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What are the possible benefits of a cybersecurity training center?

A cybersecurity training center could help security professionals continue their education, but are the benefits worth the investment for enterprises? Expert Mike O. Villegas explains.

I recently read about a stand-alone cybersecurity training center that helps security professionals continue their education. Is this something enterprises should consider? What are the potential benefits and drawbacks of a program like this?

In 2016, the security company Cyberbit Ltd. partnered with Electronic Technology Associates Inc. (ETA) to offer ETA Cyberbit Range, a cybersecurity training and simulation platform reportedly "for instructing and certifying cybersecurity experts."

ETA is a technical service aggregator, supporting both the government and commercial sectors. Cyberbit is a subsidiary of defense systems provider Elbit Systems, which originated in Israel.

This new service targets service providers, academia, enterprises and the public sector. The training is not for general Security awareness; it is meant for cybersecurity professionals that have security operations center (SOC) responsibilities for cybersecurity monitoring, intrusion detection, incident handling and threat analysis.

ETA Cyberbit Range uses a platform that enables security teams to train in realistic settings, so that practitioners can respond faster and more effectively to complex and advanced attacks. 

The organizations' Maryland Range, located in Baltimore, is the first live, stand-alone, hands-on cybersecurity training center in the U.S. ETA Cyberbit is scheduled to open the doors of this Baltimore center on April 10, 2017, and is expected to hire as many as 100 employees by the end of the year.

The Cyberbit Range cybersecurity training center courses typically last two to three weeks. They provide a simulated SOC environment with simple distributed denial-of-service attacks in extensive platform simulations.

ETA Cyberbit Range training courses are hands-on. ISACA's "State of Cyber Security 2017: Current Trends in Workforce Development" states that "practical hands-on experience is the most important cybersecurity candidate qualification to 55% of enterprises."

It is clear that the lack of practical experience and hands-on cybersecurity capabilities make it difficult to fill the increasing demand for skilled employees. The benefits for this type of practice at a cybersecurity training center addresses this challenge.

As laudable as platform-based simulated training is, the obvious reservation for most companies is the cost, considering the two to three weeks of training. Hopefully this is a trend for cybersecurity development, though. Those who are able to take advantage of the cybersecurity training center will benefit greatly. However, most companies will find this type of training cost-prohibitive.

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This was last published in April 2017

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