To be effective as cybersecurity leaders, security managers need both technical knowledge and management skills to gain the respect of technical team members, understand what technical staff are actually doing, and appropriately plan and manage security projects and initiatives. This is a big and important job that requires an understanding of a wide array of security topics. The Cybersecurity Leadership Curriculum develops cyber leaders who have the practical skills to build and lead security teams, communicate with technical and business leaders alike, and develop capabilities that build your organization's success.
Current SANS Cybersecurity Leadership Curriculum
Download the SANS Cybersecurity Curriculum Brochure
Why Take Cybersecurity Leadership Training With SANS?
- Leadership Focused – appropriately plan and manage security projects and initiatives
- Technical Focused – gain the respect of technical team members and understand what technical staff are actually doing
- Holistic, Curated Curriculum – based on various job roles and focus areas
- Hands-On Labs – extensively focused on “the how” through non-traditional “lab work” such as analyzing case-studies, participating in team exercises, and competing against classmates in Cyber42 games
- World-Class Instructors – versatile, real-world security practitioners authoring & instructing
- Comprehensive Courseware – access to slides, notes, audio files, labs, and additional resources for future reference
- Certification Prep – specialized training that will help you prepare for a GIAC certification attempt
NEW COURSE 2023
- MGT433: Managing Human Risk - Now 3 Days!
- AUD507: Auditing Systems, Appliactions, and the Cloud - More than 50% total new content + 70% new labs
- MGT516: Building and Leading Vulnerability Management Programs - More than 50% new content and labs NOTE: First run of new content will be at SANS2023 in Orlando, FL, April 2 - 6
NEW COURSE 2022
If you are worried about leading or supporting a major cyber incident, then this is the course for you. MGT553: Cyber Incident Management focuses on the non-technical challenges facing leaders in times of extreme pressure. Whilst you may have a full team of technical staff standing-by to find, understand and remove the attackers, they need information, tasking, managing, supporting, and listening to so you can maximize their utilization and effectiveness. We focus on building a team to remediate the incident, on managing that team, on distilling the critical data for briefing, and how to run that briefing. We look at communication at all levels from the hands-on team to the executives and Board, investigative journalists, and even the attackers. This course contains nine (9) case studies for hands-on learning.
Cybersecurity requires engagement from all levels of leadership throughout an organization. The key differentiator between these various levels is the amount of technical knowledge and business knowledge that is required to succeed. Technology knowledge is invariably greater as you move down the pyramid while business knowledge increases as you move up the pyramid with increasingly more responsibility. Roles and titles will vary across organizations of different sizes and industries but the amount of technical knowledge that an engineer or analyst requires is vastly different from that which a CISO or even a VP of Security requires.
However, as a security leader or manager we are in a difficult situation. We need to have enough technical acumen to understand our team, resolve technical disagreements, and weigh in on appropriate technical direction. At the same time, we must have enough business understanding to convey technical security topics in ways that non-technical leaders can understand and translate business drivers to our teams in ways that they in turn can understand.
That is the focus of this curriculum. To give security leaders both the technical knowledge and management skills to gain the respect of technical team members, understand what technical staff are actually doing, and appropriately plan and manage security projects and initiatives.
Cybersecurity Leadership Triads
In an effort to help our students find the right path, SANS Cybersecurity Leadership Curriculum has created two triads of courses and certifications that align to help create stronger, more well-rounded cybersecurity leaders. This entire landing page is dedicated to describing these triads in detail as well as providing a series of related resources.
Transformational Cybersecurity Leader - 1 page flyer
Operational Cybersecurity Leader - 1 page flyer
Cyber42 Leadership Simulation
Enhance your proficiency in cybersecurity leadership decision-making through immersive team-based simulations with Cyber42. Practice agile decision-making and information synthesis, key skills required for success in leadership roles. Engage in thought-provoking discussions and gain practical insights to improve your cybersecurity competencies.
Cyber42 is a leadership simulation game that puts you in the driver’s seat of making tough leadership calls on behalf of a fictitious organization that needs your expertise. Each outcome will be followed by thoughtfully group discussion. The winning team will be decided by who makes the strongest security cultural impact to the fictitious organization.
- Gain insight into the cybersecurity landscape from the executive leadership perspective
- Strategically balancing competing priorities for successful outcomes
- Rapid data synthesis and analysis for informed decision-making
- Risk-free decision-making in a simulated environment for optimal business outcomes
- Building valuable connections with peers in a dynamic and enjoyable setting
Two Versions of Cyber42 Available Map to the Leadership Triads
- Transformational Cybersecurity Leader
- Operational Cybersecurity Executive
Schedule a private run of Cyber42 for your team, or participate in free Game Days. Learn more here.
In addition to courses, we offer eight GIAC certifications, one SSA certification.
- GSOM: GIAC Security Operations Manager
- GSLC: GIAC Security Leadership Certification
- GSTRT: GIAC Strategic Planning, Policy, and Leadership
- GCPM: GIAC Certified Project Manager
- GSNA: GIAC Systems Network Auditor
- GLEG: GIAC Law of Data Security & Investigations
- GCCC: GIAC Critical Controls Certification
- GISP: GIAC Information Security Professional
- SSAP: SANS Security Awareness Professional: Managing Human Risk
Hundreds of SANS Institute students have stepped up to the challenge and conquered. They’ve mastered the concepts and skills, beat out their classmates, and proven their prowess. These are the elite, the recipients of a SANS Challenge Coin, an award given to a select portion of the thousands of students that have taken any of the SANS courses. More Cybersecurity Leadership Challenge Coins are on the radar for 2023!
SANS Technology Institute | Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity Management
Designed for working information security professionals, the 15-credit-hour graduate certificate in Cybersecurity Management prepares you to build and execute strategic plans that resonate with business executives, create effective information security policy, design and deploy information security environments, and lead, inspire, and motivate cybersecurity teams. You'll learn from some of the world's top cybersecurity experts, gain hands-on technical and leadership experience you can apply immediately on the job, and emerge with 5 industry-recognized GIAC certifications. A 100% online option is available.
Applications are accepted monthly. Learn more.
SANS CyberTalent Assessments
Whether you are looking to hire new employees for cybersecurity positions or creating opportunities for your existing talent, SANS CyberTalent can help ensure you find the right skills match for the job. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the cost of a bad hire is at least 30 percent of the employee's first-year earnings - for a security analyst, that's $27,000+. You can't afford to get hiring wrong at a time when talent is increasingly difficult to find. SANS CyberTalent Assessments measure the aptitude and skills of cybersecurity professionals, allowing employers to create professional development and retention programs for existing employees or test and rank the skill sets of candidates to fill open positions.
Learn more about Cybersecurity Leadership Assessments here.
Access Our Free Resources
- Cybersecurity Leadership Website
- Recommended Reading List
- Cybersecurity Leadership Webcasts
SANS offers free course demos for all courses available on the SANS OnDemand platform. Browse them here.
Join Us On Social
- Twitter - @SecLeadership
- LinkedIn - SANS Security Leadership
- SANS YouTube - Cybersecurity Leadership Playlist
- Discord - SANS Cybersecurity Leadership
Purchase SANS Cybersecurity Leadership Gear here.
Complete Cybersecurity Leadership Curriculum
MGT414: SANS Training Program for the CISSP® Certification | 6 days
MGT415: A Practical Introduction to Cyber Security Risk Management | 2 Days
MGT433: Managing Human Risk | 3 Days | SSAP
MGT512: Security Leadership Essentials for Managers | 5 Days | GSLC
MGT514: Security Strategic Planning, Policy, and Leadership | 5 Days | GSTRT
MGT516: Building and Leading Vulnerability Management Programs | 5 Days
MGT520: Leading Cloud Security Design and Implementation | 3 Days
MGT521: Leading Cybersecurity Change: Building a Security-Based Culture | 5 Days
MGT525: Managing Cybersecurity Initiatives and Effective Communication | 5 Days | GCPM
MGT551: Building and Leading Security Operations Centers | 5 Days | GSOMMGT553: Cyber Incident Response | 2 Days
AUD507: Auditing Systems, Applications, and the Cloud | 6 Days | GSNA
LEG523: Law of Data Security and Investigations | 5 Days | GLEG
SEC440: CIS Critical Controls: A Practical Introduction | 2 Days
SEC566: Implementing and Auditing Security Frameworks and Controls | 5 Days | GCCC