How connected learning is bridging the skills gap for cyber security professionals

Stephen O'Boyle, BSI
Stephen O'Boyle, BSI

Organisations need to address the information resilience challenge to allow them to focus on other things



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16 April 2020 | 0

In association with BSI Ireland

It is estimated that by 2021, there will be 3.5 million roles vacant globally in the cyber security space. Currently this number sits at 1.5 million and growing, exponentially.

The chasm in skills required and expertise versus current capabilities is hugely evident and businesses need to act fast in the upskilling of their staff including the recruitment of new staff to contend with the increasing threat of cyber attacks and data breaches.




“I would like to thank you for delivering a fantastic CIPP/E online course. The content was great and highly relevant. The tutor was so enthusiastic and made the training both interesting and enjoyable!”

Ekaterina Serban, Data Protection and Information Security Officer (PT/DSO), Robert Bosch Power Tools GmbH​

In these unprecedented times, as ever, organisations need to address the information resilience challenge and continue to focus on their cyber security, compliance, data management and privacy strategies aimed at protecting their people, information and business. This includes the ongoing training and continuous learning and development of their staff.

Remote working has now become the “new norm” where organisations are expected to be able to work as close to normality as possible, with their staff working from home and in some instances, for the first time. This growth in remote working has meant that many are adapting how they perform their daily work and while it is not a new phenomenon, our current environment has escalated the requirement.

In this environment, the role of a cyber security professional becomes even more apparent as companies manage remote workers’ actions online, as well as facing increased risks related to their company’s information and data resilience. Understanding the challenges professionals and businesses are facing at present and how we adapt to maintain business continuity is vitally important. Industries are already taking the next steps to business recovery and stability and during this time securing a company’s information resilience posture is essential in protecting its people, data and finances.

Long term business survival and recovery comprise of many elements including sustaining employee learning and development programmes so that they can perform their job to the best of their ability. Over the past six months, we have seen a fundamental requirement for skilled cyber security professionals across industry sectors and this is expected to continue to rise once businesses become fully operational. This level of training extends from classroom-based training to inhouse training with an escalation in demand for virtual online training.

At BSI, we use an innovative way of learning virtually through Connected Learning Live (CLL). CLL is an online way of learning in which BSI training courses are conveyed interactively via the virtual classroom and is the ideal solution for professionals who require the flexibility of online training. There is also an on-demand service for those with busy schedules, who prefer to learn on the go or cannot find the time during the day to sit through the course. Together with a qualified, experienced trainer and fellow students, the delegate will be in a virtual classroom during the training. Our expert tutors and delegates interact in real-time on the learning platform and by making the training material available in an interactive setting, the delegates become strongly involved in the content of the course.

Why choose Connected Learning Live?

The benefits speak for themselves and include a true class environment that is delivered by world-class tutors who are experts in their field. CLL provides a comprehensive learning experience which also takes out the cost of attending in person. In addition, the virtual training courses provide thought provoking workshops, high levels of interaction, two-way dialogue between the tutor and delegates all facilitated by the agility of a virtual environment that includes breakout rooms, whiteboards, full chat messaging and voice facilities.

BSI’s Consulting Services are closely affiliated with leading associations in information security and data privacy to include (but not limited to) ISACA, EC-Council and International Association for Privacy Professionals (IAPP). Through these partnerships, we provide comprehensive training to delegates to prepare them for the certification exams, where the qualifications can help them with their career development and in turn close that skills gap in the marketplace.  

At BSI, we offer tutor-led courses such as Certified Information Privacy Professional Europe (CIPP/E); Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM); Certified Information Security Manager (CISM); and Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) that are all available virtually. Our course catalogue also includes end-user security awareness training, essential at present, with the rapid increase in attacker campaigns targeted at end users.

Virtual training is not just for individual delegates, it is also used and successfully delivered as inhouse training for businesses and organisations worldwide. A number of our key enterprise clients in telecommunications, advisory services, professional services and other sectors have successfully completed inhouse training remotely with the same positive results as if the course were taken in person. Through CLL, professionals are staying up to date with their industry and peers and updating their skills in line with their career development needs.

Over the last 12 months, BSI has delivered courses to nearly 220,000 delegates. The range of industry leading information security and privacy training courses that BSI offer are overseen by our lead trainer and Training Portfolio Manager, Tom Brett. As a course designer with more than 25 years’ IT and cyber security experience, Tom specialises in social engineering threats, physical security, protecting Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and Information Security. As an expert consultant and through his extensive experience, Tom provides technical intelligence and adapts case examples to help delegates pass the exams to prepare them in their careers in the chosen subject matter. Tom and other BSI consultants within our advisory business, not only deliver best in class training but are also available to provide consulting services for businesses. If an organisation has a consultancy, implementation or advisory requirement in ISO/IEC27001, NIST Cyber security Framework, GDPR or CCPA services, Data Protection Officer as a Service (DPOaaS), Data Protection Impact (DPI) assessments, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, BSI are here to support with these requirements.

By being able to keep learning and development on track at this time using an engaging connected learning environment, professionals can continue their professional development and be in a stronger position for business recovery now and for the future.

To find out more about BSI’s virtual training and inhouse courses visit: security-Information-Resilience/Training/ 

Stephen O’Boyle is global practice director for Cyber, Risk and Advisory at BSI

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