IT Training and Certification Helps Safeguard Data

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training and certification

Organizations can make data breaches more difficult—while they are implementing appropriate countermeasures—by implementing employee training and certification.

Training and Certification Solutions

A number of resources are available to help IT professionals stay up to speed on security and achieve certifications. Staff members can select the learning mode they feel most comfortable with or combine different learning modalities into a comprehensive learning plan.

Here are the types of security learning resources available:

·        E-learning: Security-related e-learning courses are available from a number of suppliers, including Skillsoft. Courses are designed to provide basic and advanced security skills, preparation for certifications and online labs that allow learners to practice new skills in a simulated IT environment

· Online Video Instruction: These videos range from basic security concepts to the planning and implementation of security procedures.

· Instructor-Led Training: Also referred to as classroom training, ILT involves having people attend live classes that are led by a trainer with expertise in security. One of the leading instructor-led training firms dedicated to security training is Security University, which provides training on multiple certifications, including those required by the U.S. government.

· Virtual Instructor-Led Training: VILT combines ILT with e-learning, and it often involves participating in a live instructor-led course over the Internet. The tools offered vary, but most have an online video component with the ability to participate and ask questions via chat and email.
Most VILT vendors record their training sessions for those who miss a class, or who wish to review material. Access to online books and reference materials may also be included.

· Mentoring: Some training vendors offer access to experts in various security certifications, such as Skillsoft’s online mentoring program. Normally, subscribers to a mentoring service can submit questions, receive test-prep emails or participate in online chat sessions with the mentors. Another way to find potential mentors is to join an IT security information group, such as the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) and to get involved in local chapter meetings.

· Books: Many publishers produce high-quality IT security books, which are available in print, e-book and via online libraries. Online libraries provide access to hundreds of leading security books from dozens of well-known publishers at a fraction of the cost of buying printed copies or e-books.

· Colleges and Universities: Many colleges and universities offer courses in IT security, and some offer graduate-level degrees and online versions of their courses. Here are a few examples:

The George Washington University offers an online Master of Professional Studies in Security and Safety Leadership degree.

The University of Tulsa has an Institute for information Security (iSec).

Excelsior College offers an online IT Bachelor’s Degree with a concentration and certificate in cyber-security.

If your organization wants to effectively reduce security threats, a good place to start is by developing the security talent you will need now and in the future. Whatever methods you select to develop security talent, don’t delay. As PwC’s Lobel points out, the “danger shows no signs of diminishing.”

Jim Zimmermann is a director at Skillsoft Books24x7. During his 35+ years in the IT industry, he has managed technical and marketing projects for IBM, Fujitsu and Dun & Bradstreet, among others, and founded and sold three startups. He can be reached at jzimmermann@skillsoft.com.

This article was originally published on 2013-03-22
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