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Fortinet NSE Certification Updates and Transition Full Explanation

Fortinet NSE Certification

As of October 1, 2023, the Fortinet NSE certification programs NSE5 NSE6 NSE7 have officially changed. Anyone with existing certificates was taken and valid for two years prior. Your certifications may have been automatically mapped to the new model. In the old system, there were eight levels. The NSE 1 and NSE 2 were predominantly sales-focused trainings. NSE 3 was pre-sales training. NSE 4 was an entry-level single exam, but NSE 5 was a little more specialized and covered multiple topics.

You needed to take various exams on numerous topics to obtain an NSE 6. You must take four technical exams for a fully-fledged, valid certification—like ADC, FortiWeb, FortiMail, etc. In the old world, NSE 7 was a single exam. The specializations it required were Enterprise Firewall, SD-WAN, operational technology, public cloud, and analytics. NSE 8 was for the gurus; you must pass two separate exams, written and practical. It was similar to the CCIE level if you are familiar with Cisco.

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So, let’s move on to the new world. 

 Fortinet NSE Certification

In the new world, things have changed a little bit. Fortinet NSE Certification NSE 1 and 2 are now mapped to the Fortinet Certified Fundamentals, or FCF, category. NSE 3 was not automatically mapped to Fortinet Certified Associate or FCA. Some of the topics in NSE 3 NSE5 NSE6 NSE7 might be valid and help you with the new exam system. The next tier in the system is Fortinet Certified Professional or FCP. It covers three topics: Network Security, Public Cloud Security, and Security Operations.  

Fortinet Certified Professional (FCP)

Now, let’s look at the requirements for each of these badges. It would help if you took multiple exams to obtain the badges. 

If we look at Fortinet Certified Professional, the first is Network Security. This is the one most people tend to have. You are required to have a valid NSE 4 FortiOS certification to have this badge. FortiOS is a highly secure operating system designed for Fortinet’s network security appliances. It provides advanced threat protection, visibility, and control to help organizations defend against sophisticated cyber threats. With its robust features and intuitive interface, FortiOS enables users to manage and monitor their network security infrastructure easily. 

Also, you need to have one of the following Fortinet NSE Certification: 


FortiManager is a powerful centralized management solution to simplify and streamline network operations. It provides organizations a comprehensive platform to effectively manage their Fortinet security infrastructure, including firewalls, switches, and access points. With FortiManager, IT administrators can quickly deploy and configure security policies across multiple devices, ensuring consistent protection throughout the network. The intuitive interface allows for efficient monitoring and troubleshooting of network issues, enabling quick resolution and minimizing downtime.


FortiSwitch is a high-performance Ethernet switch designed for enterprise networks. It offers advanced security features such as access control and threat detection to ensure the network remains secure from potential threats. Additionally, the FortiSwitch provides seamless integration with other Fortinet products, allowing centralized management and enhanced visibility across the web. 

FortiClient EMS

FortiClient EMS is a centralized management system allowing organizations to deploy, monitor, and manage their FortiClient endpoints easily. It provides comprehensive visibility and control over the security posture of devices, ensuring that they comply with organizational policies and are protected against threats. With FortiClient EMS, administrators can streamline the deployment process, enforce security policies, and receive real-time alerts and reports for effective endpoint management. 


FortiNAC: A network access control solution that provides visibility and control over devices connecting to the network. It helps organizations enforce security policies, identify and classify devices, and mitigate potential risks. With its advanced features and integration capabilities, FortiNAC offers a comprehensive solution for securing network access. 


FortiAuthenticator: A comprehensive authentication and access management solution that provides organizations with secure and convenient user authentication. It offers many authentication methods, including two-factor authentication, single sign-on, and certificate-based authentication. Additionally, FortiAuthenticator integrates seamlessly with other Fortinet security solutions to provide a holistic approach to network security. 

FortiAnalyzer Administrator

FortiAnalyzer Administrator. You should check out the latest updates of this certification because there is a new FortiAnalyzer exam with which you may need clarification. After having this, you are responsible for managing and maintaining the FortiAnalyzer system. You should be able to oversee the configuration, monitoring, and analysis of network traffic data collected by the FortiAnalyzer appliance. Additionally, you are in charge of generating reports and providing insights on network security events and trends to support decision-making processes within the organization. 

The next one is Public Cloud security. For this, there are two core subjects from which you must have one. They are,

NSE 6 Cloud Security for AWS. This certification from Fortinet is to verify the expertise and knowledge of IT professionals in securing cloud environments on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform. This certification equips individuals with the expertise to design, implement, and manage security solutions for AWS-based infrastructures, ensuring the protection of sensitive data and resources in the cloud. 

NSE 6 Cloud Security for Azure validates the skills and knowledge of professionals in securing cloud environments on the Azure platform. This certification covers various topics, including Azure security architecture, identity and access management, data protection, network security, and compliance. It equips individuals with the expertise to implement adequate security measures and mitigate risks in Azure-based deployments. 

The optional certifications include:

  1. NSE 6 FortiMail: A certification program offered by Fortinet NSE Certification that focuses on advanced email security solutions. It is designed for IT professionals who want to enhance their knowledge of protecting email systems from spam, malware, and phishing attacks. The NSE 6 FortiMail certification validates the expertise in configuring, managing, and troubleshooting FortiMail appliances to ensure secure and efficient email communication within an organization. With this certification, professionals can demonstrate their ability to implement effective email security measures and contribute overall. 
  2. FortiWeb, and 
  3. FortiOS. 

The final one is FCP Security Operations. There are no core subjects required for this badge. 

However, you have to choose two from the given Fortinet NSE Certification list:

  1. NSE 4 FortiOS,
  2. NSE 6 FortiSOAR Administrator certification is designed for individuals with experience managing and operating FortiSOAR solutions. This certification validates the knowledge and skills required to configure, deploy, and maintain FortiSOAR platforms to manage security operations centers (SOCs) effectively. 
  3. NSE 5 FortiSIEM: Designed for IT professionals who want to enhance their skills in managing and operating the FortiSIEM solution. This certification validates the individual’s expertise in deploying and configuring FortiSIEM to monitor and analyze security events and their ability to respond effectively to threats and incidents. 
  4. NSE 5 FortiAnalyzer Analyst: Validates the knowledge and skills required to effectively use FortiAnalyzer features for log analysis, reporting, and troubleshooting. 
  5. NSE 5 FortiEDR: Focuses on Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) Solutions. It equips individuals with the skills and knowledge to effectively detect, investigate, and respond to advanced threats targeting endpoints within an organization’s network. The certification validates expertise in using FortiEDR to enhance endpoint security posture and protect against sophisticated cyber attacks. 

Fortinet Certified Solution Specialist (FCSS)

There are five different badges for FCSS. They are:

  1. ZTA: Zero Trust Access, for which you only need the NSE 7 ZTA certification.
  2. You need NSE 7 Enterprise Firewall certification and one of the four elective options for Network Security. The options are NSE 7 SD-WAN, NSE 7 LAN-Edge, and Network Security Support Engineer certification.
  3. You need the NSE 7 Public Cloud Security certification for Public Cloud Security.
  4. Security Operations, for which you need the NSE 7 Advanced Analytics certification.
  5. OT Security, for which you need to pass the OT Security certificate exam.

Fortinet Certified Expert (FCX)

Finally, among all the Fortinet NSE Certification above-tier badges, the FCX badge is the most reputed and is considered equivalent to CCIE certification. If you already have an NSE 8 certification taken within the past two years, then you are already an FCX. Otherwise, it would help if you accepted the NSE 8 Written and NSE 8 Practical exams. This new certification will be valid for three years. 

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