CySA+: Maintaining employee skill level
Introduction: Why educate your employees with cybersecurity skills?
When it comes to protecting digital assets, one of the most important resources a company has is a cyber-educated workforce. Everyone, regardless of role and expertise, should be involved in programs and training that arm them against malicious hackers’ attempts. Whether it is basic awareness training for non-IT employees or more advanced cybersecurity training for the information systems managers, a company should prioritize and devote resources to educating its workforce in the latest cybersecurity threats and protection methods.
Users are often the weakest link in an organization in terms of cybersecurity, and attackers are good at continuously changing tactics and approaches to gain access to systems. Therefore, reinforcing the human factor is one of the best plans of action in order to prevent risk of loss, leakage or corruption of information. Once aware, most employees will become better engaged in prevention and provide an effective first barrier against intrusions.
The importance of training is also paramount for skilled IT employees who can also flourish in a role as a security analyst. In fact, those who do become an entry-level cybersecurity analyst will be a valuable team member for securing business assets.
How to refine general cybersecurity employee skills
With companies storing and transmitting sensitive, confidential or otherwise protected data through digital means, it is obvious that an unauthorized access and disclosure can have devastating effects — not only in terms of operational readiness, but also of company reputation and compliance with regulations.
Of course, training needs to be tailored to the employees’ role within the company. In addition to basic awareness classes, companies should always look for ways to keep the workforce engaged and focused on the protection of digital assets. Creativity in devising an effective awareness program that goes beyond classroom and course material is needed, and today, a number of online options can help involve and motivate employees and prevent complacency.
A step ahead: Forming security analysts
Awareness and readiness in all departments and by all employees is unfortunately not enough to withstand attacks. This is because attacks are evolving daily and more and more often escape the watchful, digital eye of traditional IT tools that are designed to stop them, from firewalls to IDPS and vulnerability scanners. Increasing the behavioral analytics skills capabilities of IT security personnel is increasingly important for most organizations and can make the difference when planning defenses.
Because analytical thinking skills are critical in the workplace, if an organization has a shortage of security analysts, it needs to invest in ways for its talents to hone the necessary skills and, above all, keeping them up-to-date in an ever-evolving sector. A certification can help do just that. It is a great option for employees that still need to acquire skills and that can use the certification path as a guide to understanding all the topics to succeed in the role. What’s more, it is an effective option for already-skilled employees, or maintaining skills; keeping knowledge up-to-date, in fact, is essential.
About the CySA+
A certification like the Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+) covers exactly those abilities that are currently in high demand in many workplaces to constitute the proper protection of organizational assets. CompTIA’s CySA+ pathway certification, in fact, can allow staff to learn best methods analyzing malware, combat advanced persistent threats (APTs), conduct penetration testing and the necessary ethical hacking methods to prevent attacks and threats that target systems and personnel. Furthermore, they’ll become proficient at using the proper tools for environmental reconnaissance techniques and to process results; vulnerability management; security architecture including access management and advising as applied in the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC); and incident response.
As credentials are kept current by the issuing authorities and subject to continuous review of domains, they can help employees continue to hone their skills as they seek recertification. In addition, considering that CompTIA CySA+ meets the ISO 17024 standard, has been approved by the U.S. Department of Defense to fulfill Directive 8570.01-M requirements and is compliant with the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), this credential can also help businesses remain compliant with the myriad of regulations that each industry is required to follow.
One of the many benefits of paying for an employee’s professional certification, especially if they were to become a CySA+, would be to the organization’s advantage of having someone skilled in tasks such as vulnerability discovery, exploitation techniques and reverse-engineering attacks. It’s important to make use of a CSA that has the cleverness and expertise required for assessing security measures or spotting flaws and problems to keep intruders, attackers or hackers out of networks.
Where employee skills do not meet the employers demand, there’s some advantage to re-skilling, upskilling or maintaining as current the skills of its own workforce. This also creates a sense of belonging and loyalty for the employees that is a definite plus in any organization.
Hiring a cybersecurity specialist within the information systems staff is ideal, as are employing the help of consultants or training current staff in cybersecurity topics or keeping updated the skills of specialized professionals already onboard.
A program that features the possibility of attending courses (even online) and becoming certified is a great way for a business to harden its defenses by enhancing knowledge and skills of its employees.
The best approach in upskilling staff is give them additional training with in-class and online options that can easily be found on the web.
- The CompTIA Cybersecurity Career Pathway (2019 Refresh): Employable Skills Found Here, CompTIA
- Six Methods for Improving Employee Cybersecurity Compliance, Forbes Technology Council
- The importance of maintaining cyber security in your business, IT Pro Portal
- Mitigating Risk: A Day With a Cybersecurity Analyst, WIRED
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