is committed to closing the global skills gap with our TAA and one way is by untapping veterans’ potential to transition into a career in cybersecurity. I spent many years in the Department of Defence working alongside some of the best in the business. The level of veterans’ technical expertise, collaboration, leadership and outcome focus is second to none. Fortinet provides opportunities for these exceptional ex-servicemen and women to enable a pivot to a civilian career that’s rewarding, meaningful, and achievable. With an ongoing skills shortage plaguing the IT security community, this is a win-win proposition. Military veterans and their families gain an opportunity to reskill and revitalise their careers while the industry will gain an influx of highly capable, qualified IT security professionals with experience that translates extremely well to the cyber defence challenge.”

The NSE Training Institute’s Veterans Program (FortiVet) will augment the NSE training provided through the Security Academy Program with resources for professional networking, mentoring and coaching. The NSE Training Institute programs contribute to Fortinet’s TAA by helping to bring training, certification, and resources to veterans, students, and other underserved communities. On completion of the program, participants will receive a certificate and, if requested, a letter of recommendation to help them find employment in the IT security industry.

Participants will also have the opportunity to become certified through lectures and hands-on practical application of the knowledge gained through the NSE Certification Program. The Fortinet NSE Training Institute’s certification program offers eight levels of certification that provide an independent validation of the participant’s network security skills and experience.

These qualifications will prepare ex-service people for careers on the technical side of IT security or in roles in sales, product development, project management, marketing, human resources, finance, and more.

Ivan Slavich, chief executive officer, Soldier On, said, “Veterans add significant value to an organisation because of their work ethic, and the unique skills they acquire in the military. We also recognise that the family members of Defence personnel are a valuable asset to organisations. By adding cybersecurity skills to their already impressive skillset, this program will ensure that former Australian Defence Personnel are imminently employable. Importantly, this program can give both veterans and their family members the opportunity to discover and pursue a new passion, creating a true win-win.”

Maiden said, “With our TAA, Fortinet invests heavily in training and education, offering more than 350 hours of free training to the general public. The self-paced courses cover topics including cloud security and secure SD-WAN, both of which are emerging as indispensable and growing areas. Through this partnership with Soldier On, we’re providing a pathway to learning for Australian veterans and their families that will make it easy for them to start a career in cybersecurity regardless of their previous access to education, background, or life experiences. We look forward to seeing more ex-service people take advantage of this opportunity.”


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