This is the fourth post in a series on distributed classroom training. This one has been written by Simon Whittaker of Verticle Structure who teaches our Internet Security and Cloud Application Security courses.

As we’re all finding out, working outside of the office environment is here to stay. The impacts of the COVID-19 crisis have been felt globally. Combining this with the cyber issues of our “normal” working world, we’re certain that the next few months will prove very interesting.

One study found that 46% of organisations across the UK, US, France and Germany have suffered at least one “cybersecurity scare” since the coronavirus lockdown began. Cyber attacks are getting more and more pricey for organisations to recover from. The average cost of a data breach has risen to $3.92 million, according to a new report from IBM and the Ponemon Institute.

One of the greatest needs in having good cyber security assurance is to ensure employees are well-trained on how to spot email-based attacks or other vulnerabilities. In the financial services industry, PSD2 regulation requires that all FCA-registered companies have trained their employees.

Our Vertical Structure team is working as normal (albeit from home). Throughout this time, we’ve noticed an uptick in remote, video-based cyber security training.

Prior to the lockdown, our training was typically done in-person, but we’re learning that virtual classrooms and training is working well.

There are some major benefits and other considerations with remote training, mainly:

Pro’s:

  • Less travel = lower environmental impact
  • More people can fit into a room
  • Online “breakout” rooms have been working brilliantly for group work
  • Courses can be more easily scheduled around the needs of parents – they could take a two-day course over four mornings, or similar

Areas we’ve considered:

  • Technology is needed – access to Zoom or GoToTraining, for instance, plus a stable internet connection
  • After completing due diligence and due to a range of clients with different Operating Systems and Technologies, we chose Zoom as our platform
  • Privacy with virtual classrooms
    • VPN is provided
    • Use of passwords for every meeting, and every training is locked
    • Waiting rooms are enabled; every person is vetted before they get into the meeting
  • Encouraging the use of video – people naturally feel comfortable turning their video off, but it’s key to having that interaction and feedback loop open

Keeping all of the above in mind, we’ve been happy with the outcomes of our virtually run training courses. We’re working with each client to address scheduling concerns, to try to meet the needs of parents who are home-schooling during the day – perhaps that means splitting up multiple days, over a week or two.

If you have staff members (either technical or non-technical) who require training in any aspect of cyber security protection, please get in touch to find out more, on hello@verticalstructure.com

Stay safe, everyone!