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Fortinet creates the Veterans Program Advisory Council
Fri, 29th Sep 2023

Fortinet, the global cybersecurity expert driving the convergence of networking and security, has formed the Veterans Program Advisory Council.

The Council comprises a global board of esteemed members from organisations that support the military veterans community across the Five Eyes countries: the United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, and Australia. 

Members will provide counsel on how Fortinet can continue meeting the needs of military veterans looking to transition into the cybersecurity field.  

Fortinet recognises that military veterans have complementary skill sets that make them ideal candidates for cybersecurity roles, including discipline, problem-solving under immense pressure, situational awareness, and an understanding of the importance of maintaining a strong defence posture. 

With the industry facing a talent shortage with an estimated 3.4 million security roles needing to be filled worldwide, Fortinet says the veteran community can be crucial in filling critical cyber positions with access to training, mentorship, and employment opportunities. 

However, the Fortinet 2023 Cybersecurity Skills Gap Global Research Report found that 43% of organisations had difficulty recruiting qualified veterans for cybersecurity roles. At the same time, veteran turnover is high in the industry, with one critical reason being the staff shortage, leading to overwork and burnout. 

To further address these hurdles, the Veterans Program Advisory Council members will help Fortinet strengthen its Veterans Program offerings by providing guidance on how to continue reskilling and upskilling veterans so they can start and stay in various cyber career pathways. 

The Veterans Program Advisory Council will help build on the Veterans Program’s success in providing more cybersecurity training pathways for military veterans with both existing technical backgrounds and no IT experience. 

Fortinet provides Veterans Program members access to its Network Security Experts (NSE) Certification Program curriculum to help them transition into cybersecurity and advance in their security careers through access to cyber training, professional development resources, and employment opportunities.

This year, the Veterans Program is celebrating five years of helping military service members, veterans, and spouses receive the fundamental resources needed to transition into cyber roles.  

Fortinet has also been recognised as a 2023 VETS Indexes Recognised Employer, further underscoring its commitment to supporting the veteran community throughout their careers. 

John Maddison, Executive Vice President of Product Strategy and Chief Marketing Officer at Fortinet, says: “Military veterans can be vital to help fight against cybercrime but often lack access to training and career resources to enable them to transition into civilian cybersecurity roles successfully.” 

“As part of Fortinet’s commitment to addressing the cybersecurity skills gap, Fortinet established the Veterans Program Advisory Council with a focus on the Five Eyes countries to help strengthen Fortinet’s support of the military veterans community.” 

“With the guidance of the council, we will be able to bring more military veteran community members into the fold and also empower them with resources and opportunities to stay in the industry, improving military veterans retention in cybersecurity,” says Maddison. 

Veterans Program Advisory Council members include: 

  • Chris Barlow, Managing Director at Cerco IT Ltd (U.K.) 
  • Marty Donoghue, Chief Executive of the RNZRSA (New Zealand) 
  • Colin Grimes, Training Coordinator of TechVets Programme, The Forces Employment Charity (U.K.) 
  • Tom Marsland, Board Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at VetSec, Inc. (U.S.) 
  • Heath Moodie, Director of Vets in Cyber (Australia) 
  • James Murphy, Director of TechVets Programme, The Forces Employment Charity (U.K.) 
  • Bryan Radliff, CyberVets program Manager at Onward to Opportunity, D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families (U.S.) 
  • Patrick Shaw, Founder of Cyber Catalyst (Canada) 
  • Mark Wilcox, Head of Cyber Training, Permanent Opportunities and Partnership at Cerco IT Ltd (U.K.)