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Student Loans Company splashes out on 20,000 cybersecurity training courses – for just 3,300 employees • The Register

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The Student Loans Company (SLC) spent £76,800 on cybersecurity training over its earlier two fiscal years – together with a sudden and unsurprising curiosity in safety in a work-from-home surroundings.

In response to the SLC’s response to a Freedom of Info (FoI) Act request, which was made by self-described “area of interest litigation follow” Griffin Legislation, nearly 20,000 specialist courses have been booked and accomplished within the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 monetary years ended this April. At a complete spend of just over £76,800, that is a miserly £3.84 per course – however the launched figures do not essentially cowl every thing.

“£77,000 could seem like low, particularly if that is distributed over two years,” opined safety specialist Sean Wright of the figures. “It may really be an applicable quantity if the training which they’re buying helps their employees and organisation.

“Corporations have to spend the time to pick out training which is suitable for them and their employees. Merely throwing cash on the drawback shouldn’t be going to unravel it. We have seen this in safety tooling, the place some firms try to throw a great deal of cash on new instruments however with out correctly evaluating these instruments and making certain that they match the aim for their organisation and groups. Training needs to be no totally different.”

The breakdown of courses contains charges paid to third-party businesses, however not prices concerned with inside training developed inside SLC itself – akin to an anti-money laundering course, which the overwhelming majority of the organisation’s workers took in each 2019-2020 and 2020-2021.

Some courses, akin to “Counter-Fraud, Bribery, and Corruption”, had a roughly even variety of attendees 12 months to 12 months. Others, together with “Position of the Supervisor Safety MasterClass”, noticed a spike from 20 attendees within the first monetary 12 months to 142 within the second.

Oh gosh – we won’t preserve a watch on workers anymore

The 2020-2021 monetary 12 months, in the meantime, noticed an enormous spike in training associated to at least one key matter: trusting workers who may not be working within the workplace any extra as a result of a sure virus. “Defending SLC from Phishing Assaults”, “Energy to your Passwords”, and “Working from House Securely” have been all new for the monetary 12 months just ended – although solely a small minority of workers have been handled to those, with “Working from House Securely” attended by just 189 workers out of the organisation’s 3,300 members.

The course that price probably the most in third-party charges, “Mastering GDPR, Governance Safety, and Compliance in Workplace 365”, was attended by solely three SLC workers at an general price of £9,780: that is £3,260 per head. It fashioned a part of role-specific training for the organisation’s Expertise Group Safety Group and Info Governance and Compliance Group, which between the pair ate up the lion’s share of the price range, in accordance with the FOI response.

Whereas the case might be made for SLC spending an excessive amount of or too little on this course or that course, specialists agreed that there is not any dodging the necessity for training. “It’s encouraging to see the SLC making a proactive effort to equip and prepare its employees with the most recent cyber safety abilities,” claimed Barracuda Networks’ senior veep of gross sales Chris Ross, “particularly given the excessive quantity of monetary knowledge it’s tasked with managing.

“This effort have to be supported by the mandatory cyber safety programs to determine and quarantine malicious assaults earlier than they attain the inbox of employees in addition to having the precise backup programs in place within the occasion of a ransomware assault.”

“Training is a crucial a part of an organisation’s method to safety,” agreed Wright. “We’ve got seen, on quite a few events, breaches taking place because of lack of expertise and data. Training helps cut back this, empowering employees to have the suitable data and consciousness to make the precise selections and actions.”

An SLC spokesperson instructed The Register: “Malicious on-line exercise impacts each organisation and particular person, this has turn into an on a regular basis a part of trendy life. As such, cybersecurity will at all times stay a high precedence for SLC, and we’ll proceed to spend money on training, technical experience and the strong assets required to maintain our prospects’ info protected.” ®

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