Become a security expert in eight weeks


A new intensive boot camp for graduates interested in and with an aptitude for cyber security has been launched, aiming to train cyber security experts within only eight weeks.

The program, the SANS Cyber Academy, has been created in response to the skills gap in the cyber security field, with businesses seeking new talent equipped with the relevant skills. The "boot camp" claims to cram two years worth of training into an eight week time period.

"The cyber skills gap is growing and the graduate pipeline will not meet demand in the short term. We need to quickly create new skilled professionals, not just hire from the limited existing pool," said Andrew Smith, EMEA Managing Director at SANS Institute. "We have seen many superb long term cyber skills initiatives that seek to build the future talent pool, but until now there has been no way to address the immediate skills gap within weeks, not years."

As part of the course, trainees will be taught how to respond to specific cyber security incidents, as well as becoming immersed in how hackers operate. One exercise has the graduates hacking a drone in order to find its security flaws.

"This course will teach tonnes of practical skills," said Smith. "It provides a safe environment to play with malicious code most people will never get their hands on. This is a radical new way of developing cyber skills and absolutely the best mechanism to accelerate the development of recent grads."

But not just anyone will be able to take part, as a psychometric test will be used to identify candidates with the relevant behavioural and cognitive traits that ensure a high chance of success after the eight weeks is over.

Potential candidates will be found with the help of organisations and universities, and businesses will be given the chance to sponsor students. Scholarships will also be available for veterans of the Armed Forces and other groups underrepresented in the security sector.

The first batch of 40 graduates will be trained in Cardiff beginning on 1 September, though SANS has announced plans to subsequently roll out the Cyber Academy to more regions.

Caroline Preece

Caroline has been writing about technology for more than a decade, switching between consumer smart home news and reviews and in-depth B2B industry coverage. In addition to her work for IT Pro and Cloud Pro, she has contributed to a number of titles including Expert Reviews, TechRadar, The Week and many more. She is currently the smart home editor across Future Publishing's homes titles.

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