No Cost Training Resources through the NCPC
by Julina Macy, Director of Communications, CIAS-ISAO
The multitude of cyber threats facing communities continues to grow at a rapid pace. Even with growing awareness of the need to plan for cybersecurity strategies and to train employees to prevent a cyber incident, a top concern for most organizations is access to funding that will support necessary training – technical and non-technical – and access to tools to help them prevent, respond to, and mitigate cyber threats.
Since 2004, the members of the National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium (NCPC) have been working with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide research-based, cybersecurity training, exercises and technical assistance to local jurisdictions, counties, states and the private sector. These resources are available at no cost to participants!
The NCPC includes the University of Texas at San Antonio, Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, the University of Arkansas, the University of Memphis and Norwich University in Vermont.
To assist SLTT cybersecurity needs, the NCPC:
- Provides training to state and local first responders and officials specifically for preparing for and responding to cybersecurity risks and incidents;
- Develops curriculum utilizing existing programs and models;
- Provides technical assistance services to build and sustain capabilities in support of preparedness for and response to cybersecurity risks and incidents,
- Conducts cross-sector cybersecurity training and simulation exercises for entities, including state and local governments, critical infrastructure owners and operators, and private industry, to encourage community-wide coordination in defending against and responding to cybersecurity risks and incidents;
- Helps states and communities develop cybersecurity information sharing programs; and
- Helps to incorporate cybersecurity risk and incident prevention and response into existing policies, continuity of operations and emergency plans.
To date, these training courses, which are based on current and emerging cyber threats, have been delivered to more than 107,000 participants nationwide. Courses cover a wide range of topics, from addressing information sharing needs within organizations and communities, to malware response and recover, cybersecurity fundamentals, defense, and incident response and recovery techniques.
To help improve the nation’s cybersecurity posture, the NCPC courses are developed around the Community Cyber Security Maturity Model (CCSMM). This model is based on more than a decade of direct experience with states, communities and organizations to create viable and sustainable cybersecurity programs.
The CCSMM identifies the characteristics of SLTTs as they mature their cybersecurity program and guides them through five levels of maturity. Learn more about the CCSMM here or take a two-hour, web-based course through the NCPC to better understand how it can be used to develop a cybersecurity program in your community (register here).
No Cost NCPC Courses
More than 30 cybersecurity-related courses are currently available at no cost to participants, which cover five topic areas:
- coordination and planning;
- cyber incident response and recovery;
- infrastructure technical training; and
- cyber threat information sharing.
All courses can be accessed on the NCPC website, where you will discover courses may be delivered one of two ways: web-based and in-person instruction. In-person instruction may be conducted virtually.