A Free IT and Cyber Security Training MOOC is on its Way

In recent years we have seen a trend emerging in education. Free learning has been making huge waves, and the term MOOC is what is bringing about that change. MOOC’s (Massive Open Online Courses) that have launched in recent years include companies like; Khan Academy, which has brought math and science classes to the world for free; Codecademy, which offers free coding learning; and Coursera, which provides online classes from some of the world’s top universities. We have caught word of a MOOC that will launch in January called Cybrary, which provides free IT and Cyber Security training classes to the world.

So far, from what we can tell on the website, Cybrary’s training offering includes classes that prepare people for some of the more popular IT and security industry recognized certifications, such as the CompTIA A+, Security+, ECC’s Certified Ethical Hacker and the CISSP from ISC2. The site also includes advanced skill sets, which are not intended for certification, such as their Post Exploitation Hacking and Advanced Penetration Testing class.

MOOC’s Emerge as Online Education Sentiment Grows
The explosive growth of MOOC’s is showing us that the sentiment towards online education is growing more favorable. As younger generations, such as the Millennials, come of age and become a major subset of the world’s workforce, online education grows faster. These younger generations seem to be well prepared and extremely accustomed to learning online and at their own pace. Online education has been in a tremendous growth phase since 2002. Now with the success of companies like Codecademy, people are starting to realize that learning can, and maybe should be, free for everyone. This shift in the approach to learning is giving more people the opportunity to build skill sets and achieve an education that may have previously not been affordable to them. Emerging economies and even tenured professionals from the world’s largest economies all are benefiting from these winds of change in education.

As our readers know, the IT and Cyber Security industries are in many ways built around a proof of skill sets which is led by certifications. Many companies hiring practices are built around finding employees who possess these certifications because the certs validate their skill set, at least to a certain extent.

Addressing the Cyber Security Skills Gap
The skills gap in Cyber Security is perhaps the most glaring need that is addressed by this new trend of free online education. SC Magazine wrote an article discussing this challenge as not only being a current one, but one that is actually going to become far worse in coming years. Another study showed that the skills gap would grow to about 47% in 2017.

This skills gap is likely due to the lack of affordable training. Cyber Security changes so quickly, and yet training for both basic skills as well as advanced skills has traditionally been extremely expensive. Codecademy and now Cybrary seem to be directly tackling the issue of putting hard Cyber Security job skills into the hands of anyone that may want them.

The Effect of MOOC’s on Emerging Economies
It was only a matter of time until the IT and Cyber Security training industry, as well as education as a whole, took a major shift towards more social equality. Companies like Coursera, Codecademy and now Cybrary are leading the charge. Free education options are expanding, and as they grow and have success, it seems that education and technical job skill sets will no longer be reserved for those who can afford it, but rather it will be for those who are willing to work hard to achieve it.

Even with the presence of MOOC’s, there may very well still be numerous limitations to the growth of technology and innovation in the world’s emerging economies, but free online education is definitely a step in the right direction. As opposed to having to build out an internet infrastructure as well as invest heavily in an educational infrastructure, perhaps now the more important aspect to educational advancement, is simply stable access to the internet.

Time will tell how much impact these free MOOC’s will have on global problems such as the Cyber Security skills gap and the technological growth in emerging economies. It is safe to say though, free online education and training is well worth giving a try.


Who the CompTIA CASP Certification is Best Fit For

The CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner certification, or CASP, signifies advanced competency in information security. As the culmination of several security certifications, the CASP focuses on the management of IT security at the enterprise level. Candidates are expected to have at least 10 years of IT experience and five years in direct technical security roles. They are usually security leads with the ability to help shape information assurance policy.

Advanced Security Practitioner Skills
The CompTIA CASP certification is designed for IT security leads who have extensive experience synthesizing various IT and business disciplines into effective security strategies. Unlike most intermediate positions, the advanced security practitioner has moved beyond a purely technical focus to a more strategic role. This role requires an understanding of the organization’s big picture from a business as well as a technical perspective. The security lead is able to drive all phases of security strategy from concept and technical design through implementation and monitoring. This person often manages IT group members who perform specific systems administration and other technical functions involved with safeguarding information.

CASP Certification for IT Security Engineers
IT security engineers with comprehensive skills are good candidates for CASP certification. Job titles vary and include network security engineer and information systems security engineer. In smaller organizations, security experts often wear several hats that span technical and managerial duties. They may have primary responsibility for system and database administration or network engineering. These roles usually report to an IT manager but take the lead in effectively managing day-to-day security. Job titles are often systems administrator or network engineer, and security is considered a critical aspect rather than a separate job function.

Security engineers are expected to be competent in network security and identity management. They understand cryptography and know how to assess and safeguard against threats. They design, implement and maintain technical security solutions and often work closely with other IT staff to ensure system integrity. Equally as important, they can apply technical knowledge to enterprise security policies. Management relies on security engineers to provide information and recommendations within the compliance and operational frameworks that the organization follows.

CASP Certification for IT Security Managers
Larger organizations usually have several levels of IT staff from first-level support to CIO. As CASP certification covers managerial skills such as security policy governance, it is an excellent choice for IT security managers. Security management job titles include information systems security officer, security architect, security manager, and information assurance manager. These positions oversee security operations and interface with enterprise senior leadership. Rather than executing hands-on daily technical tasks, they focus on risk management. These managers review and recommend security policies and procedures within the context of the entire enterprise. As such, they integrate technology, business and communication needs into a comprehensive security strategy. IT security managers also lead in the analysis of threats and preventive measures and stay current with research.

In the constantly evolving world of information security, CompTIA CASP certification provides a benchmark of advanced knowledge and experience. The most suitable candidates hold enterprise-level roles applying technical and business expertise to create sound security strategy. Both IT leads and employers benefit from an objective measure of such critical competency.

Get information on CompTIA CASP Training: TrainACE’s CASP Training