Fortinet announces formation of Veterans Program Advisory Council to narrow the cybersecurity skills gap with military veteran talent
Posted: Thursday, Sep 28
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Fortinet announces formation of Veterans Program Advisory Council to narrow the cybersecurity skills gap with military veteran talent

Fortinet announces formation of Veterans Program Advisory Council to narrow the cybersecurity skills gap with military veteran talent

 

Council members from Five Eyes nations will help advance the Fortinet Veterans Program’s impact on supporting military veterans in transitioning to careers in cybersecurity

 

John Maddison, executive vice president of product strategy and chief marketing officer, Fortinet, said, “Military veterans can be vital to help fight against cybercrime but often lack access to training and career resources to enable them to successfully transition into civilian cybersecurity roles. 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.”

 

News summary 

 

Fortinet® (NASDAQ: FTNT), the global cybersecurity leader driving the convergence of networking and security, has announced it has formed the Veterans Program Advisory Council, made up of a global board of esteemed members from organisations that support the military veterans community across the Five Eyes countries: 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.

 

Military veterans have many complementary skillsets 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, the veteran community can play a key role in filling critical cyber roles with access to training, mentorship, and employment opportunities.

 

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

 

To further address these hurdles veterans face, the esteemed members of the Veterans Program Advisory Council with extensive backgrounds working with the military veteran community and as veterans themselves 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.

 

Veterans Program Advisory Council members (listed in alphabetical order) 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.)

Fortinet’s commitment to supporting veterans to close the cyber skills gap

 

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 background or no IT experience. Fortinet provides Veterans Program members access to its Network Security Experts (NSE) Certification Program curriculum to help them transition into the cybersecurity field 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 military spouses receive the fundamental resources they need to transition into cyber roles.

 

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

 

Veterans Program Advisory Council Members biographies

 

Chris Barlow, managing director at Cerco IT Ltd (U.K.)

 

Chris Barlow joined Cerco in 2003, and has since established a recruitment division for graduates through Cerco Training, a large proportion of which were British forces veterans. Chris acquired the entire business in 2017, and the company has continued to grow, prosper, and develop further. The vision for Cerco is to become a market leader in taking novice talent and guiding them to the highest levels of IT support and cybersecurity. Chris has made employment connections for new engineers with global IT companies such as Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM.

 

Marty Donoghue, chief executive of the RNZRSA (New Zealand)

 

Marty Donoghue has been chief executive of the RNZRSA since October 2020. Marty has a 35-year track record of transformational leadership, successfully building and managing teams and mobilising volunteers in New Zealand and internationally across defence, sport, science, and in the not-for-profit sector. Marty served in the New Zealand Army for 25 years and is a veteran of Bosnia, Angola, Bougainville, and Iraq.

 

Colin Grimes, training coordinator of TechVets Programme, The Forces Employment Charity (U.K.)

 

Colin Grimes joined TechVets from the education sphere, where he worked as a primary school teacher with particular responsibility for computing across the curriculum. During his time in education, he also worked as a consultant to schools for the National Centre of Computing Education, delivering training to schools in computing and remote learning, leaning on lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. Before this, he enjoyed a 24-year career as an air battle management specialist in the Royal Air Force. He also served as an instructor within the U.K. School of Air Battle Management, where he was responsible for training the next generation of air surveillance specialists.

 

Tom Marsland, board chairman and CEO at VetSec, Inc (U.S.)

 

Tom Marsland is a cybersecurity professional with over 21 years of experience in the information technology and nuclear power industry. He has also served over 21 years in the U.S. Navy and has a BS in IT security and an MS in cybersecurity. He is the board chairman of VetSec and the vice president of technology and technical services at Cloud Range.

 

Heath Moodie, director of Vets in Cyber (Australia)

 

Heath is the director of Vets in Cyber, where he is helping to build a mentoring program, running community events, and partnering with industry-leading training providers to offer employment assistance to veterans. As a five-year Australian Army infantry veteran, Heath transitioned into cybersecurity and was immediately confronted with the different cultures between the military community and civilian life. Wanting to be the change that he needed, Heath created a grassroots organisation, Vets in Cyber, which is focused on helping to build a community around veterans to offer them the support they need within the cybersecurity industry.

 

James Murphy, director of TechVets Programme, The Forces Employment Charity (U.K.)

 

James Murphy joined TechVets from Government Digital Services in the Cabinet Office, where he was employed as the head of threat intelligence, providing strategic cyber threat intelligence advice to key decision makers within central government with specific focus on protecting national infrastructure. Prior to this, James served for 19 years in the British military, deploying to Northern Ireland, East Africa, and Afghanistan with the infantry, receiving lifelong injuries as a result of enemy action. James then served the remainder of his service in intelligence, developing the army’s exploitation capability, providing support to U.K. Defence Engagement in East Asia before delivering strategic support to global joint military operations.​

 

Bryan Radliff, CyberVets program manager at Onward to Opportunity (O2O) (U.S.)

 

Bryan Radliff serves as the CyberVets program manager in the O2O program for the D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University. CyberVets is a skills-to-job pathway that aims to fast-track veterans into high-demand cyber careers by providing no-cost employment training, industry certifications, and career services to transitioning service members, veterans, and military spouses. Bryan is a 31-year veteran of the U.S. Army, serving as an enlisted medical supply specialist, infantryman, and an armor/cavalry officer before retiring as a lieutenant colonel.

 

Patrick Shaw, founder of Cyber Catalyst and Tech Vets (Canada)

 

Founder of Cyber Catalyst and co-founder of Coding For Veterans (CFV), Pat initiated Cyber Catalyst Talent Solutions to assist veterans achieve meaningful and rewarding careers using the skills developed through their upskilling or reskilling studies. Pat curated the CFV secure software development and the cybersecurity curriculum and established the learning approach aligning widely recognised industry certification exams to meet the cyber talent needs of employers. Cyber Catalyst Talent Solutions offers job-focused microcredentialing and certifications in support of job placement. Tech Vets Canada engages veterans and military family members with career mentorship and learning support.

 

Mark Wilcox, head of cyber training, opportunities and partnership at Cerco IT Ltd (U.K.)

 

Mark has over 30 years of commercial software development experience, the majority of which has involved web technologies. Throughout his career, Mark has developed and supported complex systems for a range of clients, including the London Stock Exchange, Lloyds Bank, Ryman stationers, Debenhams, and Woolworths. In January 2022, Mark joined Cerco IT to head up the cybersecurity training and employment division. As a key architect of Cerco’s Cradle to Cyber training program, an initiative to provide advanced network security skills to Cerco’s trained graduates (many of whom are ex-armed forces), Mark continues to forge relationships with internationally renowned tech and training partners, such as Fortinet and CompTIA.

 

Additional resources

 

About Fortinet
Fortinet (NASDAQ: FTNT) is a driving force in the evolution of cybersecurity and the convergence of networking and security. Our mission is to secure people, devices, and data everywhere, and today we deliver cybersecurity everywhere you need it with the largest integrated portfolio of over 50 enterprise-grade products. Well over half a million customers trust Fortinet’s solutions, which are among the most deployed, most patented, and most validated in the industry. The Fortinet Training Institute, one of the largest and broadest training programs in the industry, is dedicated to making cybersecurity training and new career opportunities available to everyone. FortiGuard Labs, Fortinet’s elite threat intelligence and research organisation, develops and utilises leading-edge machine learning and AI technologies to provide customers with timely and consistently top-rated protection and actionable threat intelligence. Learn more at https://www.fortinet.com, the Fortinet blog, and FortiGuard Labs.

 

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Georgia Tayler
Senior account executive
The Recognition Group – including Write Away CommunicationOutsource and Recognition PR
www.therecognitiongroup.com.au
Ph: 02 9252 2266

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