By Adi Dar, CEO, Cyberbit
Every solder know that the extreme pressure of the battlefield is a true test of how well you prepared. The stakes are incredibly high and critical decisions must be made ever split second. Classroom learning can serve as a basis, but no soldier would dare go into battle with theoretical knowledge alone. The same is true for all emergency response professionals and teams that must work together flawlessly under the most challenging and uncertain conditions. Proper preparation to face real crises requires a systematic training paradigm in which teams can practice applying skills in a hyper-realistic, controlled environment, building their ability to react better with each iteration.
Simulation is essential to training all types of defenders
Simulation has been used as a training technique for almost 100 years, when early pilots recognized the need to find a way to train new pilots without putting their lives (and the planes) at risk. The early U.S. Air Force, began allowing pilots to experience rare, yet high-risk situations in a safe and controlled simulation environment. This also allowed the army to standardize the settings of each simulation, so all levels of pilots could train to achieve expertise. The medical world began to take notice in the 1960s andcreated training programs in which resident physicians performed emergency techniques on simulated patients, soyoungdoctors could get the chance to hone and perfect their skill without putting real human patients in danger. Now simulation has become a paramount feature in training today’s Air Force pilots, doctors, nurses and emergency responders, helping ensure that their “split second” decisions and actions are the correct ones.
How cyber simulation trains recruits for today’s cyber battles
As we become more reliant on digital technology, securing digital data has become an urgent need. Organizations face the constant threat of attacks carried out by malicious actors, which increases the imperative to build an army of skilled cybersecurityanalysts who understand how to diffuse and mitigate risks. Hefty portions of company budgets are often set aside to train the employees responsible for keeping corporate assets secure, but there is a problem: cybersecurity talent is hard to come by. To put it simply, there aren’t enough skilled analysts to fill the deluge of security positions that are opening at a pace much faster than new professionals are entering the field.
Aware of this reality, organizations often hire fresh-out-of-school cybersecurity analysts who have yet to encounter real crisis situations and have not fully developed the skills needed to perform optimally in the face of a dangerous cyberattack.
Hands-on experience makes all the difference
Simulating security events in a manner that’s as close to real life as possible helps SOC analysts make smarter, more informed decisions – regardless of whether they have been on the job for ten minutes or ten years. Effective simulation training addresses and greatly improves:
With simulation training, analysts learn to interact and come together as a team. A safe, hands-on environment gives all participants a chance to learn to work together smoothly and coordinate activity in an efficient manner.
- Onboarding new analysts
New analysts have a lot to offer: they are often enthusiastic and love to take on new challenges. But regardless of whether they got top grades in school, they don’t yet have the skills to perform in the face of a truly urgent situation – a method that generally only comes with time and experience. Simulation puts them in the battle, in a controlled way, so newbies can learn real-world skills without real-life consequences.
- Keeping experienced pros engaged
Retaining and engaging veteran employees can be a challenge. Simulation training helps keep skills fresh, staying at the forefront of new tech and tools, while giving meaning to typically monotonous routines. The mentoring factor also allows veteran security team members to interact with newer, less experienced analysts, letting them share valued expertise and see they aren’t shouldering the burden alone.
- Real-life tacticaltraining:
Organizationstoday face cyber enemies that are constantly changing and morphing. This requires a new kind of training that:
- Quickly adapts to fast-changing attack techniques and scenarios
- Customizes training scenarios to reflect the battles your team will encounter
- Uses identical toolset l to those used in the SOC
- Tailored to the specific needs of your organization
- Presents trainees with the same set of challenges they will face in the real world
Practice will never make ‘perfect’, but realistic, hands-on practice does make security analysts “battle ready.” There’s no substitute for experience, but we can’t afford to wait for new analysts to accumulate years of on-the-job experience before they become effective cyber defenders. Everyone sitting in the SOC needs to be 100% ready for the big one to hit. Simulation train allow new professionals to gain valuable security experienceso India can quickly create an army of cyber defenders who possess the skills, grit and passion needed to keep the country’s organizations safe from today’s cyber threats.