How (and why) to get a job at Fortinet

The inside scoop on how executive Derek Manky landed at Fortinet fresh out of BCIT, the company’s expansion plans, and what they value in job candidates

Welcome to Vancouver Tech Journal’s series on how to land a job at a Vancouver company, where we look at the people behind them, how they got to where they are today, opportunities available — and key things to know if you’re job hunting!

Meet Derek Manky, chief security strategist and global VP of threat intelligence at FortiGuard Labs, Fortinet’s threat intelligence and research centre.

Raised in B.C., Manky once thought about being a movie director or music producer before graduating from BCIT and joining Fortinet as a project manager.

To date, Manky has been with Fortinet for over 15 years. He's widely known for his cybersecurity expertise, thought leadership, and innovation — collaborating with global threat intelligence initiatives, including NATO and INTERPOL.

Tell us about Fortinet.

Fortinet is a global cybersecurity leader founded more than 20 years ago in Sunnyvale, California. 

Since 2000, we’ve continued to be a driving force in the evolution of cybersecurity and the convergence of networking and security. 

Our security fabric networking and security platform is trusted to protect more than 6,200 customers across Canada: federal, provincial, and municipal governments, businesses in healthcare, retail, shipping, and other verticals critical to the success of local regions, including British Columbia.

Photo: Fortinet

How many employees?

We have about 14,000 employees worldwide, with over 2,800 nationwide across Canada and 1,800 based in the Lower Mainland at our Burnaby campus. 

We also just announced an expansion into Calgary, where we will build a new tech hub that will create over 100 jobs by 2025.

Where are you headquartered?

While our company's official headquarters is in Sunnyvale, California, Burnaby is the home of our research and development arm. 

We have a long history of innovation and investment in B.C. We opened our first threat intelligence and R&D centre in Burnaby in 2000. 

Since then, we’ve massively expanded our operations — making Canada our global hub for FortiGuard Labs. 

Our 510,000-square-foot multi-building campus in Burnaby hosts R&D facilities and a security and network operations centre that powers our work nationwide and globally.

Photo: Fortinet

What does growth look like over the next couple of years?

Fortinet recently expanded its local presence with the opening of a new dedicated data centre at our Burnaby campus, adding to our existing R&D and support centre investments in Canada. 

Fortinet’s investment in Canada signifies our dedication to enhancing the nation’s cybersecurity landscape. 

With a growing market opportunity and the proliferation of remote work, the demand for cloud-delivered security that transcends traditional network boundaries has become paramount. 

As Fortinet strengthens its presence, it’s well-positioned to meet the critical security challenges and enhance the security landscape across Canada — reaffirming our unwavering commitment to safeguarding our customers in an evolving digital landscape.

How does Fortinet differentiate itself?

At Fortinet, we consider ourselves a technology company and a training organization. We place a huge emphasis on training. 

In 2021, we announced a mission to train 1 million people in cybersecurity by 2026. We’re actively committed to expanding cybersecurity awareness to as many people as possible to make a significant difference in addressing the skills gap in Canada and globally. 

Through our Fortinet Academic Partner Program, we’ve been working with academic partners in B.C. to help develop a skilled cybersecurity workforce. Partners include SFU, BCIT, and VCC.

We also provide security awareness training to improve cybersecurity and cyber hygiene in school districts across Canada as part of our K-12 training program

Available in English and French, this program is customized for educators and students. It’s also free to the approximately 300 school boards and 1,700 private schools across Canada — helping to create a safer community and combat cyberattacks on Canadian educational institutions.

How did you end up at Fortinet?

I didn’t have a traditional technology background before I joined Fortinet in 2004. 

Growing up in B.C., I had a number of different careers in mind — everything from movie director to music producer. 

I was really inspired by the intricate security “threatscape” and how the world is evolving to embrace technology. 

I was hired as a project manager at Fortinet fresh out of BCIT and I’ve been there ever since.

As the chief security strategist and global VP of threat intelligence, what do you do on a daily basis?

There’s no such thing as a typical day in cybersecurity. 

Overall, my work focuses on formulating security strategies to make a positive impact on the war against cybercrime. 

I’m really passionate about providing thought leadership to the industry and have been lucky enough to present research and strategy at premier security conferences around the world. 

In just the last month, I’ve traveled to Barcelona and Tokyo, and more are on the horizon. 

As a cybersecurity expert, I also connect with leading political figures and key policy stakeholders — including law enforcement.

I’m also actively involved with several global threat intelligence initiatives to help shape the future of threat intelligence. These initiatives include the NATO Industry Cyber Partnership, INTERPOL, World Economic Forum’s Cybersecurity Centre, and Cyber Threat Alliance.

How can someone join the team?

The first step is to figure out your area of interest. 

Our team isn’t just made up of cybersecurity experts; we also have talented employees in research and development, sales, customer service, marketing, operations, finance, HR, IT, and legal. 

If you’re interested in joining our team, you can check out our careers hub for all of the opportunities available at all levels.

Photo: Fortinet

What does the company value most?

At Fortinet, we’re committed, hardworking, and passionate about what we do and can provide in the cybersecurity space worldwide. 

Our people are at the heart of our company. We know that their contributions are key to fulfilling this mission. Our three pillars are openness, teamwork, and innovation. 

We constantly strive to create an environment where everyone is able to share knowledge and information transparently and with respect, and where we work collaboratively to solve challenging and complex problems. 

With the cybersecurity landscape continuously evolving, innovation is our priority. This includes the development of original ideas and solutions and finding new and better ways to deliver great results.

We’re also proud that we’ve earned the ‘BC’s Top Employers of the Year’ award for more than six years and have been recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 best tech companies to work for by Glassdoor. Both have helped us attract and develop highly skilled cybersecurity experts, technology developers, engineers and other professionals in Canada.

Macs or PCs?

At Fortinet, we do not have a guideline; each employee chooses the device they feel most comfortable working with.

What tools and apps are used in the workplace?

We use dozens of applications depending on the work area and needs.

Does the team predominantly work remotely or in person?

Our workforce is hybrid. We support our employees in working from anywhere, while our office is always available for our people. 

Photo: Fortinet

What perks and benefits should people know about?

At Fortinet, we’re committed to providing our employees with a competitive total rewards package to support them in managing their overall health and financial well-being. 

Some of what’s included are competitive salaries and incentive compensation, health and welfare benefits — as well as paid time off and wellness programs. 

To recognize outstanding performers, our “Fortichamps” programs also provide cash and stock awards.

Anything else we should know about working at Fortinet?

We’re very passionate about what we do at Fortinet and have a strong bond and commitment to Canada. 

We’re making a difference by raising awareness about digital risks and helping build a more cyber-safe society.

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