ISACA, the world's largest association for IT professionals in the areas of cyber security and IT governance, has launched what it calls the industry's first comprehensive, hands-on security training program designed to keep employees up-to-date on the latest data security trends and techniques.

Unlike other lecture-based programs currently available, ISACA's new program will offer hands-on training in a live network environment that can even be used by hiring managers to evaluate prospective employees.

Latest additions to ISACA’s Cybersecurity Nexus (CSX) portfolio of resources include the CSX Training Platform and Assessment Tool. The platforms offers trainees an easily accessible, constantly updated education environment that gives administrators insights into employee performance, so organizations can ensure that they hire and retain the best cyber security talent, ISACA said.

The on-demand, performance-based training and assessment tool is conducted in live environments using real-world threat scenarios. According to a recent ISACA survey, 52% of respondents said they think traditional cyber security training options leave staff only moderately to not-at-all prepared. With the growing skills gap, cyber security team leaders are looking to formally diagnose specific areas where they need to bolster skills, according to 62% of respondents.

The CSX Assessment Tool gives hiring managers a resource to evaluate candidates and ultimately fill positions.

“With its hands-on approach to cyber defense, the CSX Training Platform is an important learning solution for enterprises that want their front-line IT teams to be cyber-hardened, cyber-prepared and cyber-tested,” said Christos Dimitriadis, ISACA board chair and group director of information security at INTRALOT. “The ability to test and build skills will help enterprises address the significant skills gap problem they’re facing.”

Though cyber security threats are growing in number and complexity, security professionals are not keeping pace. According to ISACA’s State of Cyber Security 2017 report, hiring managers are having a hard time finding the right talent: nearly one third of organizations say it takes six months or more to fill open cyber security positions; 37% of organizations say fewer than one quarter of candidates are qualified; and 20% get fewer than five applicants for open cyber security positions.

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Bob Violino

Bob Violino

Bob Violino is a freelance technology and business writer who covers a variety of topics, including big data and analytics, cloud computing, information security and mobile technology.