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QA's MS Azure Cyber Security Programme Prepares Students

By Samantha Blisard • Posted about 2 months ago

Category:
Case Studies

THE SITUATION

QA, a tech and digital skills organization in the UK, recognizes that the technology sector is facing a supply-and-demand dilemma. Talent is in short quantity and commands a high price. QA is tackling this problem head-on by providing a comprehensive suite of talent and training services to help individuals and companies drive the digital revolution.

QA embedded Project Ares into their training solutions and then ran a new cyber security academy for key client. The client is ecstatic about Project Ares and the valuable knowledge the learners gained from using the gamified platform. QA ran the 20-hour training course over 3 weeks using Project Ares cyber security learning tools for 10 students. The students trained in all nine Project Ares Battle Rooms and two Missions: Mission 1 for Disable Botnet and Mission 2 for File Theft.

The programme concluded with a capstone project using the Project Ares Microsoft 365 Introduction Battle Room which features Microsoft Defender for Office365. The students collaborated and coached each other through task completion. The instructors watched the activity and only jumped in with helpful tips when needed.

Battle Room 22 with Microsoft 365 (aka Into the Breach) is a single threat cyber range scenario introducing learners to the power of Microsoft 365 Security stack. Learner’s step into the role of a Cyber Defense Analyst and investigate how an attacker acquired access to the network and executed lateral movement to obtain higher privileges and exfiltrate sensitive information.

THE SOLUTION

Cyber security expert, Michael Kaplan, mentored the students, bringing his expert insight to the virtual classroom. He clarified topics and expanded upon the lessons contained within Project Ares. As a result of this intensive learning experience, the learners found that Project Ares not only tested their technical skills but also challenged their soft skills such as communication, collaboration, and strategy in a team environment.

"Soft skills are very important in a SOC environment, incredibly overlooked, and underestimated. Cyber security is 80% people and 20% technology.”
Michael I. Kaplan, Cyber Security Instructor

“I can see why Michael said teamwork is important because I really had to leverage the group today.
I learned things by collaborating in a way that used my soft skills to augment my technical skills. This technique will help me improve as I move forward.
Project Ares is fun and a good experience overall.”

-QA Student-

THE BENEFIT

Gamified learning provides an engaging and productive environment for professionals who strive to build competency and apply skills in their profession. Traditional lecture-based learning is not sustainable for long-term professional development. The ever-evolving cyber industry needs effective training methods to keep up with the workforce demand.

Gamification in the workplace significantly impacts employee engagement, motivation, and psychology -Source below. Project Ares provides professionals with a safe and simulated environment where new ideas can be tested, and teams or individuals can solve complex cyber problems.

Project Ares uses active, realistic emulations of cyber systems and devices, allowing students to practice against real-world threats. The QA MS Azure Cyber Security Programme enabled learners to apply textbook learning to building skills in real-time. QA students accomplished the program and gained many new skills along the way. The students thoroughly enjoyed their experience with Project Ares and the course instructor. The students were actively engaged and supported each other throughout the program's length and cited Battle Room 22 as their favorite activity during the programme.

The QA Cyber Security Practice (opens new window) offers the UK’s broadest and deepest end-to-end curriculum of cyber training programmes through its global learning ecosystem of 50+ cyber industry partners, including cyber digital platform providers like Circadence.

  • The learning solutions from QA are available across a range of delivery methods, including instructor-led virtual or in-person options.

  • Throughout its rich collection of cyber focused Boot Camps, Training Programmes, and Apprenticeships, QA incorporates hands-on Project Ares labs for applied learning.

  • These skilling services provide organisations of all sizes with a source of accredited, early-career, and specialised cyber talent.

The mission of the QA Cyber Security Practice is aligned to the 2022 UK National Cyber Strategy: To strengthen the UK cyber ecosystem by enhancing and expanding the nation’s cyber skills at every level.

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