DMU offers state-of-the-art cyber security training for businesses

To help businesses reduce the risk of cyber attacks, De Montfort University Leicester (DMU), in collaboration with Deloitte UK, has launched a Security Operations Centre (SOC) where it will offer a bespoke new incident response training programme.

The programme is structured around the innovative incident response tools and techniques developed as part of DMU’s research. It will enable businesses to develop and maintain their threat identification and incident response skills in realistic environments that can be tailored to specific needs as part of DMU’s digital twinning capability.

The university, acknowledged for its leading Cyber Security courses, was last year recognised by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) as an ‘Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research’.

“Our new training programme will allow cyber incident responders to face challenges from varying levels of threat within the context of a realistic scenario,” explained Dr Richard Smith, Associate Professor of Cyber Security at DMU.

“Challenges will come not just from dealing with the actions of the attackers, but also from additional stimuli such as business requirements and human factors. Not only will participants test their technical skills, they will also develop their teamworking and situational awareness skills in the face of a rapidly escalating stressful situation.”

The training will be offered at DMU’s new state-of-the-art SOC, which has been launched in collaboration with Deloitte UK – ranked number one globally for the seventh consecutive year by Gartner for cyber security consulting services.

“The tempo of change in the cyber threat landscape continues to accelerate and it is not sufficient just to keep pace, we must stay ahead of the curve,” said Professor Allan Cook, Cyber Technical Director at Deloitte UK.

“It is essential that when providing advice to our clients we are informed by research that is subjected to rigor and scrutiny. Shaping research with DMU in the SOC allows us to develop solutions that address organisations’ most complex cyber security challenges.”

Believed to be the UK’s first purpose-built research and training SOC, the new capability will also benefit the university community with Cyber Security students and researchers able to access the facilities.

“As well as being available for businesses for commercial training, our students and researchers will benefit from the SOC too, as they will able to test new techniques and technologies in a realistic environment,” added Dr Smith.

The training and facilities are offered via three routes; organisations can hire the facilities to conduct their own exercises, have exclusive access to a training package developed and run by DMU (up to one week long) or join an open-to-all exercise for those companies looking to upskill smaller numbers of their team.

“We are moving away from the idea that cyber is just about computers – we know there is a hugely important human element too,” continued Dr Smith. “The threats our systems face are becoming more sophisticated and we are facing a shortage of skills within the sector, so training is crucial.

“By upskilling SOC operators and experimenting with new ways of working, companies can optimise their response times and react more efficiently.”

DMU is also home to the Cyber Technology Institute (CTI); a research hub which focuses on the development of knowledge and technologies to ensure a smart, safe and secure cyberspace. Members deliver research, training and consultancy services in the fields of cyber security, software engineering and smart systems.