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How to Choose a Security Training Course

Posted by Tim O'Connor on May 24, 2021 8:10:31 AM

It’s undeniable—security training, whether on practices or products, is chock full of benefits. Buying cybersecurity training for yourself makes you a more competitive candidate and buying training for employees improves the security posture of the business. The only downside is that the purchasing process for training isn’t as easy as browse, click, pay, and reap rewards.

When evaluating options, training providers will likely all have the same agenda, outline, pre-recs, and course description. There is no insight into the actual quality of the training until the class is in progress or complete. Even then, an employee may report a positive experience with the class simply because they did not have to pay attention or because they were released early on a Friday (hey, it was nice outside!)

What to Expect When Searching for Technical Training

Several years ago technical training became largely a commodity market. Now, a quick search for technical training returns pages of results of training centers. While more availability of training may appear to be a positive, the downfall is that many of these businesses operate on thin margins, which actualizes in instructors with minimal product experience. Without real-world knowledge, trainers are relegated to presentation slide readers rather than true instructors that transfer their real-world lessons and insights.

This isn’t to say that quality training is hard to find—you just need to know what to look for. One recommendation is to engage with a security company that offers training rather than a training company that takes a generalist approach. When working with a specialist, you’re guaranteed to have an instructor that is fluent and experienced in the complex world of cybersecurity.

Questions to Help You Choose Your Perfect Training Provider

Beyond the decision of center versus specialist, consider asking yourself the following questions to uncover your unique training needs and goals:

  • Are you looking for behavior change in your employee (new skills, more efficient work processes, and better product knowledge)?
  • Do you want your team certified in a product to get better partner or product relationships (exam knowledge and prep)?
  • Are you trying to get new team members up-to-speed so their real-world proficiency is at an acceptable level (hands-on labs, troubleshooting knowledge, and tool fluency)?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, be sure to keep that in mind when evaluating providers. For example, if you want your team to become certified in a Check Point Software product, your goal isn’t simply to have them hang a certificate on their wall. Instead, they need to come away from the training ready to take the exam AND transfer their skills to their day-to-day job to increase the ROI of your Check Point investment.

Off-the-shelf courseware for most security technology products typically lacks good lab environments and adequate exam preparation materials. This means you may want to look for training providers that offer an interactive experience that immerses students in the learning process and includes additional materials beyond the standard courseware.

Training Based on Science

Adult learning and neuroscience tell us that adults have a maximum amount of new information that they can take in each day and commit to long-term memory. And it’s in that long-term memory where we get behavior change, new skills, and lasting knowledge. This underpins the importance of enough time for training. For example, if you or your employees are rushing through lab steps to keep up with other students, or the instructor is trying to finish before 5pm on the last day of class, it is almost certain most of the benefits of those labs will be lost. A better option would be to find training that is flexible to the student’s learning style and speed, with access to class materials beyond the classroom so that they can review and learn when they feel refreshed and ready to absorb more information.

At Cadre Information Security, we have made it part of our mission to solve these common training problems to deliver superior experiences and results. Our instructors are career security professionals that not only have access to an entire engineering team but are also fluent in adult learning skills and public presentations. At Cadre, we offer experiences you won’t find with other training classes, such as:

  • 6 months of access to labs
  • Quizzes and study guides to ensure you’re ready for your exam
  • Up to 50% additional “not in the book” information and deep dives
  • Workshop formats and self-paced labs

We’re always striving to level up our training. Learn more about the enhancements we’ve made to our Check Point Classes and what new classes we’re offering.

 

Topics: Cybersecurity, Services