Fortinet Adds Services to Help Close Cybersecurity Skills Gap

Fortinet this week rolled out additional security operations center (SOC) augmentation services and expanded the training programs it provides via the Fortinet Training Institute.

Karin Shopen, vice president of cybersecurity solutions and services for Fortinet, said the goal is to make it simpler for organizations to rely on external services to help close the skills gap many organizations encounter when trying to find and retain qualified cybersecurity professionals.

In fact, a recent Fortinet 2022 Cybersecurity Skills Gap report found 50% of global leaders cited security operations as one of the most challenging roles to fill, with 42% specifically in need of security operations analysts.

The same survey also found 80% of organizations suffered one or more breaches due to a lack of cybersecurity skills and awareness.

To help address the skills shortage, additions to the Fortinet portfolio include an expansion of the SOC-as-a-service (SOCaaS) platform that now provides access to cybersecurity experts hired by Fortinet. Those experts are also augmented by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities that Fortinet has already embedded in the platform.

There is now also an Outbreak Detection Service that alerts organizations whenever there is a major cybersecurity event that includes, for example, the timeline of a specific type of attack that has been discovered. The alerts also include custom threat hunting tests to run against logs that help identify the potential impact of an attack, as well as recommendations to improve the overall security posture of an organization.

In addition, the Incident Response and Readiness (IR&R) Services provided by Fortinet have been expanded to provide risk assessments, playbook development, tabletop exercises and other services to better ensure security.

Finally, Fortinet is also expanding the courses provided via the Fortinet Training Institute by making the practical exam for NSE level 8 more accessible for IT and security professionals everywhere. Both the written and practical portions of the exam are now available in an online, proctored format.

Through these types of training initiatives, the company has committed to training one million cybersecurity professionals by 2026, many of which will come from diverse backgrounds and may not have previous cybersecurity experience.

Like many providers of cybersecurity platforms, Fortinet is expanding the range of managed services it provides. Historically, many of these services have been provided by managed security service providers but as the demand for cybersecurity expertise continues to outpace the available supply, many IT services providers are now opting to resell services provided by vendors such as Fortinet.

Regardless of how organizations improve their cybersecurity posture, it’s apparent that as attacks increase in both volume and sophistication, gaining access to additional cybersecurity expertise has become a pressing problem. The odds an organization is going to be able to ensure cybersecurity relying solely on an internal IT team are today slim to none, especially as cybercriminals inevitably take advantage of AI to launch attacks at unprecedented scale. The issue, as always, is finding a way to invoke those external services without necessarily breaking the IT budget.

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Michael Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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