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Continuing Education is Key in Cybersecurity Workforce Development

By |2019-01-23T19:26:47+00:00January 18th, 2019|Technology, Training|

It is widely known that we have a talent shortage when it comes to world of cybersecurity and technically qualified professionals. The explosive growth in technology and the need to secure it has created an abundance of jobs for companies of all sizes, including the federal government. The need to quickly train personnel  for mission-critical positions is imperative, and the potential cost of deploying someone who isn’t fully qualified to is enormous, both monetarily and from a national defense perspective. This applies to both defense and civilian agencies.  With cybersecurity at the forefront of nearly every federal agency, it is critical they have the ability to quickly assess the technical skill sets of the personnel they’re putting through their cybersecurity training. Beyond a course completion certificate, they need  to verify the ability of their workforce  to accurately perform the trained tasks. Additionally, continuing education becomes critical to ensure students have the ability to access relevant training at any time — before, during, and after they’ve completed their technical course curriculum. In this case, hands-on practice makes perfect in the world of cybersecurity education and training.

Syndicus NACON has a patented training platform, which provides trainers a seamless, quick, and cost‑effective way to apply the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) taught by instructors either in class with other students, or outside the classroom, anytime, anywhere for continuous learning capability. This is accomplished through our custom cyber range called VirtualOnDemand® (VOD), which allows for practical, hands-on training in a private cloud environment. Instructors have the choice to leverage our built-in Learning Management System (LMS) or a commercial LMS; users only need access to a modern browser to take advantage of our entire content delivery platform to achieve their customized training needs. We understand the complexities of the courseware cyber professionals need to comprehend in a condensed period and we also understand that having access to practice their training curriculum outside of the classroom provides valuable time to ensure students master their desired skill set.

In addition to providing a hands-on environment, we have an integrated tool to measure students’ proficiency to complete hands-on exercises, with an integrated scoring technology. This allows instructors to measure the performance of each of their students across multiple skill sets, which becomes valuable in identifying if they’re ready for active assignments, putting their KSAs to immediate use. Additionally, this allows students the ability to actively see where their weaknesses are and then access our virtual training portal anywhere to continue practicing in their known areas of deficiency outside of the instructor-led classroom, further maximizing their time to become subject matter experts.

Syndicus NACON has been supporting federal clients since 2001 with its VOD technology, which reduces the administrative costs while increasing skills, content retention, and the ability to test students’ KSAs.

In 2004, our client was faced with the challenge to get relevant content and hands-on training to their soldiers in austere locations. NACON successfully deployed a large distance learning classroom using our proven LMS and virtual lab. Since then, we have continued to support our client with over 1.5 million registered users and over 6.6 million training certificates issued.

In 2012, NACON recognized that students did not have a safe, secure environment to interact with malware. Leveraging our VOD technology, we created a virtual training environment, which allowed users to virtually interact with malware, applications, and networks which are isolated from production environments. Students work with an instructor to perform practical exercises for both team collaboration and individual performance. Our clients have successfully completed 20 sessions, each six weeks long. Each session allows 16 students to work within in our integrated VOD platform. We continue to work closely with our customer to adapt our training environment as their needs evolve.

Faced with the challenge of reviewing students’ past virtual lab scenarios and configurations, NACON developed and deployed a “persistence-based” lab environment to allow students the ability to save their work within the VOD so that it could be accessed later. Additionally, we integrated our VOD technology with their existing LMS, SumTotal, and virtualized their systems to conduct live training in a sandboxed environment. We virtualized the Joint Personnel Adjudication System (JPAS) and the Industrial Security Facilities Database (ISFD) to allow for real hands-on training with these complex and secure systems, created courses which include JPAS and ISFD, eliminated risk of issues on production, and significantly reduced the cost of travel incurred by leveraging our virtual training platform as applicable.

Syndicus NACON has the proven performance of delivering customized training solutions to federal clients since 2001. We also know that ease of access is a priority, which is why we are very easy to find with two active contracts to choose from:

  1. GSA IT-70 contract # GS-35F-127DA
  2. SBD II – Alliant Contract

Additionally, we have several strategic partners with prime positions on strategic GWAGs and IDIQs and we will work with you to ensure we utilize the vehicle that best meets your needs. As a Veteran-Owned Small Business, it is our passion to help others, and we are continuously striving to improve our training technology to ensure our clients our getting access to the training they need easily and quickly to complete their mission.

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