SecurityBrief New Zealand - Technology news for CISOs & cybersecurity decision-makers
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The network security skills shortage: Lack of trained professionals is a welcome mat for cybercriminals
Thu, 25th Aug 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Is your organisation looking for skilled professionals to help you secure your network? Someone who understands the threat landscape, the various options for preventing intrusions and data loss, mitigating zero day threats and how to install, configure and monitor the various components in near -real time? Good luck! These people are few and far between. And even if you have an attractive enough offer to lure this rare commodity away from their current position, it will leave a gap in the organisation from which they came. The only entities that look at this as positive are the very people who want to hack into your network and steal your data.

According to a recent CompTIA survey there are clear skill gaps in the industry, with information management / analytics and information security as the two leading categories. “It's not just the technical skills that need development,” says Andrew Khan, Fortinet Senior Business Manager at Ingram Micro, New Zealand's largest distributor of Fortinet's cyber security solutions. “It's also business and commercial skills. Network security doesn't happen in a vacuum. It's part and parcel of the entire IT infrastructure.

“We're seeing IT governance moving from the back room to the board room. Risk management, strategic planning, compliance and finance are all impacted by your organisation's network security profile and your ‘C'-level execs want the right answers when they ask the hard questions.

What can you do?

If hiring security experts is problematic, how can your organisation get up to speed? “One solution,” continues Khan, “is to outsource your security requirements to a third-party managed security services provider (MSSP). Fortinet has a network of fully qualified MSSP Partners up and down the country. But to even make an informed decision on how to engage the most appropriate MSSP takes specialist skills. Sure, SMBs can offload their security needs relatively easily, but larger organisations with branch offices, distributed systems and a mix of on-premises and cloud-based apps and data need in-house expertise. The answer is specialist training.

“We see a consistent demand for skilled network security specialists,” says David Hills, Fortinet Security Solutions Architect at Ingram Micro and their senior trainer. “This is especially true at the high-end with the larger systems integrators and MSSPs. There is definitely a skills shortage in New Zealand and we don't see any slowdown in the future.

Specialist training from Ingram Micro

Ingram Micro is working hard to fill the network security skills shortage in New Zealand. “We offer a full selection of Fortinet-specific training from beginner to advanced,” says Khan. “Our core curriculum consists of Fortinet's Network Security Expert (NSE) multi-level certifications, specifically customised for the New Zealand market. Our NSE coursework is designed for technical professionals interested in independent validation of their network security skills and experience. The program includes a wide range of self-paced and instructor-led courses, as well as practical, experiential exercises that demonstrate mastery of complex network security concepts.

The advantage of Ingram Micro's Fortinet training means that Fortinet clients can be assured of having a well-trained pool of expertise to help them maintain their Fortinet-based security operations. “Network security is an on-going process,” notes Khan. “It's not something that you purchase, install and forget about it. It's kind of like a St Bernard puppy…fluffy and cute to begin with but hungry and rambunctious as it matures. Because Fortinet and Ingram Micro are working together with training, you'll always be able to enhance and expand your own staff's network security skills so that you can maintain your cyber-defences to the highest standard.

Upskilling your own team in the network security field makes good sense. “With an ‘in-demand' skill set, it's always a challenge to keep talented staff,” concludes Khan. “By investing in them with knowledge, Certifications and professional growth, you can retain their expertise and leverage their experience to mentor others in your organisation. Network security doesn't stop with IT…it permeates your entire organisation and having security evangelists on your staff ensures that the security message is always front and centre.

For further information, please contact:

Andrew Khan, Senior Business Manager Email: M: 021 819 793

David Hills, Solutions Architect Email: M: 021 245 0437

Hugo Hutchinson, Business Development Manager Email: P: 09-414-0261 | M: 021-245-8276

Marc Brunzel, Business Development Manager Email:  M: 021 241 6946