Recently, IT Academy started offering a course in endpoint security. We should say right off the bat that the course does not require any experience or prior knowledge in cybersecurity. It doesn’t even require a high level of technical IT skills. The course is designed for anyone that has a standard knowledge of laptops or desktops and builds on that knowledge to introduce IT endpoint security concepts and tools.
The course, VMware® Endpoint Security: Core Technical Skills, equips the learner for an entry-level position as an IT endpoint security professional. By this we mean that after learners have successfully completed the course, they will be ready to step into a role as an endpoint security analyst immediately. They will have the entry-level security-related skills and knowledge that employers expect from an endpoint security analyst, they will know how to do the basic kinds of tasks related to their position, and they will be prepared to begin contributing to their team effectively from the start.
What endpoint security is all about
Just as a chef might focus on recipes, cooking methods and ingredients, there are particular areas of focus for endpoint security analysts: vulnerabilities, threats, attacks and risks. Devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones can hold important data, and they can also serve as a means to connect to certain networks. Devices run various apps in the device’s operating system. The device itself, its operating system and the apps on it may all have errors or weaknesses that weaken their security stance. Those weaknesses are called vulnerabilities.
Vulnerabilities are the targets for cybercriminals. When a vulnerability creates an opportunity for bad actors to adversely impact a user, their device or their data, that constitutes a threat. When a bad cybercriminal acts on a vulnerability to gain unauthorized access to a device, that constitutes an attack.
Much of what an endpoint security analyst does involves monitoring for vulnerabilities in order to remediate them or responding to and mitigating threats or attacks. The fourth area of focus, the concept of risk, refers to the potential for a hacker to do something that exploits a device or its contents and the potential consequences of that happening. Endpoint security pros work to reduce an organization’s risk. All of these concepts are part of the course.
Zero Trust environments
Common sense tells us if we assume everything we encounter is a risk, we are unlikely to mistakenly extend trust. That is the idea behind Zero Trust environments. The default assumption in such a cybersecurity environment is that you cannot and should not trust anything or anyone. The Zero Trust approach is becoming more pervasive in IT organizations globally, with seven out of 10 enterprises reporting that they have already begin rolling out a Zero Trust environment or have established plans to do so.
Creating a Zero Trust environment can be a lot of work, but when it has been established, it enhances security, including security for endpoints, in numerous ways. VMware products such as VMware Carbon Black are designed to support implementation of Zero Trust, and the Endpoint Security: Core Technical Skills course provides hands-on practice using those products. This helps to create a baseline familiarity with the solutions that will help make the first day on the job as a security analyst a little easier.
Defense in depth as well as endpoint security strategies and tools
Having looked at Zero Trust, we now turn to a similarly important approach to cybersecurity, which is defense in depth. The essential idea behind defense in depth is that an organization should not rely on a just a single defensive strategy or technology. Instead, they should have multiple security mechanisms and policies in place at various points throughout the IT environment.
One example of defense in depth is the use of many basic security controls. Passwords, security patches, encryption and biometric devices such as fingerprint scanners are all examples of security controls, a term that refers broadly to ways of limiting and controlling access to a network and its resources. The course provides insights into security controls and the roles they play in endpoint security. Carbon Black solutions for endpoint security enable and support a range of basic security controls and are well suited to defense-in-depth strategies.
IT Academy is committed to successfully preparing learners
In order to prepare learners for roles as security analysts, IT Academy anticipates the kinds of tasks that security analysts do every day and makes sure that learners are able to get started doing them with a minimal learning curve. This means not only providing the business and cybersecurity contexts for those tasks but also giving the learner hands-on experience using endpoint security tools. Through a combination of theory and practice, IT Academy positions learners to succeed in their new endpoint security careers.
Learn more about the Endpoint Security: Core Technical Skills course with IT Academy.