Although training programs are an expense for an organization, providing professional development opportunities for SOC staff has proven to be a useful tool for talent retention. It demonstrates that IT leaders value not only their employees, but also their ability to make them more successful cybersecurity professionals.
Companies that had to secure a complete workforce of remote workers in days—and even overnight—remember the stress of the 2020 remote work pivot. Now is an excellent time to focus on the care and feeding of SOC staff, and training is an excellent method to show them that their employers care. According to the 2020 Cybersecurity Workforce Study from (ISC)2, on-the-job training and professional development are good approaches to boost staff retention.
Organizations profit from training programs in two ways: not only do they help SOC staff learn new skills like SOAR and ML, which makes them more productive, but they also help reduce staff turnover.
How can IT leaders put together an effective training program for their SOC with this in mind? They must first determine their objectives, then devise a lesson plan that accommodates the learning styles of their employees, and last, execute that plan in a way that benefits rather than hinders their company.
Setting a clear goal
Changing behaviours is frequently the primary purpose of staff training. IT executives may want the SOC to enhance average threat detection and response time or identify security flaws in cloud-based systems. Defining the aim will help identify exactly what to include in the training programme.
The goal should be to focus on developing skills, because it is the skills that will have the most impact on the desired behaviour change. With more expertise, SOC staff will be less likely to second-guess themselves.
Establishing a baseline
IT leaders should begin by conducting an evaluation to determine the skill levels of the learners. They should know where their team sits in terms of knowledge, because not everyone will always be on the same page. Because of the scarcity of qualified personnel, many SOCs hire entry-level employees who may lack expertise. They’ll need to be trained on all of the systems, but more seasoned employees won’t require the same training. A needs-assessment establishes a baseline for where employees stand in terms of abilities and where they may reasonably be trained.
Developing a core curriculum
IT executives must appropriately size materials so that they are both demanding and long enough to be successful. They should not assess the quality of their training by how long it takes or how difficult it is; instead, they should verify that the content teaches and changes behaviour.
It’s also critical to check that the training is applicable to real-world scenarios and the challenges that the team will confront. They must also ensure that they are not only equipped to cope with serious threats, but also that the team has sufficient training in the tasks that employees perform on a daily basis. It may be beneficial to give offensive security content to the SOC analysts during training so that they may begin to learn how attackers think. They are more effective and their skill set is sharpened as a result of their incremental knowledge.
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