Empowering cybersecurity resilience: How Constellis turned to Infosec to revolutionize workforce training
How Constellis worked with Infosec to revolutionize workforce training and become a 2022 Skills Development Award winner.
Revolutionizing workforce development
At no other time have risk management and cybersecurity practices been as crucial as they are today. Add to that increased scrutiny on budgets and the typical pitfalls of technology implementations, and today’s IT leaders have more than enough on their plates.
This is why more organizations are deciding to invest in their workforce, both as a way to boost productivity and to help avoid the pitfalls faced by others by implementing best practices and lessons learned throughout their IT teams.
Constellis, a global leader in the risk management field, chose to harness the power of Infosec's IT and security training resources to successfully upskill its workforce and align its training efforts with its operational goals. This partnership has not only helped Constellis navigate complex challenges such as cloud migration and compliance requirements, but it has helped to position them as a leader in the industry.
For reasons like these, Infosec has awarded Constellis their prestigious 2022 Skills Development Award, reflecting this organization’s commitment to fostering a highly skilled and knowledgeable team capable of tackling current and future technology challenges.
Aligning Infosec training with Constellis’ operational goals
As the technology landscape rapidly evolves, organizations face the choice to adapt and embrace new solutions, such as cloud computing or to constantly play a game of catch-up with their competitors.
Faced with this decision, Constellis’ technology team, led by CISO Thanh Thai, chose to equip their team with the necessary skills to make their recent investment in Microsoft Azure’s cloud environment successful and enhance the organization’s overall security posture.
Training became the centerpiece of Thai’s plan to effectively empower its workforce to utilize platforms like Azure. With its consumption-based model, Azure offers immense potential but requires proper management to control costs and optimize resource utilization. Constellis understood that the advantages of migrating to the cloud could be compromised without comprehensive training.
“Training's important… especially when you talk about something like Azure, a consumption-based service,” notes Thai. “If you don't manage it very well, your monthly bill will be extremely high and almost defeats one of the key advantages of moving to the cloud.”
Constellis leveraged Infosec's training programs to address this, focusing on Azure and related services. This enabled them to utilize Azure's scorecards and reporting capabilities to ensure proper security configurations and successful application usage. This alignment of training with operational goals enabled Constellis to fully leverage the benefits of cloud technologies while mitigating potential risks and maximizing their return on investment.
Boosting security acumen with industry-leading training programs
Thai and Constellis took the same approach with their cybersecurity and related programs, reflecting the need for today’s organizations to continuously upskill their team to meet evolving demands, such as the Department of Defense (DoD)’s Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) and other compliance requirements. By training their employees on CMMC compliance, Constellis ensured that they had team members able to meet the requirements for DoD contracts.
Constellis took the same approach with their more extensive training programs, encouraging staff to take advantage of Infosec’s courses on machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) topics. “I tell my team that if you have to do something twice, you should figure out a way to make it the easiest thing you have to do,” notes Thai. “That’s my mentality: you should always be trying to find how to make your job easier so you can focus on something else. That's the attribute I look for in a person to be part of my team.”
Creating a win-win situation through Infosec training
However, making such a significant investment in employee training and having their employees follow through often isn’t as easy as it sounds on paper.
Constellis recognized that successful training initiatives require careful consideration of employees' interests and preferred learning styles. Again, Infosec's comprehensive library of resources enabled Constellis to offer its employees a wide range of training options, including immersive boot camps and self-paced learning modules. By accommodating different learning preferences, Constellis ensured that training programs resonated with their employees, resulting in greater engagement and knowledge retention.
“When people feel like they have an opportunity to improve themselves — whether it's something that the company needs or just something they're interested in — it benefits companies and the individual to future-proof their career,” Thai emphasized to Infosec.
Taking it one step further and maximizing training effectiveness, Constellis provided employees with dedicated time during work hours to engage in training activities. Employees could proactively allocate time based on their training goals and deadlines and weave in training to meet their personal and professional goals. This approach allowed employees to take ownership of their professional development while balancing work responsibilities and training commitments.
Advice from Constellis to other IT leaders
When asked about his advice for other IT leaders looking to navigate the complexities of balancing operations with investments in employee training, Thanh emphasized the significance of understanding the team's skill sets, identifying areas for development and aligning training efforts with organizational goals.
If Thai could return to where his team was 2-3 years ago, he would begin with an even more people-first perspective, especially as leaders have to work with finite resources. “It really starts with people: understand the skillsets of your team, understand what they can do, what's aspirational, which might need training, what might need development consultants and then understand what's possible.” Then Thai recommends, “get that organized and really understand what you're trying to achieve for that year and 2-3 years out.” Then prioritize your team’s professional development to align with that plan.
Armed with this proactive perspective and supported by a team of motivated, trained and forward-thinking staff, Thai and Constellis are poised to confidently confront tomorrow’s technology challenges and opportunities.