5 ways security leaders are using real-world exercises

Jun 05, 2023


Content Team

The digital landscape is becoming increasingly complex and the threat of cyber attacks looms larger than ever. In this high-stakes environment, organizations must have a well-trained security team that can respond effectively to potential security incidents. To achieve this, security leaders are investing in ongoing learning and skills development. 

Here are five ways security leaders are using real-world training:

Improving incident response

Incident response is a critical component of effective security defenses. Security leaders can use real-world exercises to improve their teams’ incident response capabilities by simulating a range of scenarios that could occur. This approach allows teams to identify areas where they need to improve, such as response times, communication, and decision-making. Security leaders can then create targeted training programs to address any areas of weakness and improve their teams’ incident response capabilities, thus fortifying their security posture and defense capabilities. 

Ongoing skills development

In the rapidly changing environment, it is essential for security personnel to continuously develop their skills and knowledge to stay ahead of evolving threats.

Security leaders can use real-world exercises as a part of ongoing skills development programs to ensure their teams are equipped with the latest knowledge and skills. Participating in real-world exercises can provide security teams with hands-on experience in working with new and emerging threats, as well as identify areas where they need to improve. Targeted training programs, such as attending conferences, participating in online courses, and obtaining industry-recognized certifications, can further aid to keep their teams up-to-date with the latest skills, trends, and knowledge.

Furthermore, security leaders can also use real-world training and exercises to foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement within their organization. They can help ensure that their organization is always prepared to handle new and evolving threats by encouraging their team to continuously develop their skills and knowledge

Cross-Training and Collaboration

One approach to strengthening a security team is through cross-training, which involves training team members in multiple areas of expertise. Security leaders can leverage real-world exercises to cross-train IT staff to take on security roles, especially for those who have already shown an aptitude for security. This approach can help the organization fill security gaps and build a more robust security team.

Cross-training and collaboration among different teams within an organization can help improve overall security operations. By working together, teams can share knowledge, skills, and best practices to identify and address vulnerabilities. Successful cross-training and collaboration can increase efficiency, and strengthen the overall security posture of an organization.

Elevate cybersecurity learning efforts

The CyberEdge Cyberthreat Defense Report 2023 showed how critical the current cybersecurity skills gap is: over 80% of organizations can’t hire enough skilled IT personnel, citing it as the largest obstacle to effective cybersecurity. 

Real-world cybersecurity training and exercises can also be used to elevate an organization’s overall cybersecurity training program by identifying skill and knowledge gaps, identifying strengths and weaknesses, and using this knowledge to develop further cybersecurity learning efforts.

To address these skills gaps, organizations can conduct regular assessments of their team’s skills and knowledge through real-world exercises and simulated attacks. Conducting these assessments can help security leaders identify areas where their team may be lacking and develop training programs to address these gaps.

Furthermore, the data and feedback obtained from real-world training and exercises can also be used to develop further cybersecurity learning efforts for an organization. The results of these exercises can shine a light on areas where additional training is needed and develop targeted training programs to address these needs. This can include developing customized training programs for individual team members based on their strengths and weaknesses, as well as developing broader training programs that address common areas of weakness across the organization.

Hiring and onboarding

Many organizations are recognizing that traditional methods of hiring and training are not enough to keep up with the constantly changing cybersecurity landscape, and are turning to hands-on training and exercises to ensure their security teams are prepared to handle any security incident.

One way security leaders use real-world cybersecurity training and exercises is during the hiring process. Instead of relying solely on resumes and interviews, organizations test potential hires with real-world scenarios to assess their practical skills and ability to handle different situations. 

With these types of exercises, they can evaluate a candidate’s ability to think critically, problem-solve, and respond to real-world situations. It also allows them to assess how well a candidate can work within a team and communicate with others in high-stress situations.

Once a candidate is hired, many organizations continue to use real-world cybersecurity training and exercises as part of their onboarding process. This type of training and experience allows organizations to help new hires develop their skills and knowledge more quickly, and ensure they are better prepared to handle real-world security incidents when they arise.

Learn how Packetlabs used OffSec’s real-world exercise solution to identify and hire top penetration testing talent.


Security leaders must invest in ongoing training and development programs to ensure their teams are well-prepared and agile enough to respond to the ever-changing threat landscape. With real-world exercises, they can strengthen their teams’ capabilities and improve their overall security posture. By prioritizing this type of cybersecurity training and skills development, they can help ensure the safety and security of their organizations and their customers.

Cyber Range training

Cyber range training involves simulating real-world cyber attacks in a controlled environment. This approach allows security teams to practice responding to incidents in a safe and secure environment. 

Cyber range training involves creating simulated environments that replicate real-world cyber attacks. This type of training is valuable because it allows security teams to practice their response to a variety of cyber attacks in a safe and controlled environment. Security leaders are using cyber range training to ensure their teams are prepared to respond to sophisticated and evolving cyber threats.

OffSec Cyber Range (OCR) offers the most realistic hands-on, in-depth labs on the market that emulate enterprise environments, allowing your team to hone their technical, mental, and tactical skills in recognizing and handling real-world incidents.

The labs are updated regularly with the latest exploit vectors for the offensive and defensive teams to:

  • Sharpen their skills
  • Stay up to date on the latest cyber threats
  • Be confident knowing they are qualified to do their job well in the constantly changing cyber world 

OCR is exclusive to our Learn Enterprise subscription and is tightly integrated with the OffSec Learning Library to help the users discover and gain new skills and knowledge as they sharpen their skills.

Learn more about OffSec Cyber Range here