The Fortinet Veterans Program connects participants with employers

Fortinet Veterans Program helps veterans and their families enter the job market. Not only does the program provide opportunities for mentorship, networking and training, but it also connects participants to our vast ecosystem of employers. Fortinet supports veterans and military spouses not just on Veterans and Remembrance Day, but every day.

Anthony Hunter, a 24-year veteran of the United States Air Force, is a Institute of Network Security Experts (NSE) A graduate of the training veterans program who is now a security analyst at DefendEdge, a Fortinet partner. Anthony shared how the Veterans Program and SNG training helped him develop in his new civilian career.

Can you summarize your military background for us?

I joined the military right out of high school – 2 weeks after graduation to be exact. I joined as a security policeman and spent the next 8.5 years doing so. I finally took a break from service and returned home to Utah. Shortly after my release, 9 months to be exact, 9/11 happened. I reassessed my priorities in life and then joined the Air Force, this time until my retirement in 2016. In the Air Force I was able to travel, deploy and learn many valuable skills ranging physics, industrial and nuclear security. These skills have given me a very good experience in many terms, concepts and attributes necessary for cybersecurity. Things like layered defense, defense in depth, and perimeter security. Moreover, with my training as a police officer, I have developed a passion for investigation and research, which are complementary traits to cybersecurity.

Tell us about your current role in cybersecurity?

Currently, I work as a Security Analyst for DefendEdge, which is a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) based in Chicago, Illinois. Going through the veterans program, I was connected to Fortinet’s employer ecosystem in addition to receiving training and mentorship. DefendEdge was one of the organizations Fortinet connected me to and eventually accepted a job with them. My job is to monitor and report on the various firewalls protecting our customers, which are spread across the United States and around the world. I also do threat hunting and problem solving.

How has the NSE training been useful for your career development?

Being part of the veterans program gave me access to NSE training courses. I completed NSE1 and NSE2 levels and studied to pass NSE4 and NSE5 in order to maintain the relevance of my skills and increase my opportunities for advancement in my career. I absolutely found it useful in my current role and found the training very in-depth and challenging. I think it’s very useful for anyone looking to learn new safety skills, upgrade or retrain. The different levels range from fundamental knowledge of the threat landscape to expert technical security concepts. There is a level for everyone, regardless of background or previous experience.

What unique challenges do veterans face and how has this program helped them?

I think one of the emerging challenges now that cybersecurity is such a promising job prospect is that there are companies that recognize the value that veterans bring and how complementary their skills are for a job in cyber . As veterans, we have the great advantage of having GI Bill and/or Vet-Tech benefits to support our training interests. But where veterans really struggle to make the transition to civilian life is in the network and relationships with employers. This is where the veterans program is unique in that it not only provides training, but it also gives us networking opportunities and direct access to hiring managers looking to fill positions.

What is the advantage of hiring military veterans?

There are many. As veterans, we are used to executing projects from start to finish, learning new tasks quickly, able to work under extreme pressure, persistent, flexible and able to work with people from different backgrounds and perspectives .

What do you think are the benefits for a company to hire someone from the Fortinet Veterans Program?

As a company looking for new talent, hiring through the Veterans Program is a winning strategy. Even at first glance, you are already looking at someone who has been vetted by Fortinet through a series of personal interviews.

Learn more about Fortinet NSE Training Institute programs, including Certification program, Security Academy Program and veterans programwho provide essential cybersecurity training and education to help close the cyberskills gap and prepare the cybersecurity workforce of tomorrow.

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