We sat down with Ryan Corey, co-founder and CEO, Cybrary to discuss the evolution of cyber education, advice for infosec pros looking to bolster their knowledge base, and what Cybrary is doing to help give the security community the education they need.
How has cyber education changed in recent years?
Because the cybersecurity industry is so fast paced, it poses challenges to how we train and educate the existing and up-and-coming workforce. Cybersecurity practitioners must keep pace with their adversaries in order to defend against constantly evolving threats – a pace that is not easily matched. In addition to staying up to speed with new and improved threats, today’s modern cyber professional must also be able to understand the newest additions to the security stack or the most recent OS installed on an employees device. To do this, the education and training must go beyond industry standards and meet practitioners where they are. Given the ongoing cybersecurity talent shortage that only continues to grow, Cybrary works hard to deliver high-quality training courses, hands-on labs, certification preparation, assessments, and more to cover the most popular and in-demand skills needed for a successful cyber career.
What advice would you give someone starting out in cybersecurity? Do they need a computer science degree, etc.?
For industry newbies, my advice is to check out what’s available online. One of our best intro collections is called, “Information Security Fundamentals,” which has several training courses and short labs to get some hands-on learning right away. You don’t need a four year degree to be a successful cybersecurity practitioner, though it does require research, constant learning, and the desire to face new challenges. One of the best recommendations is to seek out mentors, industry experts, and peers to ask questions and get firsthand feedback to guide you where you want to go in the field. We have our own community for knowledge sharing and industry networking within the Cybrary Insider Pro, too. With some of the basics under your belt and a community to lean on, you’re setting yourself up for a successful career in cybersecurity.
What advice would you give to someone looking to just advance their cyber education (they've been in the game for 5 years or so)?
If you’re looking to upskill your current cyber role, you’re contributing to a community of lifelong learners. I applaud the cyber practitioners that are constantly looking for ways to advance their knowledge and improve their skills. The industry desperately needs it, but also needs to provide the opportunity for individuals to grow. As emerging cyber professionals continue to advance, the CISSP certification is one of the most applicable and sought-after certifications for those in the cybersecurity community. For the rest of February we’re still offering our CISSP class as part of our free course offerings.
We found that approximately 68% of cybersecurity professionals spend time outside of regular working hours to learn new skills and another 22% of organizations are cutting training budgets. In cybersecurity, you don’t have a ton of free time to look for the next certification – especially when you’re trying to manage the issues at hand. For those looking to broaden their skillset, look internally to see what resources are available to you. If there isn’t an internal program, ask your manager about setting one up. Cybrary also has an enormous archive of skills, certifications, and career development training for just about any level of your career.
How can Cybrary help further someone's cyber education?
We’ve been providing a selection of free courses each month since the onset of COVID-19, to support those who are impacted by the economic challenges posed by the pandemic. Each month, we curate a list of courses based on the industry needs at that moment. With far-reaching threats like SolarWinds or high-impact threats like ransomware attacks, cybersecurity professionals should look to enhance their abilities to protect sensitive data and systems. Taking our courses on pentesting, malware analysis, and DevOps will help build more well-rounded skill sets.
What free lessons is Cybrary offering in February?
Here are Cybrary’s February courses that are included with a free Cybrary membership until March 1, 2021: