A common misconception regarding the glaring need for professionals with knowledge of cybersecurity is that the shortage is exclusive to technical personnel.
Granted, most companies demand a larger and more skilled IT workforce that can keep up with all of today's security challenges, including the growing attack surface, advanced threats and product complexity - which is why more organizations are turning to a managed security services provider for help. But there is less-heralded segment of the employee ranks that needs to grow its security acumen as well: members of the executive team and board of directors. Cybersecurity has reached C-level status, and failure by the very top to apply oversight, infuse a culture of security and recognize the discipline's impact on a company's bottom line may result in greater exposure.
Of course, finding workers with the right technical chops to handle cybersecurity tasks is also critical. Indeed security is complex, so companies that are trying to hire competent professionals with actual hands-on experience are likely having a difficult time. But they may have potential talent closer than they think - computer professionals who can adapt to security roles with a little bit of life-like training.
Singapore Telecommunications Ltd., the parent company of Trustwave, took a big step foward this week to enhance the cybersecurity skills and preparedness of stakeholders across businesses and governments in Asia-Pacific by launching the Singtel Cyber Security Institute (CSI). A hybrid between an advanced "cyber range" and an educational institute, the CSI is a first-of-its-kind in the region to test and train companies in dealing with sophisticated cyberthreats.
Housed in a permanent space of more than 10,000 square feet, the institute provides cyber skills development and education programs tailored to the varying needs of company boards, C-suite management, technology and operational staff. Boards and C-suite-level participants will be trained in the areas of cyberthreat awareness, risk management, business continuity planning and crisis communications preparation. The cyber operations team will be trained in defense and response capabilities to sharpen their skills.
The CSI can emulate the environments and operations of enterprises using state-of-the-art technologies. Like other cyber ranges, the facility can simulate cyberattacks to test a company's inherent vulnerabilities and defense and response capabilities. Unlike other ranges, however, the new facility can easily replicate any company's operating environment and use the latest range of cyberthreats, including an extensive library of viruses and malware, to simulate these attacks.
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Dan Kaplan is manager of online content at Trustwave and a former IT security reporter and editor.