5 Types of Certifications and Training You Should Make Sure Your Security Agency Has

You’re looking for a security agency to make sure your company stays safe and on track. But you’re not exactly sure where to start. What are the qualifying markers of a good security agency? What certifications should a security services agency have?
Knowing what types of certifications and training your potential agency should have is a good place to start. Here are 5 to get you started.

1. Basic Security Awareness Training

Consider this the ABCs of security.
Seriously, if your security agency doesn’t cover anything else, they should definitely cover basic security awareness training. And if they don’t cover anything else, you should probably keep looking elsewhere, let’s be honest.

What is Basic Security Awareness Training?

Think of basic security awareness training as the foundation of your successful security plan, one that any successful security agency should be versed in.
Basic security awareness training is essentially a formal process for educating employees about security. In other words, a given for a security company you’re looking to hire.
Basically, it’s a reason for those undergoing the training to pursue further training by laying the foundation for security protocols. It educates employees about the company protocols, the risks each team member faces, and their role in minimizing that risk.

How It Helps

Think of it this way.
How can someone know what to protect – or how to protect it – without a basic training in how to do so?
This is what basic security awareness training has to offer. It lays the groundwork for the rest of the necessary training that is to follow.
And if a security agency doesn’t cover the most basic framework for a solid security team? We’re not saying it’s time to look elsewhere, but it’s time to look elsewhere.
Look, if what you want is a security guard, you should be getting a security guard, not a monitor or something else that won’t serve your needs (and if you’re not sure, here’s how to tell the difference).

2. Compliance Training

You might think you know what compliance training is – and you probably think right.
The name compliance training makes it relatively clear what it is.
Put it this way: employees, or rather, employees who are trained, alert and know their responsibilities, are your first line of defense.
Compliance training is how a security agency brings you the employees you need for a successful security plan.

What is Compliance Training?

Your security plan won’t get you far if your employees don’t comply with it.
It isn’t even necessarily a matter of going against the security plan for malicious purposes – if they don’t know how to identify threats or how to deal with them when they arise, chances are they’ll fly under the radar.
Compliance training aims to fix that problem for you.
It essentially teaches what each individual’s responsibilities are for maintaining your security and how they need to go about it.

How It Helps

Think of it this way.
How can the people you need to maintain security properly maintain security if they don’t know what their responsibilities are when it comes to maintaining security?
Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, does it?
That’s what compliance training does for your company, which is why finding a security agency that provides quality compliance training is so important.
This is another bare-bones aspect of security. If you get nothing else out of an agency, you should absolutely be getting basic security awareness training and compliance training – otherwise, how can you be prepared for more complex aspects of security like defensive coding or software training?
Answer: you can’t. So if the agency you’re considering doesn’t cover the basics, you should probably keep looking.

3. Threat Modeling

Now you’ve covered the essentials of what a security agency should be able to offer, let’s talk about the more complex aspects of security.
Like, for example, threat modeling.
No, not making a 3D model like you did in middle school science to build a volcano.

What is Threat Modeling?

Threat modeling, to put it simply, is a way of optimizing network security. It does this by identifying vulnerabilities and objectives of the given network security plan and uses this knowledge to define and establish countermeasures and mitigate threats to a system.
In plain English, threat modeling has to do with your network security. It takes what you need to protect, what is most in need of protection and what you’re most concerned with protecting in order to design ways to for the system to protect against threats.
The key here is to define where the most effort should be applied to keep your system protected. And no, the answer isn’t everywhere.
Here’s the thing: if you’re spending all your energy trying to protect every little thing, you’re weakening your overall security.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t be protecting everything because a gap in the wall is still going to hurt you. It’s to say that you shouldn’t be expending maximum energy on every small asset – that takes energy away from assets that require more security.
Threat modeling is a way for you to focus your security. It tells you what you’re most worried about and thus how you should be distributing your resources.

How It Helps

Picture this.
Let’s say you run a museum, and you’re trying to a lot of art. As one does in a museum.
Now let’s say there are some bigger, more valuable pieces. Like a Da Vinci versus an unknown American artist not many people care about except enthusiasts.
Both pieces are valuable to you, so both pieces are worth protecting. But you aren’t going to have three security guards and three cameras on every piece of art because it’s far too expensive and a waste of your resources.
So you are going to spend time and energy to protect the unknown painting because it’s part of a comprehensive security plan.
But in an assessment of what’s most valuable, and thus what requires the highest security, you’re better off expending your time, money and energy in making sure the more valuable piece is safe. Why? Because its higher value makes it more valuable to attack than the smaller painting.
The same idea applies to network security. You don’t want to get lazy and have gaps in your security because that’s how hackers can get into your system. But it’s a more valuable use of your time and money to guard the higher-value assets, like, say, your company’s copyrighted design or financial information.

4. Defensive Coding/Programming

On a related note to threat modeling is defensive coding.
Don’t get squeamish about the word coding – it all makes sense, we promise. And it’s all equally valuable when looking for a security agency.

What is Defensive Coding?

Defensive coding, also called defensive programming, is basically your way of making sure your software stays secure.
Because let’s be honest, unsecured software is worse than useless – it’s potentially dangerous.
Think of defensive coding as a form of defensive design. The goal, in this case, is to make sure that your software can continue functioning under unforeseen circumstances.

How It Helps

Think of it this way.
Say you have a big project. Like, we’re talking a project that’s stretched for months and has dozens of people involved and a whole lot of good for the company riding on its success.
Now let’s say something malfunctions somewhere along the way.
One of two things can happen. Either you didn’t plan for it, and your luck is terrible. In this case, everything crashes, and you could lose months of work.
Or, you had enough foresight to think defensive coding was a good idea and work with your security agency to make sure it happened. And you sustain a bit of damage, but the project can continue after a bit of cleanup.
Do we really need to ask which one is preferable?

5. Security Software Training

And, finally, we arrive at the fifth piece of our puzzle: security software training.
You’ve probably noticed by now that these trainings tend to cover one of two areas – either your employees or your network.
Let’s face it: the tools of your security system are important. Security software training is what makes sure you know how to use them.

What is Security Software Training?

Picture this.
You have software engineers, and they know how to use web scanners and code to spot and handle vulnerabilities as they crop up.
Or, you have software engineers who don’t know how to use web scanners and code, and you’re constantly chasing after remedial fixes without ever having the full picture of your network security.
The first is what you get with security software training from a security agency. The second is what you get without it.
Pretty simple choice, isn’t it?

How It Helps

Think of it this way.
You can have the best software engineers in the business. But if they don’t know how to use the security tools available to keep what they build secure…well, it isn’t going to stay secure, is it?

Hiring the Best Security Agency for You

You’re only as good as the security training you give.
That’s why OPS Security Group offers high-quality training, including site security training and client security training and consultation in addition to our other security services.
In need of great security training? Reach out to us today to get started.

About OPS

OPS Security Group has over 80 years of combined experience protecting executives, businesses, residents, guests and government officials throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C. and New Jersey. As a regional security alternative with a service-first approach, we offer a level of customer service that international providers are too big to deliver. If you’d like to learn more, contact us!

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