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There are many free or paid training in the field of Cyber Security. The number of events and training activities in this field as the importance of this subject is understood at national and international levels. In this article, I will try to explain our point of view to training activities as Cyber Struggle in general not only within the framework of cyber security.

Training is for people, irrespective of its purpose. Trade is important and a contributor to make training more quality. However, the target is people. This will never change. Training should be designed based on certain principles, when it comes to people. In addition to the detailed parameters, the points we at Cyber Struggle consider in general are as follows.

  • Strategy
  • Areas training plans to improve
  • Zone Domination
  • Instant Response
  • Middle-Term Response
  • Individual and Team Processes
  • Post-Training

The quality of a training activity is actually about the parameters identified accordingly and the level of attainment of these parameters

Strategy

Strategy should be inspected in a few layers. Why does training exist? Which gap does this training fill? What is the strategic target other than being stronger in commercial competition, getting a slice of the cake or closing the surplus supply? This is the most important question that should be asked first.

The target should come with a stance.How should the stance of the training program for life be in line with these targets?

We at Cyber Struggle aim for contributing to the field of hybrid struggle by means of training interdisciplinary specialists. Getting prepared for the hybrid methods of the future in the framework of both national and corporate security is the most important training strategy for us.

Having said that, it is also aimed to produce an alternative type of competition against the dirty competition that the graduates would face in the environments they enter with a dream of becoming a good person, due to the conventional marketing and sales techniques, about which we will mentioned in the following sections hereunder. It is the ultimate aim to train individuals, who are courageous and take initiatives to solve the problems, about which everyone complains inwardly but never gets the guts to change due to various concerns.

Outside the sphere of conventional training, it is built on an environment based on individual development with a team spirit, where people learn by experimenting, researching and making mistakes. Trainees are encouraged to take initiatives, make mistakes, do search and, suffer if possible. In addition, it is highly paid attention to the learning with coordination and teamwork, by means of keeping the communication in the classroom at a high level.

Areas Training Plan to Improve

An efficient training program would change the behaviors, habits and thoughts of the trainees.

At this point, the areas where the program would deliver improvement should be planned in advance. The area where the training takes place will not be sufficient.

We could simply demonstrate this with the conventional education system. Students at the primary and secondary schools in our country are taught too much information compared to many other education systems of the countries throughout the world. One could get surprised by and belittle the level of education of the students in other countries at these periods. However, a comparison of the same students of these two groups at the university level reveal that the students from our education system is at a mediocre level, although too much information has been taught. How is it possible to get behind when it comes to production, creativity and innovation while our students seem to be intellectually superior during primary and secondary education, where there is so much information is taught?

The answer to this question is about the model that is used. The more useful education the trainees would get, the more we get away from the conventional education model providing more areas to the trainees.

On the other hand, education is only one phase of the process. One should focus on a model that would change other parameters as mentioned above during the education.

Cyber Struggle has created an application-oriented model that is based on the obscurity doctrine, pressure, stress, teamwork and disputes. Discipline within the model is established not on the fear of failure to obtain pass grades, but the responsibility, teamwork and view of life. Therefore, a trainee that attends training to get a certificate moves away from the importance of the certificate after some time and, starts to focus on the beauty and contribution of the experience. An intensive scope of practical applications provides a wide area to the trainees. A course period contains more than 300 practices, more than 7 CTFs, and about 10 investigations. In addition, during the final week, there are about 10 tests during which the trainees attempt to infiltrate a server network, about 7 investigations and, 1 article preparation. And, in addition to these applications, about 900 assignments are read during a period.

This forces a trainee to get improved and disciplined in their natural environment. Field applications carried out during the process help them to mentally improve themselves to the next level. An understanding of transparency in the company lets them see that there is another stance other than conventional competition.

Situational Awareness

Other than the design and implementation stages, one of the most important factors that a program needs to include is the area domination. Area domination means that one has a real-time command of the entire process and lives within the process during the training.

The right trainers with the right training model would deliver the highest level of benefit. A trainer that has a personal command of the subject is not sufficient. That is because the development is not about giving a lecture in front of a board. A trainer should be in the classroom both physically and mentally during the course, which is the most important characteristic in this respect.

A trainer should never lose the contact with the trainees. A trainer should follow the gestures and behaviors at all times and, be able to analyze the situations and the feelings they are currently in both as a team and individual.

It is important to conduct a real-time assessment about the status of the classroom and, respond to possible changes whenever necessary with additional assignments and practices, besides the planning the assignments given and, the applications carried out in advance.

All programs conducted within the organization of Cyber Struggle is based on the principle of area domination. This is the most important reason why the training of trainers takes so much time. It is very important that all trainers to be trained are those have a high standard of area domination.

Instant Response

Although some mentions the principle of instant response within the framework of area domination, it should be reviewed as a separate parameter. It is important that an efficient program has the maneuverability to collect datasets based on which it could deliver instant responses during the length of the program.

This dataset may be obtained not only from different practices but also the visual and intuitional feedbacks during the course.

One tries to find answers to many questions with these feedbacks such as what type of feelings a trainee should have, in what subjects there might be gaps and, what the psychological factors that prevent the development are. Based on the answers to these questions, it possible to make the trainees and the team to focus on the target in a more intense manner.

In all the programs conducted in our organizations, such data is also intuitionally collected through the practices applied within the classroom triggering different feelings, in addition to standard and periodical assignments and practices. Therefore, a unilateral method of data collection is invalid in the CS programs.

Middle-Term Response

Another parameter in an efficient model is the middle-term responses. It is not sufficient to instantly respond to the trainees on a team and individual basis. Each individual or team during the course requires middle-term responses.

To that end, a good level of prioritization and a good analysis are required. Sometimes, when it is possible to make a trainee more effective at that time with an instant response, it may be required to carry out a different response to cause the trainee to have a habit that would be more useful in the medium term, instead. Making a right decision on these aspects is possible when the trainees are properly monitored during the training as a team and individual.

A good level of analysis should be carried out to understand which habits that a trainee should adopt and, in which aspects they have deficiencies. As a result of this analysis, it would be more useful for the future of the trainer in the middle term to encourage them to study in the subject, for which we want them to have a habit, instead of lecturing a course that they have difficulties in understanding.

Individual and Team

One of the most important subjects that should not be forgotten is that almost everything to be done is associated with a teamwork at the end of the day. The age of one-man show is over. Teamwork is the most important concept in all areas of Cyber Struggle, just like in everything else.

All the efforts intended to increase the level of a trainee as an individual should be equipped with the team spirit and coordination.

An efficient training feeds the individual skills with a team coordination. At this point, changing habits and way of thinking are significantly supported. The concept of competition in the team is used in many team sports to increase the level of the teams. This is a method left from the conventional education. In fact, as Nash says, if everyone focuses on their own development and compete themselves at a point no one competes each other for the blond girl, the total skills and maneuverability of the team would get increased. This is another way to win.

On the other hand, this type of approach would deliver great advantages in terms of team harmony, and micro management. Since the awareness of empathy would be higher in such trainees trained with this type of habit, the quality of competition and, work ethic would also be positively affected, which in turn would be reflected on the production.

The certification programs conducted within the organization of Cyber Struggle is based on the principle of unity. No one is left behind! Individual development is not sufficient to successfully complete the course. All the trainees are expected to contribute to the team, support those left behind, take initiatives to solve the problems the team may encounter. It is not possible for a person who fails to establish a relation and emphasize with the team members to get a certificate, irrespective of the technical knowledge they may have.

Post-Training

For many training models, the concept of after-training is not beyond a rice day. However, in an efficient training model, after-training processes is as important as the training itself.

Community structures, where the team logic that delivers benefit to the team members, would make the training an ongoing process. On the other hand, considering the need for the renewal of the contents of a training system based on the then-current conditions, it is important to continue strong relations in terms of many unique parameters such as supplementary training sessions, joint activities, projects, career plans, productivity etc.

At Cyber Struggle, tendency of continuing the togetherness in many different categories after the completion of the training remains in the forefront.

CS-Supporter: A formation that consists of supporters that support and respect the activities carried out within the organization.
CS-Community: A closed communication network consisting of persons who have attended the training.
CS-Ranger: A society that consists of the Ranger certificate holders.
CS-Alpha: A society that consists of the  Alpha certificate holders.
CS-SOF: Consists of the persons graduating from any certification program or employed by CS participating in active R&D efforts.
CS-SSR: A society that makes research in the field of applications of Cyber Struggle in social sciences.

As mentioned before, an efficient training should, first of all, allow a trainee to experience all the aspects of all the strategies. As a result of this experience, the trainee should deliver a change in their thoughts and behaviors, and produce alternatives, in addition to the technical knowledge they have acquired. While doing this, the trainee should be a part of the team, but also free to the utmost.

With all these general approaches and special applications, Cyber Struggle has developed a unique training model and, is proud of the graduates trained with this training model.

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