Cybercrime affecting businesses has become so widespread that IT and network security professionals are always thinking about that next breach and the costs of recovering from it. This increased risk has also raised the demand for better virtual defenses to prevent the loss of sensitive organizational data such as personal consumer details and internal communications.
There is a substantial need for cybersecurity training. It’s something that many businesses are interested in, but implementing the right system isn’t easy. Physical labs are expensive, require significant time and resources, and aligning everyone’s schedules is often impossible.
Virtual labs are a great way for you to provide your customers and partners with access to the latest cybersecurity product demos and training. These labs are accessible from anywhere, customers can engage with them on their terms, they cost less, and increase the overall quality of the training.
What’s the Appeal of Virtual Cybersecurity Labs?
In the corporate sphere, there has been a trend in recent years of organizations shifting away from traditional instructor-led courses towards virtual cybersecurity training labs. The transition is due to the high demand for meticulous cybersecurity education that offers first-hand experience to participants while keeping costs low.
Cloud-based training environments are appealing because they offer a scenario-based approach. Since the field of cybersecurity requires analytical and critical thinking in real-world circumstances, the controlled environment of a virtual lab is often cited as the best method for teaching network security. Learners will encounter real-world scenarios, work through them, and engage with essential hands-on material that provides more engagement than a traditional slideshow or lecture.
What Are The Primary Benefits of a Virtual Cybersecurity Lab?
- These classes offer training and simulations that are run through cloud-based virtual machines that are accessible from any of the major browsers. Participants can engage with the material, request help, and engage in team exercises from anywhere in the world.
- A virtual lab removes the need for travel costs or high-end hardware on the client side since training is conducted primarily through an Internet browser on the employee’s terminal. The simulation is centralized and accessible from anywhere at any time with nothing but an Internet connection.
- Because the host hardware is centralized, upgrading the lab in response to continually evolving technologies and security trends can be done inexpensively and quickly.
- A single lab can be expanded to accommodate additional employees or partners at little to no cost. You can add additional RAM, user slots, and other specs as needed. This has helped make virtual labs a popular choice for growing businesses.
- Feedback between instructors and participants is instant and convenient. Instructors can step in at any point and offer help, track user participation, and other relevant analytics.
What Should You Look for in a Virtual Cybersecurity Environment Provider?
There is no shortage of virtual lab providers on the market. Cloud-based cybersecurity courses are in huge demand because of the added customization that they offer. The process for developing a suitable training lab differs depending on your organization’s needs and preferences. However, here are a few things to consider:
- Networking devices, including switches, routers, and firewalls. Remember that you want to support multiple instances of virtualization for the networking scenarios used in the course. While you want the reliability of enterprise-grade equipment, consider looking into the refurbished market if your business needs to keep costs low.
- Find a reputable virtual lab provider. There are many virtual IT labs on the market. Find one that offers the right mix of features, analytics, and the ability to scale as you grow.
- Have the right IT team in place. Your IT team will need to create the environments for any material that you want to teach within the cloud. Getting started isn’t hard, but it will require an IT professional that knows how to prepare the needed virtual environments.
The goal of this process is to build a successful hands-on virtual cybersecurity lab that is scalable to all participants and teaches essential cybersecurity skills in real-world environments to your customers and business partners.
Are Virtual Cybersecurity Labs Really the Future?
It’s safe to say that cloud technology isn’t going anywhere at this point. We are still feeling the effects of the innovation wave that was caused by the invention of cloud technology.
Everything we do today is tied to the cloud in some way.
- The most popular software offered by Adobe and Microsoft is all cloud-based.
- That CRM your business relies on is powered by the cloud.
- Your favorite Spotify playlist is stored in the cloud.
B2B training is changing. The advancements in virtual labs have accelerated the obsolescence of traditional labs. Agile companies that want to stay competitive will need to accept this and transition their cybersecurity, IT, and product demos to the cloud.
New technologies are frightening to businesses with established processes. But if we’ve learned anything from the failures of Kodak, Nokia, Xerox, Blockbuster, and other large corporations, it’s that failing to stay in line with innovation can (and will) lead to disastrous results in the long-term.