Migrating to the cloud has become a business necessity for many organizations, but this migration must be undertaken wisely. Analyst firm Gartner calls cloud computing one of the most disruptive technologies at work today, forecasting that growth in enterprise IT spending for cloud-based offerings will overtake that for non-cloud solutions.
The move to the cloud has many business benefits, but it is not without its risks, as IT security teams can be spread even thinner. The increased risk is due in part to the introduction of the shared responsibility model for cloud security. Organizations need to learn how to navigate this new model and then fortify their IT teams with personnel who have cloud security training and expertise.
Finding IT professionals with cloud security skills, however, can be a challenge. In a survey by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), 82 percent of employers reported a cybersecurity skills gap, and 71 percent believe this shortage causes direct and measurable damage to their organizations. These numbers refer to cybersecurity in general — cloud security is a subset of this total, making these professionals even harder to come by.
The Importance of Cloud Security Training
The significant talent shortfall (with its attendant security risks) presents resourceful organizations with career development opportunities for existing, highly skilled employees. Smart manager can build a solid cloud security bench from within their own organizations.
Instead of competing for the tiny population of cloud security gurus on the open market, investing in cloud security skills enables enterprises to recruit from within. Managers can work with people they already know, educating trusted and capable employees in a new set of skills that will serve the specific needs of their business and network environments.
Traditional educational environments, while effective for learning, aren't agile enough to keep pace with today's rapid advances in technology and the rate of demand for skilled cybersecurity practitioners. That's why Fortinet chose to create multiple training and education programs, including those focused on cloud security.
The Fortinet Network Security Expert (NSE) Institute was developed to offer broad-based training to a wide spectrum of participants. Through the NSE Institute's programs, individuals can gain a foundational understanding of the threat landscape, as well as master cybersecurity fundamentals. More skilled personnel can rise to the level of cybersecurity expert, gaining the skills needed to implement complex technical strategies and concepts that are in high demand.
The NSE Institute offers an eight-level certification program of self-paced and instructor-led courses, as well as practical, experiential hands-on labs that demonstrate mastery of complex network security concepts. Many of these courses and certifications focus on cloud security including:
NSE 2 Cloud Security
NSE 3 Public Cloud
NSE 3 FortiGate Cloud
NSE 7 Cloud Security — There are separate designations for public and private cloud security for this certification:
Public Cloud: This is an advanced, hands-on, two-day class. Participants learn about the different components that make up the infrastructures of the top public cloud providers and the security challenges these environments present, including high availability (HA), auto-scaling, software-defined network (SDN) connectors, and how to manage traffic in the cloud with Fortinet products.
Private Cloud: This is also an advanced two-day class, but the focus is on the infrastructures of private clouds and their security challenges. Participants learn how to address these security challenges with the Fortinet cloud security offering, using the Software Defined Networks (SDN) connectors, and how to deploy a FortiGate-VMX and configure the Fortinet integration with OpenStack.
Fortinet also offers the Fast Track Program, with workshops that provide hands-on experience focused on a specific Fortinet technology. Each workshop is tailored to a certain business or technology use case and provides participants with an understanding of the Fortinet solution.
One of these workshops is Security, Visibility and Control of Public Cloud Infrastructure and Workloads.� The workshop covers multi-cloud environments with use cases focused on Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Amazon Web Services (AWS). and Microsoft Azure.
Securing the Cloud
The cloud security talent gap will only continue to grow unless businesses, the government and academia come together to find a solution. Organizations need talent now.
No single entity can bridge the gap, but cybersecurity providers can do their part to train and educate the next crop of skilled workers. Employers, for their part, can take advantage of current, just-in-time training strategies to fill the skills gaps in their own workforce.
Fortinet has recognized its role as part of the cybersecurity community to help develop a global cybersecurity workforce. The NSE Institute's programs and other Fortinet learning initiatives are making educational resources accessible not just to technology professionals, but also to veterans, students of all ages, and people looking to get a better understanding of the cybersecurity landscape.