First-call resolution is the goal of SDN Communications’ cybersecurity experts. That means SDN’s staff strives to resolve any security issues that arise with business clients as quickly as possible.
High-level performance is the key to keeping customers satisfied. That requires good employee training as well as good equipment.
To implement one of its key cybersecurity services, Managed Firewall Service, SDN deploys advanced firewalls from Fortinet, a globally prominent, California-based company. Fortinet’s highly-rated security equipment includes its flagship FortiGate firewalls.
“Their firewall product is considered one of the top-performing, next-generation firewalls out there,” says Jake VanDewater, director of network operations at SDN. He supervises many of the security experts who work with the businesses that SDN serves.
SDN also depends on training programs from Fortinet and other companies to help keep its workforce proficient in cybersecurity and other areas.
Thirteen current SDN employees have earned various levels of Fortinet certification, and most of them are working to achieve a higher level.
Certifications from Fortinet are especially significant, VanDewater says.
“It shows we have the expertise on staff to sell and support the Fortinet platform,” he says.
Fortinet’s Network Security Expert Training Program offers eight levels of certification. They begin by teaching a foundational understanding of network security concepts and advance to specialized areas of sales and service.
Several staff members are pursuing level 7, which documents an employee’s ability to troubleshoot internet security issues.
VanDewater has earned his NSE 3 and is working on a higher level. Other SDN employees with Fortinet certifications include:
- Bill Tetrault, Managed Services supervisor (Level 4)
- Mike Klein, Managed Services technician (7 - Updated)
- Josh Ecklein, Managed Services engineer (4)
- Tim Adams, Managed Services data technician (4)
- Randy Rang, Network Surveillance Center technician (3)
- Orrin Steck, Network Surveillance Center assistant (3)
- Gabriel Nordvik, Network Surveillance Center technician (2)
- Alec Szczawinski, Network Operations data technician (2)
- Terrence Mobley, Network Surveillance Center technician (1)
- Graham Wilson, Network Surveillance Center technician (1)
- Conor Grevlos, Business Intelligence intern (1)
- Daniel Madson, Managed Services intern (1)
The NSE training is designed for technical professionals. Some training is self-paced, and some is instructor-led. Some of the training is only available to employees of Fortinet and business partners such as SDN.
Global threat update
As Fortinet contends on its website, organizations can no longer afford to choose between a high level of network performance and good protection from cyber threats. Both have become necessary.
Fortinet’s most recent “Threat Landscape Report,” a quarterly report about global security risks, contains a number of telling tidbits.
For example, 80 percent of organizations reported high or critical-severity exploits against their systems. The majority of targeted vulnerabilities came out within the past five years.
Most threats appear to be more global in nature than regional, according to the report. Attackers can operate at the speed of light. So geographic distances and boundaries don’t mean much.
Fortinet’s report offers several recommendations that might be helpful to small businesses that are developing or updating their cybersecurity strategies:
- Encrypted traffic might be hiding threats. Closer mechanical inspection of encrypted traffic might be in order.
- Targeted attacks on businesses tend to get the headlines, but the bulk of threats that organizations face are opportunistic in nature. If possible, businesses should consider minimizing the volume of potential attack surfaces.
- The days of antivirus software being the lone or primary layer of defense against malware are over. Defense should be deployed throughout a network.
SDN also issues a quarterly report on the regional threat landscape. Use the button below to get the latest report and subscribe to those offered in the future.