Nov 30 2022

Training Updates Government Staff on Evolving Security Threats

Technical skill development is critical to employee retention for state and local agencies.

Government agencies consistently seek qualified talent to help with tech implementations. Training current personnel could be a powerful solution that helps state and local governments fill the skills gap.

Professional development and technical skill development are high priorities for retention but also to stretch the ability of existing teams.

There are third-party organizations that governments can leverage to do this, such as CDW’s Focal Point Academy, particularly as it pertains to the cyber workforce. Focal Point Academy offers a wide range of courses federal agencies can use, including specific cyber training for auditors and executives, classes on the Google Cloud Platform, behavioral malware analysis training, and more.

Focal Point Academy offers this training in both physical and virtual classrooms, using the right media for the right content.

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Focal Point Emphasizes Security

Focal Point has an emphasis on the security practice to ensure that workforces follow best practices to keep themselves and their organizations protected. Plus, cyberthreats evolve constantly, meaning governments who have trained staff in cybersecurity in recent years could benefit from a refresher.

Having a security posture that addresses customers’ needs today is very different than it was three years ago. In the small- and mid-market space, putting your head in the sand is no longer something that a CIO or CISO can do. Now, especially with mass migration to the cloud, security architecture is more complex. Agencies require more than a firewall and anti-virus software.

Security training across disciplines, from vendors to contractors and badged employees, is key to securing a customer’s environment and moving them safely along their digital journey. The right mix depends on so many factors, but one thing that keeps everyone moving in the same direction is professional development for their existing staff.

EXPLORE: How agencies can best use state and local cybersecurity grants.

What Focal Point Can Do for State and Local Governments

Focal Point’s team works with organizations to help determine their goals around skill development, exploring how organizations are currently working toward those goals today.

Does the organization have someone on staff dedicated to looking at the training services available to them? Are they simply looking at certifications? Are they looking at wrapping training around a specific vendor to which they are committed? Focal Point explores these questions to find the right solutions.

Customers may say, “OK, I’m moving my firewall and my SIM over to Palo Alto. Let’s get some training and upskilling around that vendor and their offerings so that we can make the most of our investment dollars.” Focal Point Academy can craft complementary training for vendor offerings. It also can lead a curriculum of training in related areas.

DISCOVER: Why strong asset management is a must for successful continuous monitoring.

Focal Point Tailors Training Solutions

Of course, different levels of government have different budgets and capabilities. In turn, Focal Point works to tailor solutions based on what’s most effective for a specific agency.

For example, while Focal Point may focus on a zero-trust architecture for federal agencies, the company helps state and local governments concentrate on adopting security frameworks, such as the CIS Critical Security Controls or the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Cybersecurity Framework.

In the state and local public sector, many organizations are far from establishing a zero-trust environment. But with Focal Point, they can examine the building blocks that get state and local governments to a place where they can decide if that’s what they want when the time is right.

This article is part of StateTech’s CITizen blog series. Please join the discussion on Twitter by using the #StateLocalIT hashtag.

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Chainarong Prasertthai/ Getty Images

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