Cost Savings of 75% on SOC Training for Fortune 100 Retail Company
The Director of the Security Operations Center (SOC) at a multinational, Fortune 100 retail company was looking to invest in training for his entire team of approximately 50 individuals. Motivations behind the training initiative were straightforward:
- Identify knowledge and skills gaps of all SOC personnel
- Configured training to fill the identified gaps and increase team performance
- Build a company culture that has repeatedly shown long-term investment in its employees
The organization had previously purchased boot camp training for a limited number of team members as a top performer benefit, but determined that pursuing boot camp training for all 50 SOC practitioners was implausible due to high costs and lost productivity while individuals attended class offsite or away from work stations. The Director indicated that the previous investment per employee for the boot camp training was approximately $8,000 after factoring in both direct (course fees) and indirect (travel, hotel, lost productivity, etc.) expenses.
N2K team members worked closely with the Director and his stakeholders to determine how a configured solution would best suit the needs of the client organization. Ultimately, the Director wished to pursue a course outline that closely followed the Security+ exam objectives so that all members of his team could pursue the certification.
As an initial evaluation of the new training engagement, the Director determined that he would commit just under half (24) of his team members to an initial diagnostic assessment. The diagnostic assessment is a tool that is standard for every N2K training program used as a means to assess participants’ current strengths and shortcomings within various topics as it relates to their role.
For the Director, the results of the diagnostic assessment achieved three goals:
- Benchmark data clearly presented how each team member performed across diverse domains to understand what training was required for each person.
- In aggregate, the Director was able to review the data for his team’s overall strengths and weaknesses in key cybersecurity domains for the first time.
- Finally, the results of the data confirmed the credibility of N2K’s assessments and cemented the potential value of pursuing comprehensive training.
Based on the diagnostic results, the Director decided to move forward with comprehensive training for the 24 diagnostic participants. The training was delivered via N2K’s 100% online platform with a blended live online and on-demand delivery.
N2K’s methodology places immense value in efficiency. While other training courses provide a one-size-fits-all approach to training, applying the same course curriculum to each and every participant, N2K courses all start with a diagnostic exam.
“We had excellent help from the account management to the instructors– a great experience all around. Really great business and people.”
Director of SOC, Fortune 100 Retail Client
The initial 24 participants completed the course over an eight-week period (one weekly live online lecture complemented by additional lesson videos, practice exams, and practical labs). N2K provided bi-weekly reports to give the Director continual insight into employees’ course participation and performance. These metrics helped the client build competitiveness and motivation while providing details to track improvement.
Of the original cohort, 22 of 24 employees passed the Security+ exam on the first attempt (92%). This success has led to the Director enrolling his remaining 26 employees and including other leaders in the organization, beyond the SOC, to include individuals in areas of the client business with roles related to security analysis, security engineering, risk management, auditing, and compliance. The total investment for the client was approximately a 75% reduction in the cost of a comparable program from the previous boot camp training provider.
As of October 2019, 104 individuals have completed or are actively participating in training with N2K. The client continues to be engaged in further expansion of N2K solutions and in leveraging products outside of the enterprise Security+ training program, including uses by Human Resources and Learning & Development.
Though this client wished to remain unidentified by name, a key stakeholder was kind enough to submit a public review to Gartner Peer Insights; it reads “We had excellent help from the account management to the instructors– a great experience all around. Really great business and people.” N2K is proud to service this client as a workforce development partner and looks forward to serving them in an even greater capacity in the years to come.