SANS Institute has launched the SANS Cyber Academy, which will condense two years of training and experience into eight weeks.
Created in response to pressing demand from business and Government for a way to quickly equip recent graduates with the specific skills needed to deal with today’s cyber threat, those who complete the course will be equipped with the skills to walk straight into a cyber security role and offer considerable and immediate impact.
Andrew Smith, EMEA managing director at SANS Institute, said: “We have seen many superb long term cyber skills initiatives that seek to build the future talent pool, but until now there has been no way to address the immediate skills gap within weeks, not years.”
The Academy will help people keen to begin a career in cyber security to very quickly acquire the skills to meet today’s cyber threat and begin working immediately in a cyber security team and shrink the 24 month process into eight weeks, with candidates taught on how hackers operate and how to respond when things go wrong.
Part of the exercise will involve candidates building a fully functioning business network to understand the ways hackers can get in, carry out hands-on exercises including hacking a drone to find flaws in unfamiliar systems and deal with a virus outbreak specially written to test their skills. They will also have to make security policy recommendations to ‘management’ to prevent problems reoccurring. To conclude, candidates will sit GCIH and GSEC certifications.
James Lyne, lead instructor and curriculum author, said: “This course will teach tonnes of practical skills. It provides a safe environment to play with malicious code most people will never get their hands on. This is a radical new way of developing cyber skills and absolutely the best mechanism to accelerate the development of recent grads”.
Consultant Oscar O’Connor, who recently tested soft skills at the Cyber Security Challenge Masterclass, told IT Security Guru that he believed that it is imperative that the industry recognise that security is not simply a technical discipline.
He said: “It is partly technical but also involves PR, political acumen, crisis management, business continuity, risk management, project management, psychology, sociology, forensic investigation, legal and no doubt a dozen other disciplines!
“If you are responding to a major incident with any of the key skills missing then in my view the outcome will mostly likely be described in terms of ‘how bad’.”
The first SANS Cyber Academy starts on 1st September at the St David’s Hotel Cardiff. Following this, SANS plans to roll the Academy out more widely. A brochure is available for download here. Interested candidates are advised to contact: [email protected]