The cybersecurity field continues to experience a drastic shortage of qualified candidates across the country. The need for capable, experienced professionals continues to grow, highlighting the need for practical programs that are able to rapidly establish and grow new cybersecurity talent in the industry and here in the Kansas City area. Security PS is answering that need with our Cyber Apprentice Program.
Security PS’ Cyber Apprentice Program is open to students and professionals who are new to the field but are up for the challenge of aggressively learning cybersecurity from seasoned professionals. Although the program is challenging, it does not require an existing college degree or security certification to qualify. Through mentoring, directed study, and hands on security projects, our Cyber Apprentice Program equips participants with the knowledge and practical skills necessary to pursue a career in the information security and penetration testing field.
The program progresses by several terms. Participants begin as an Intern, learning new concepts, principles, and technical skills necessary for effective security analysis. Interns who apply themselves well and thrive in their practice may progress to Apprentice I, rounding out their understanding of modern vulnerabilities and risks. The key takeaway from these stages is that participants learn practical skills that can immediately be applied toward an entry level position on a cybersecurity team. It also builds a sufficient foundation to equip participants to continue their education through independent study.
Those who complete Apprentice I term and demonstrate diligence to apply themselves, grow from ongoing constructive feedback, and show a desire to establish a career in this field can qualify for a full time position on the Security PS team. Apprentices who are offered a position on the team progress to Apprentice II, where they will learn how to participate in security engagements within our team.
This season, Security PS’ Cyber Apprentice Program is focused on developing participants in the field of application security. Participants learn how to analyze and test software for vulnerabilities through hands-on labs and mentorship from an expert in the field. In the future, we hope to expand the program to cover other disciplines and specialties within cybersecurity.
Interns will accomplish projects, receive training and mentoring to gain foundational understanding of how web applications behave, how they transmit data using HTTP, and how to draw conclusions about their design. This skill is critical for being able to grow in their ability to understand and find vulnerabilities. The training process requires Interns to build their own web applications, observe HTTP cookies, headers, and parameters sent via HTTP, and think critically about their connection with the application’s behavior.
As an Application Security Apprentice I, participants learn to identify and exploit application-layer security vulnerabilities. Training focuses on both the theory behind why an application is vulnerable as well as how to use manual testing techniques to verify a vulnerability’s existence and leverage it in a way that compromises users’ account, sessions, or data. Apprentices will practice their skills on intentionally vulnerable applications and online labs combined with mentoring and feedback from Cybersecurity experts.