Leidos and SANS Institute Collaborate to Offer Training for the Cyberedge Academy

SANS Institute is proud to work with Leidosa Fortune 500 technology, engineering, and science solutions and services leader in the civil, defense, health, and intelligence markets, to deliver cybersecurity training and certifications for the Leidos CyberEDGE Academy. The Academy is a reskilling program developed to address the critical cybersecurity talent gap by providing participants with the skills and certifications needed to launch a cybersecurity career.

The Leidos CyberEDGE Academy has successfully completed three cohort programs with over 50 graduates and will be expanding further over the next several years. The Academy program is open to Leidos employees and external candidates who meet program requirements. Coursework includes early-stage assessment to identify a candidate’s cybersecurity career path and a subsequent individualized roadmap for their training and skill development for their area of specialization.

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Students in the program complete six months of intensive training and achieve several industry certifications, including SANS GIAC, before moving into cybersecurity jobs including cyber defense analysts; cyber threat intelligence analysts; cyber program management; and cloud security engineers at Leidos to support internal cybersecurity needs or customer missions.

SANS is an integral part of the CyberEDGE program, delivering SEC275: Foundations – Computers, Technology and Security to empower students from non-technical backgrounds as they learn the foundational computing, IT, and security skills through the innovative SANS Foundations course platform. This course prepares students for a cybersecurity career and further learning by providing practical skills and knowledge in areas such as Linux, Computer Hardware, programming, Networking, and more in an online, modular platform with a hands-on, embedded labs system accessible from any web browser.

After completing the trainings, students may earn industry certifications such as the GIAC Foundational Cybersecurity Technologies Certification (GFACT) before graduating from the program. Leidos was the first private sector organization to pilot SEC275: Foundations and the new course platform in the country, following the use of the content in the first-ever U.S. Federal Cyber Reskilling Academy, by U.S. federal law enforcement agencies, and other international reskilling initiatives.

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“The CyberEDGE program is a proven model to help close the cybersecurity skills gap,” says James Lyne, SANS CTO and Course Author, SEC275: Foundations – Computers, Technology and Security. “It empowers individuals from various backgrounds to discover their passion and talent for cybersecurity, learn the foundational skills key to a career in the field, and then advance those skills in further learning so they can jump into real-world security jobs. SANS is excited to collaborate with Leidos on this initiative and help them deploy new tools such as Foundations to train students from a non-tech background and address the talent shortage. I commend Leidos on this program’s success and excellent structure as well as their leadership and am excited to see it grow in the years to come.”

“Leidos recognized a critical requirement for cyber professionals across many of the NIST NICE work roles and the growing gap between supply and demand of cyber professionals to meet that requirement,” says James “Slim” Beamon, Dean of the Leidos CyberEDGE Academy. “Our work with SANS illustrates our combined ability to adapt training to meet reskilling and upskilling requirements and take a proactive approach to ongoing, global, cybersecurity workforce requirements. SANS is a pioneer in cyber leadership and training, and Leidos looks forward to continuing our efforts to close the cybersecurity talent gap and ensure these highly trained professionals embark on meaningful cyber careers where they can bring their talent to bear in a national security environment.”

“As we continue to address the cybersecurity workforce shortage facing organizations and agencies including DOD and DHS, the entire cyber community needs to work together to upskill, reskill and in general, protect and defend citizens, assets and information,” said Jason McCarthy, Leidos Vice President, Homeland Security Solutions. “Our strong relationship with SANS, along with our university partnerships, will position Leidos to address this shortage and invest in building the cyber workforce of the future.”

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