Virtual training

How to Improve Cyber Security Hands-on Training Experiences for Employees?


Dec 01, 2022 - 3 min read
How to improve cyber security hands-on training experiences for employees?

The nature of the cyber security threat today

Like Sisyphus rolling that boulder up, up, and up the mountain only for it to fall back down, and having to start all over again, every day, for eternity… the cybersecurity threat might seem like an ongoing, ever-present nightmare. It certainly isn’t going away anytime soon.

Cybercriminals devise new ways to exploit IT systems as fast as, if not faster than, IT experts can devise better protections. As a business leader, you might start to despair of the continued investment required to stay secure.

It’s no surprise that cybersecurity is one of the two biggest concerns for businesses, along with regulatory compliance, according to the researchers at Gartner. So how do businesses get one step ahead? First, take another look at the nature of the threat. It might surprise you.

The biggest threat to your business

Is it Fancy Bear, Lizard Squad, or Anonymous? Is it state governments, hacking groups, or bored teenagers? Is it ransomware, DDOS, or phishing campaigns? No, not quite. All these pose a risk to varying degrees. But the unfortunate truth is that your own employees are inadvertently causing the greatest damage.

Human error is present in a whopping 88% of cybersecurity failures, a report from Stanford University and security experts Tessian discovered. Just think: all that time, energy, and money spent reducing external risks and it’s your own side holding the smoking gun. Effectively, anyone who touches a computer is a security risk – and, by definition, no human is immune to human error.

The truth is that the attack surface, i.e. any route for cybercriminals to target, is continually growing as we move to remote and hybrid workplaces and deploy more IoT solutions. This highlights just how important cyber security training is. The most sophisticated security measures are only as robust as your ability to reduce the possibility of human error occurring.

Gartner offers several ways to improve cybersecurity. Along with developing tech-savvy boards and building security solutions tailored for remote working, Gartner highlights the importance of “breach and attack simulation”, which falls under the remit of hands-on virtual cyber security training. This is what we are going to focus on here.

What is cyber security hands-on training?

There’s a lot of scope for improving the effectiveness of cyber security training. Everyone across the organization, not just the specialists in IT, needs to know how to identify phishing attacks, how to communicate instances of human error, and then what to do when a cyberattack occurs and the IT environment is under threat. Reacting in the right way at the right time can reduce the cost and damage.

Virtual hands-on training solutions allow you to simulate your networks and systems as a training ground. Trainees can learn how to spot or deal with security threats by recreating realistic scenarios to practice in. This takes place in a sandboxed environment, entirely separate from your actual networking infrastructure, which means that users can train freely without the risk of tampering with your company’s systems.

There are many names given to these types of simulation environments, such as cyber security labs, cyber range training, cyber security simulation training, or “breach and attack simulation”. They all offer real-world, hands-on cybersecurity training that immerses trainees in the reality of dealing with the complexities of a cyberattack. Allowing users to practice and experiment in a real-world scenario is the best way to prepare for the real thing.

It’s not a webinar. It’s not an in-depth written guide. It’s a real-life experience. First-hand knowledge.

The benefits of cyber security training

So why does it work so well?

  • Boost engagement

As remote working becomes increasingly prevalent, organizations need new ways to reach employees and keep them engaged in training. Learning through doing rather than showing or telling is essential. Interactive, hands-on training experiences engage trainees in a way that boosts knowledge retention and understanding. You can’t beat learning that comes from real-life experiences.

  • Gain crucial insights

Because cybersecurity simulation training uses simulations of your real IT environment, you can gain lots of valuable data while you train your staff. Not only can this be used to improve and guide training, but it can also be used to gain insights about how and where to invest in IT security.

  • Create a cyber security culture

With hands-on training, employees can better understand what is required of them, whether they are cybersecurity experts, part of the C-suite, or line-of-business workers. When everyone is engaged in cybersecurity you can radically improve how people think and talk about cybersecurity, but also, most importantly, how they act when an attack occurs.

Exceptional cyber security training experiences

With CloudShare’s next-generation training platform, you can breathe life into training experiences and deliver better outcomes. Our virtual hands-on training platform can help you get one step ahead of the cyber security threat. Spin up accurate environments and realistic scenarios in minutes. You can use these to war-game cybersecurity breaches so that your staff will be prepared for the next attack.

To learn more about how to effectively implement hands-on cyber security training and the benefits of the CloudShare platform, get in contact with the team at CloudShare today.