MGT514: Security Strategic Planning, Policy, and Leadership

GIAC Strategic Planning, Policy, and Leadership (GSTRT)
GIAC Strategic Planning, Policy, and Leadership (GSTRT)
  • In Person (5 days)
  • Online
30 CPEs

This information security course will provide you with the tools to build a cybersecurity strategic plan, an entire IT security policy, and lead your teams in the execution of your plan and policy.

Course Authors:

What You Will Learn

Aligning Security Initiatives With Strategy


As security professionals we have seen the landscape change. Cybersecurity is now more vital and relevant to the growth of your organization than ever before. As a result, information security teams have more visibility, more budget, and more opportunity. However, with this increased responsibility comes more scrutiny.

This course gives you tools to become a security business leader who can build and execute strategic plans that resonate with other business executives, create effective information security policy, and develop management and leadership skills to better lead, inspire, and motivate your teams. The course will help you to:

Develop Strategic Plans

Strategic planning is hard for IT and security professionals because we spend so much time responding and reacting. We almost never do strategic planning until we get promoted to a senior position, and then we are not equipped with the skills we need to run with the pack. MGT514 will teach you how to develop strategic plans that resonate with other IT and business leaders.

Create Effective Information Security Policy

Policy is a manager's opportunity to express expectations for the workforce, set the boundaries of acceptable behavior, and empower people to do what they ought to be doing. It is easy to get wrong. Have you ever seen a policy and responded by saying "No way, I am not going to do that"? Most of us have. Policy must be aligned with an organization's culture. In MGT514, we break down the steps to policy development so that you have the ability to design and assess policies that can successfully guide your organization.

Develop Management and Leadership Skills

Leadership is a skill that must be learned, exercised, and developed to better ensure organizational success. Strong leadership is brought about primarily through selfless devotion to the organization and staff, tireless effort in setting the example, and having the vision to see and effectively use available resources toward the end goal.

Effective leadership entails persuading team members to accomplish their objectives, removing the obstacles preventing them from doing it, and maintaining the well-being of the team in support of the organization's mission. MGT514 will teach you to use management tools and frameworks to better lead, inspire, and motivate your teams.


MGT514 uses the Cyber42 leadership simulation game to put you in situations that spur discussion, critical thinking, and melding of different points of view that you will encounter at work.

The course also uses case studies from Harvard Business School, case scenarios, team-based exercises, and discussions that put students in real-world situations. You will be able to use these same activities with your own team members at work.

The next generation of security leadership must bridge the gap between security staff and senior leadership by strategically planning how to build and run effective security programs. After taking this course you will understand the different phases of the strategic planning process, learn key planning tools, and have the fundamental skills to create strategic plans that protect your company, enable key innovations, and facilitate working effectively with your business partners.


  • Develop security strategic plans that incorporate business and organizational drivers
  • Develop and assess information security policy
  • Use management and leadership techniques to motivate and inspire your team


  • Electronic Courseware and printed books containing the entire course content
  • MP3 audio files of the complete course lecture



Syllabus (30 CPEs)

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  • Overview

    Creating security strategic plans requires a fundamental understanding of the business and a deep understanding of the threat landscape. Deciphering the history of the business ensures that the work of the security team is placed in the appropriate context. Stakeholders must be identified and appropriately engaged within this framework. This includes understanding their motivations and goals, which is often informed by the values and culture your organization espouses. Successful security leaders also need a deep understanding of business goals and strategy. This business understanding needs to be coupled with knowledge of the threat landscape - including threat actors, business threats, and attacker tactics, techniques, and procedures - that informs the strategic plan.

    • Decipher the Business
      • Historical Analysis

        • Analyze the past in order to understand the probable future
      • Stakeholder Management

        • Learn to identify, understand, and manage stakeholders in order to make the security team more successful
      • Values and Culture

        • Understand the values and culture of your organization in order to align security with the corporate culture and define acceptable working norms
      • Business Strategy

        • Use a strategy map to understand how to align with business objectives
      • Asset Analysis

        • Understand assets that are most valuable to the business and are of interest to attackers
    • Decipher the Threats
      • Threat Actors
        • Understand attacker motivations and techniques
        • Review real-word attack scenarios
      • Political, Economic, Social and Technological (PEST) Analysis

        • Identify business threats
      • Threat Analysis

        • Learn how the intrusion kill chain and MITRE ATT&CK inform strategic planning
  • Overview

    With a firm understanding of the drivers of business and the threats facing the organization, you will develop a plan to analyze the current situation, identify the target state, perform gap analysis, and develop a prioritized roadmap. In other words, you will be able to determine (1) what you do today (2) what you should be doing in the future (3) what you don't want to do, and (4) what you should do first. Once this plan is in place, you will learn how to build and execute it by developing a business case, defining metrics for success, and effectively marketing your security program.

    • Define the Current State
      • Vision and Mission

        • What they tell you about the organization
      • Develop a Security Team Mission Statement that Aligns with Organizational Goals
        • Analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT)
        • Understanding of current SWOT
    • Develop the Plan
      • Vision and Innovation
        • Sustaining versus disruptive innovation
        • Jobs to be done theory
        • Learning to innovate with the business
        • How to provide value to stakeholders
      • Security Framework
        • NIST Cybersecurity Framework
        • Measuring maturity
      • Roadmap Development
        • Gap analysis
        • Security roadmap
      • Business Case Development

        • Approaches to obtaining funding
    • Deliver the Program
      • Security Metrics Program

        • Developing effective metrics
      • Marketing and Executive Communications

        • Promoting the work of the security team
  • Overview

    Policy is one of the key tools that security leaders have to influence and guide the organization. Security managers must understand how to review, write, assess, and support security policy and procedures. This includes knowing the role of policy in protecting the organization along with its data, systems, and people. In developing policy, you also need to know how to choose the appropriate language and structure so that it fits with your organization's culture. As policy is developed you must manage the entire lifecycle from approval and socialization to measurement in order to make necessary modifications as time goes on. This is why assessing policy and procedure is so important. Policy must keep up to date with the changing business and threat landscape.

    • Purpose of Policy
      • Role of Policy
      • Establishing Acceptable Bounds for Behavior
      • Empowering Employees to Do the Right Thing
      • How Policy Protects People, Organizations, and Information
    • Develop Policy
      • Language of Policy
      • Policy Structure
      • Policy and Culture
      • Define Requirements
    • Managing Policy

      • Approve, Socialize, and Measure Policy
    • Assess Policy and Procedure
      • Using the SMART Approach
      • Policy Review and Assessment Process
  • Overview

    This course section will teach the critical skills you need to lead, motivate, and inspire your teams to achieve your organization's goals. By establishing a minimum standard for the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to develop leadership, you will understand how to motivate employees and develop from a manager into a leader.

    • Why Choose Leadership
      • Understanding Leadership
      • Leadership Building Blocks
    • Leadership Essentials

      • Building Trust
      • Servant Leadership
    • Effective Communications
      • Communication Process
      • Active Listening
      • Providing Feedback
      • Challenging Conversations
    • Build Effective Teams
      • Creating and Leading Teams
      • Learning to Delegate
      • Coaching, Mentoring, and Sponsorship
    • Leading Change
      • Psychology of Change
      • Organizational Change
  • Overview

    Using case studies, students will work through real-world scenarios by applying the skills and knowledge learned throughout the course. The case studies are taken directly from Harvard Business School, which pioneered the case study method. The case studies focus specifically on information security management and leadership competencies. The Strategic Planning Workshop serves as a capstone exercise for the course, enabling students to synthesize and apply concepts, management tools, and methodologies learned in class.


    Case study topics include:

    • Creating a Presentation for the CEO
    • Understanding Business Priorities
    • Enabling Business Innovation
    • Effective Communication
    • Stakeholder Management

GIAC Strategic Planning, Policy, and Leadership

The GIAC Strategic Planning, Policy, and Leadership (GSTRT) certification validates a practitioner's understanding of developing and maintaining cyber security programs as well as proven business analysis, strategic planning, and management tools. GSTRT certification holders have demonstrated their knowledge of building and managing cyber security programs with an eye towards meeting the needs of the business, board members, and executives.

  • Business and Threat Analysis
  • Security Programs and Security Policy
  • Effective Leadership and Communications
More Certification Details


  • A strong desire to grow as a leader
  • A strong desire to develop strategic plans that resonate with IT and other business leaders
  • Willingness to participate in group exercises and team discussions

Laptop Requirements

A laptop or mobile device with the latest web browser is required to play the Cyber42 leadership simulation game.

The Cyber42 game used in this course is hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Students must have a computer that does not restrict access to AWS services. Corporate machines may have a VPN, intercepting proxy, or egress firewall filter causes connection issues communicating with AWS. Students must be able to configure or disable these services to be able to access the Cyber42 game.

If you have additional questions about the laptop specifications, please contact

Author Statement

"This is the course I wish I had taken when I first started my career. You don't have to wait until you are in a management position to focus on your strategic planning, management, and leadership skills. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you thought, 'Something I'm doing isn't working'? This course will set you on the path to address that concern. It's commonly stated that to succeed as a modern security leader you need to understand and align with the business to support the organization's mission. But what does that actually mean in practice? Instead of trying to get there on your own, join us to learn practical tools and lessons that have worked for countless other leaders, security officers, and CISOs."

- Frank Kim

"Frank Kim is an awesome instructor! His teaching style is great and his grasp on the course material, live examples and ability to bring people together is exceptional!!" - Arvin Bansal, Amerisource Bergen


This course addresses the business and people drivers for cybersecurity. It forces technical minds to consider a broader perspective and various intangibles.
C. S. Erikson
I wish I had taken this course 10 years ago when I first started in my role as a CISO. The work group discussions, tools, and theory are practical and applicable to my day-to-day work.
Mark Potter
The Cyber42 game was perhaps one of the best learning tools that I've encountered in any professional class such as this one. The conversation and thought that went into each answer was an awesome experience.
Julien Brown
Consumers Energy

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