Whether you're talking about onboarding practices or continued learning services, education in the development industry is far from a one-size-fits-all proposition. Besides the challenges that come with crafting relevant, up-to-date lessons — which itself represents a significant challenge in the world of security awareness training — there are logistics to deal with as well. As noted in the Veracode paper "Application Security and Security Awareness Training," every minute spent training in a traditional setting is another shaved off of a current project's time-to-market goals.
Cloud-based eLearning platforms help negate many of these issues, offering expert-built, custom-served training modules with a focus on real-world security topics. Here are four ways security awareness training services can improve the quality and security of your software offerings — whatever they may be:
Security isn't a stop on the road map, and it certainly isn't an afterthought. To be truly security-minded, it must be a factor in every development decision a business makes, a statement that holds true for broad-scope security threats or specialized rules and regulations set forth by industry and federal regulatory bodies alike.
To that end, according to the above-linked paper, Veracode's platform "focuses purely on security awareness and application security training." In practice, this means both new hires and existing staff are given on-demand access to training modules designed by some of the leading minds in application security. An eLearning approach to security ensures your staff is trained on important security topics before the lack of that knowledge becomes a serious issue.
The more employees you have, the harder it is to effectively educate them — emphasis on "effectively." While it's easy enough to cram multiple teams into a series of boardrooms and set them to work, the teaching truism about smaller classes yielding bigger results is just as true when it comes to professional education.
eLearning, then, offers huge advantages to growing companies looking to offer employees security awareness training. No matter how many people you have — and no matter what their exact roles — one-to-one education is only a mouse click away. Because the lessons are served to individual users, distance is no issue. Whether you need to train an individual office or a distributed network of first- and third-party offices, you can provide individualized security education without disrupting existing project lifecycles. In an industry dominated by "aggressive software delivery timelines," as the paper says, a solution that offers the best of all worlds in terms of quality and delivery is hard to ignore.
Different developers have different needs, a basic idea that renders traditional on-premises training practices ineffective. To make the best use of their training, developers need to be given information when it's relevant. Security awareness training platforms enable this by empowering employees to learn at their own pace and preference; on the other end, it allows management to build customized curricula based on the individual's strengths and weaknesses.
The second point is particularly important for developers in (or building software for) heavily regulated industries like finance and health care. Different applications and components of those applications touch on different regulations. Being able to introduce product-specific lessons earlier in the process allows personnel to develop more secure product from the onset; by the same token, being able to provide documentation of training efforts for each individual can be helpful in a number of situations, from audits to contract renewals and beyond.
Most security concepts aren't just useful in specific situations. The lessons engineers and other development personnel learn can be applied across a number of products and situations. From knowledge of specific attacks like those featured in the OWASP Top 10 to secure development practices like threat modeling, giving your staff the educational tools they need to build a stronger product now means future contributions will be more secure as well.
Truly effective security starts in the early stages of development. By enhancing security-mindedness through awareness training, businesses can offer — and benefit from — training that covers security fundamentals as well as cutting-edge updates on new threats to the application layer. Individual employees, on the other hand, get the training and skills needed to become true multi-tool contributors.
Training is a key aspect of any industry as fast-moving as software development. That makes the value of an adaptable, scalable, up-to-the-minute security awareness training tool immeasurable. The state of security is always changing — check out the full paper to learn more about the tools needed to match its challenges.
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