Building an information systems protection team can take considerable time; the UK’s Cyber Security Technologist NVQ Level 4 apprenticeship takes about 200 days to produce a starter generalist from an interested, motivated and academically bright student.

If you can’t wait then our Cool Blue Training is for you. It is designed to bring teams of computer literate – but non-technical – part-time students to the stage where they can competently defend a mixed linux/windows network against basic attacks.

Cool Blue strongly specialises roles: we split typical defence roles into a matrix of domains (windows, linux, networks, etc) and defence tasks (explore, harden, monitor, patrol) and allocate the cross-referenced cells to interested and suitable team members.

This strongly reduces the learning required for each individual, but requires a good sized team depending on how many roles each individual can take.

Once individuals have acquired their particular, specific, narrow expertise they have a ‘seed’ of expertise that they can grow from to take on more responsibility.

The training syllabus consists of:

  • Weekly mentored sessions of 2-3 hours each to explain relevant concepts and demonstrate tools and system configurations.
  • Existing, proved, 3rd party training from established training libraries
  • Simple practices to explore, harden, monitor and patrol your own systems.
  • Regular bite-sized demonstrations and mentored tasks
  • A cyber range to explore, practice and monitor against slow-time attacks by our attack team who will take you through what they are doing. They are there to teach, not to ‘win’.
  • Selected support material: cheat sheets and scripts and a ‘cool blue panic book of calm’

The syllabus grew out of bringing interested but unskilled participants up to speed for a 5-day defend-the-network competition, learning in their own free time. The team ended up short-handed at about half strength, but was still able to reach the top half of the leader boards.


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