SANS Cyber Boot Camp Aims to Cut Skills Shortages

The SANS Institute has launched what it claims to be the world’s first intensive ‘cyber boot camp,’ designed to rapidly fill skills gaps in the industry by compressing two years’ worth of courses into just eight weeks.

The SANS Cyber Academy was devised as a way to get recent graduates swiftly up to speed with real world information security skills so that they are capable of walking more quickly into cybersecurity roles within organizations.

The eight-week course will help candidates get inside the mind of hackers so they are able to respond when something goes wrong.

They will be asked to build a business network to understand the avenues by which hackers typically get in; hack a drone to find flaws in unfamiliar systems; and deal with a specially crafted virus outbreak.

Softer skills are also covered, with candidates required to make security policy recommendations to managers.

SANS Academy said it will work with universities and organizations to find the candidates with the most potential, using psychometric testing to spot those most likely to succeed in the industry.

At the end of the course, they will sit the world-renowned Certified Incident Handler (GCIH) and Security Essentials (GSEC) certifications.

Stephen Jones, UK MD at SANS Institute, argued that graduates from the course could expect to walk into roles without needing to spend two years as a trainee first.

“We’d expect most companies to require some experience of working life before promoting them to a more senior role, but we certainly expect such promotions to be much quicker than without the course,” he told Infosecurity.

Jones added that the advantage of having such a short course is that it can be kept highly relevant.

“It will be regularly updated and new exercises developed to reflect changing threats,” he claimed.

“It is also hands-on and is created and taught by leading cybersecurity practitioners, who are themselves working in the field and at the forefront of evolving cyber-threats, so knowledge and best practice will always be taught in context.”

The SANS Cyber Academy is a UK-wide initiative, with the first course starting on 1 September at the St David’s Hotel Cardiff.

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