SANS LDR521: Security Culture for Leaders is an intense five-day course enabling today’s security leaders to build, measure, and leverage a strong security culture throughout their organization. With 11 team-based labs and a series of capstone case studies, this is also one of SANS’ most interactive courses. Starting in 2024, we are excited to announce the SANS LDR521 Challenge Coin. Challenge coins are common in many SANS courses, recognizing the top students who have competed in and placed as leaders in their class. The SANS LDR521 coin will be awarded to the winning team in each class as determined by the capstone event on the last day. On capstone day, sections apply everything they have learned and compete via the online Cyber42 simulation to see which team can build the strongest security culture.
LDR521 Challenge Coin
The LDR521 coin is aligned with other SANS Leadership courses based on the following principles.
The front of the coin represents culture as an iceberg, a common visual used in both the cognitive sciences and organizational change models. Like an iceberg, an organization’s culture is both hard to see and move. While many definitions of organizational culture exist, most are very similar, focusing on your workforce’s shared attitudes, perceptions, and beliefs. For SANS LDR521, we focus on your workforce’s shared attitudes, perceptions, and beliefs about cybersecurity.
The back of the coin encapsulates both the how and why of the course. In the center is the statement “Explain the Why, Then Simplify”. This is theme of the course and the roadmap to building a strong security culture. Explaining the why is the foundation of motivating people about cybersecurity. The greater people believe in the why, to include why cybersecurity benefits them, the greater the engagement and more motivated they are. To simplify means to make security as simple as possible. This starts with training, providing people the knowledge and skills to be secure. But we go so much farther, attempting to make security as simple as possible, architecting an environment where security is easy. Both the heart and the mind represent how culture is about aligning with and winning the hearts and minds of your workforce. The pyramid and the castle remind us that cybersecurity is more than just about people, but also about process and technology, the triad of cybersecurity.
The Transformational Cybersecurity Leader Triad
LDR521 is also part of the SANS Transformational Cybersecurity Leader Triad. The foundation of cybersecurity is people, process and technology. To enable today’s security leaders to be truly transformational and align with their organization’s key strategic priorities, SANS has created the Transformational Cybersecurity triad. These are SANS top three, most senior courses aligned with the cybersecurity triad.
- Culture: LDR521: Security Culture for Leaders - This five-day course enables today’s leaders to manage, measure and make the most of a strong security culture organization wide.
- Strategy: LDR514: Security Strategic Planning, Policy and Leadership – This five-day course goes into a deep dive in creating a security strategy that aligns with and supports your organization’s mission and the strategic priorities of your executive leadership. This course is as much about business as it is about security.
- Technology: LDR512: Security Leadership Essentials for Managers – This five day course goes into a deep dive in security frameworks and the different technologies that align with and support the frameworks, to include Cloud, DevSecOps, Security Operations Center, EndPoint security and many others.
Combined, these three courses ensure today’s security leaders have the skills and expertise to lead their organization, support its mission, and truly be successful as business leaders. For the select students who complete all three courses of the Triad, each student is awarded the Transformational Triad coin.