The way InfoSec students and professionals are learning is changing as quickly as cyberthreats and the technologies they are developing to hunt them.
The latest data collected from Kaspersky Expert Training courses reveals – for the second year in row – that reverse engineering remains the most on-demand skill IT security professionals want to advance. From students who are beginners in malware analysis, to advanced practitioners with a desire to enhance this skill further by analyzing real malicious codes, reverse engineering still sits brightly on top of the educational pyramid. Students have also shown high interest in the courses related to incident response and Yara rules.
Apart from the growing interest in malware analysis, the Kaspersky team observed some more trends in online-education for InfoSec professionals in 2023:
Study, learn more, learn forever
The InfoSec sphere is dynamically evolving so practitioners, can no longer be educated just once and remain sought-after specialists without additional learning and practice. If InfoSec practitioners do not upgrade their knowledge and skills periodically, they can fall out of the market. Age is no longer an indication of interest – courses are followed at 18, 30 or 50 years old. Nor is time – a few hours, days or months can be devoted to training.
Statistics from Kaspersky Expert Training courses, shows the desire to learn manifests itself at any age and at any scale. One student from this platform has spent there more than 130 days continuously in 2023 – almost one third of a year! The first 70 days he has devoted to the malware analysis, the second 60 days – to reverse engineering.
The ability to learn any time, any place, anywhere – asynchronous learning – is now the most popular format with students who are not tied to a fixed course schedule and independently choose the conditions under which they will learn the topic: time, location, pace, order of studying materials, etc.
Attracting professionals from the information security sector, this learning style allows them to exchange experience with colleagues from other countries at any time, and receive the latest information about current cyber threats, useful tools and malicious techniques used by cybercriminals.
According to Kaspersky statistics, students spent an average of 560 minutes in each training program in 2023, with the most engaging expert courses devoted to advanced malware analysis techniques and Yara rules. In total, trainees spent more than 4,000 minutes on these courses.
No more long videos
Modern online courses emphasize short modules, breaking up long video courses into chunks to help students memorize large blocks of information sequentially. Typically, each lesson explains something specific and builds one skill. The goal is to repeat small pieces of complex information to gradually build a greater understanding of the studied topic. Kaspersky expert trainings are usually divided into 30-40 small videos to facilitate the learning process and enhance its efficiency.
Theory is not enough
For students today, the greatest payback is not just theoretical learning, but an opportunity to enhance practical skills, analyze real cases with qualified teachers and develop their own projects. The biggest advantage for InfoSec trainees is if the education provider helps students to check their level of understanding and analyze real samples.
According to Kaspersky’s statistics, each student has spent an average of 20 hours in the Virtual Lab, a secure online environment created specifically to enhance practical skills. The most practically oriented courses were related to malware analysis and reverse engineering.
Self-education remains the trend
Self-learning can be a part of traditional education, or take the form of informal learning – either completely independent or relying on the advisory support of a trainer – giving each individual maximum opportunity to realize their potential, regardless of place, time and other circumstances.
Kaspersky team regularly observe that a great number of students ask for additional materials that they can use to study on their own and extend their knowledge.
If you are interested in information security and would like to enhance your hard skills in malware analysis, incident response, product security assessment and other fields, enroll in a Kaspersky Expert Training and enjoy this interesting journey with Kaspersky experts.