Exploring Fortinet's Network Security Expert (NSE) Certs
Long a force in the firewall/gateway/boundary device marketplace, Fortinet is becoming a player across the entire spectrum of cybersecurity tools, technologies and platforms.
The company was established in 2000. Since 2014, they've been operating a certification program which, in their own words, "is open to Fortinet customers, partners, employees and to student enrolled in the Fortinet Network Security Academy (FNSA)."
Source: Fortinet training and courses home page
The program, as depicted in the infographic included above is a pretty typical pyramid that marches through levels 1-8. Here's how the company describes those levels, along with corresponding course requirements:
Here's how delivery and testing work for this program:
For Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 testing is integrated into the self-paced learning modules hosted at Fortinet's NSE Institute. For Levels 4-8, testing comes from Pearson VUE, at their Fortinet Testing page.
Level 4 requires the two exams shown in the table above.
Level 5 requires the four exams shown likewise.
For Level 6, candidates must choose 4 of the 8 exams shown there as well.
Level 7 requires the three exams shown.
Level 8 involves a pair of capstone exams, one written, and one practical (hands-on),in much the same vein as the Cisco CCIE. The practical exam runs for 2 days, which makes it one of the longest cert exams I've ever run across. I'm also guessing it costs at least $2,000 (I have an inquiry into Fortinet about this).
From what I can see online, all of the Fortinet VUE exams (including the NSE8 written exam) cost $400 each. That sets the upper bound for the combination training/testing offerings for NSE1 through 3 as well.
All in all, this looks like a serious, well-thought-out, and well-established cybersecurity certification program. Certainly, for those who work with or around Fortinet tools and platforms, it's worth digging into. If this means you, be sure to check it out!