Middlesex University Dubai Collaborates with Fortinet for Cybersecurity Education

Middlesex University (MDX) Dubai has announced its partnership with Fortinet, a global leader in cybersecurity, by joining its Academic Partner Program. This collaboration signifies a major advancement in the university’s commitment to enhancing cybersecurity education.

As part of the Fortinet Training Institute, the Academic Partner Program aims to prepare the future workforce by collaborating with higher education institutions worldwide to provide Fortinet’s award-winning training and certifications to students, thereby helping them become proficient cybersecurity professionals. Fortinet has set a goal to train 1 million individuals in cybersecurity by 2026.

As an Academic Partner, MDX Dubai will incorporate Fortinet NSE certifications into its existing courses and also offer the content as standalone self-paced learning for students, ranging from the Fortinet Certified Fundamentals to Fortinet Certified Solution Specialist levels. To enrich the course content, MDX Dubai will utilize Fortinet network security technologies to provide students with hands-on lab experience.

In addition to offering NSE courses at the University, MDX Dubai and Fortinet will collaborate in research and development and explore opportunities for knowledge sharing through workshops, guest lectures, internships, and faculty visits.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing ceremony took place at the University’s campus in Dubai Knowledge Park on December 11th, attended by Fortinet executives and MDX Dubai undergraduate security students and staff.

This collaboration aligns with the UAE Government’s Advanced Skills Strategy and the objectives of the Centennial Plan 2071, which prioritizes equipping students with specialized skills. It also supports the goals of the UAE Cybersecurity Council, which is committed to developing a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy and establishing a secure and robust cyberinfrastructure in the region.

“As malicious actors enhance their attack tactics, the cybersecurity skills gap is widening, impacting organizations right across the UAE. Fortinet’s 2023 Global Cybersecurity Skills Gap Report found that as a result of unfilled IT positions due to the skills shortage, 68% of organizations indicate they face additional cyber risks,” said Alain Penel, Vice President, Middle East, Turkey & CIS, Fortinet.

“Our Academic Partners work tirelessly to bring cybersecurity education to higher education learners around the world, a crucial effort in helping to shrink the talent shortage. We’re thrilled to be working with MDX Dubai in this area and look forward to strengthening our partnership as we continue to train the workforce of the future,” he concluded.

Professor Fehmida Hussain, Deputy Director of Engagement and Student Experience and Head of Computer Engineering and Informatics said, “As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity, our partnership with Fortinet represents a significant milestone in our commitment to fostering industry-academia partnerships and enhancing the student experience. By integrating Fortinet’s NSE certifications into our courses, we aim to empower our students with practical skills and knowledge that is directly applicable in the dynamic field of cybersecurity.”

“This collaboration not only addresses the pressing skills gap but also aligns seamlessly with our mission to equip students with the expertise needed for success in the digital era. We look forward to a fruitful partnership with Fortinet, fostering a culture of innovation and excellence in cybersecurity education,” Professor Hussain added.

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