Why Computer Security Training Matters

Whether you are a casual user who prefers not to have their credit card number or very identity stolen, or a system administrator who needs to know how to keep your organization's networks and systems intact and free from attack, you need to be trained to incorporate the fundamental concepts of information and computer security into daily practice.

A wise person once said, "knowledge is power." This age-old truth is ubiquitously accepted and all the more exemplified in today's technologically advanced society. As information systems evolve and digital communications become more prevalent and central to our daily lives, there is an ever growing need, not only to facilitate this increasing flow of information, but also to control it. Whether it is personal communication, strategic business operations, e-commerce, or digital warfare, computer security plays a vital role in maintaining the privacy, safety, and defensibility of a global, digital society. In fact, the entire digital infrastructure relies upon such controls to enable it to function at all. Without these necessary controls, computers are unstable, networks are compromised and the very fabric of the Internet tears down into ruin. In short, security must exist to uphold the digital infrastructure we have created. Something as advanced and beautifully complex as today's digital systems can never hope to survive without strength and resilience. Computer security is the focused resolve to protect information and preserve knowledge.

Getting the Training You Need

Computer security training is readily available in a variety of ways for all types of audiences. Free security resources like security newsletters, security news sites or helpful online tutorials exist for informative updates and education, as do active security communities and security consulting groups. Proprietary memberships and professional courses are also at the ready for individuals seeking more comprehensive and in-depth training. Below, you will find an introduction on getting started in learning more about computer security and what types of training options are available.

Security Training Resources

  Description Free Resources Paid Training

Security Awareness

The first step of computer security is to identify and understand risks. Good security awareness training can teach users about basic security practices, such as employing the use of strong passwords or avoiding common social engineering attacks like phishing. Security awareness can also teach users how to keep systems up-to-date and the importance of backing up data. In general, security awareness aims to teach users what do to and what not to do during day-to-day computer use, be it at the office or in the comfort of their own home.

Introduction to Security

Security awareness helps you to understand what some of the issues are, but it does not teach you the steps to deal with any problems should they arise. Introductory security education covers the basic principles of system/network threats and vulnerabilities without presupposing any prior knowledge. It aims at educating users on how to employ the use of best practice and follow established guidelines to identify and manage risks on a broader scale and at lower levels of a system's architecture.

Intermediate Education

Intermediate information security education should build on the terminology and concepts of introductory computer security training and cover the theory of the discipline at a more augmented level. These security courses will break the information up into domains, sub-domains and even smaller divisions of knowledge, placing a higher degree of focus in specific areas and expounding on them to achieve a deeper level of understanding in how to produce a more robust security framework.

Security Practitioner

Practitioner-level training is skills-based and functions around a job task analysis for a given career path. The purpose of this training is to facilitate as well as improve upon the established skill-set of a security professional. Such courses aim to help administrators and managers understand what knowledge is crucial to a particular computer security specialization and acquire the necessary skill set to be proficient in the ascribed tasks.

Security Expert

Expert-level security training is for the most advanced security practitioners. There are relatively few of these courses and (because of the pyramid effect) there are many more beginners than experts. Despite this relative scarcity, however, several resources are available to assist one along path to becoming one of the security elite.

This guide is brought to you by the SANS Institute. Providing professional computer security training courses through the following extensive delivery models:

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