QA announces new strategic partnership with Circadence

QA is the first UK provider of the gamified cyber skills learning platform, Project Ares.

QA, the UK’s largest tech skills and talent provider, announces it is partnering with Circadence Corporation, the pioneer of the hands-on, gamified learning platform Project Ares®. The partnership will allow QA to incorporate hands-on scenario training into its cybersecurity courses, helping cyber professionals quickly build skills, knowledge and confidence in the cybersecurity disciplines needed to defend against hackers. QA will be the only UK training provider to use Project Ares in its cybersecurity training.

With large volumes of UK employees working remotely during the last year, IT departments are faced with a significantly increased security footprint to manage and secure. In its latest cybersecurity research, VMWare Carbon Black reported that 98% of security professionals thought the volume of attacks they face has increased and 96% said that attacks have become more sophisticated. This continued rise in cyber security threat escalation is combined with a growing skills gap. The UK Government’s cyber security skills study reports that two-thirds (64%) of cyber firms have faced problems with technical cyber security skills gaps, either among existing staff or incoming job applicants. A quarter of respondents said that such skills gaps have prevented them from achieving business goals.

“The risk to customer data and intellectual property, as well as the threat of penalties running into millions of pounds, is driving a demand for specialist cybersecurity training that delivers skills business leaders can be confident in,” explains Richard Beck, Director of Cyber at QA. “Gamification provides an engaging learning environment that increases knowledge retention rates, allows players to gain instant feedback on tasks completed or areas that need more attention, and provides a clear sense of learning accomplishments. We are delighted to add Project Ares, Circadence’s game-changing platform, to our cybersecurity portfolio.”

The partnership will allow QA to provide learners with a scenario-based, gamified learning tool that drives high levels of engagement through leaderboards and badges, elements used widely in the gaming world. The platform scenarios also replicate the unpredictability and escalating levels of complexity that cyberattacks can present, allowing the learner to develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills in a safe, but realistic environment.     

QA will use our Project Ares cyber-range-as-a-service platform to deliver a superior cyber learning experience, irrespective of whether students are learning in the classroom or from home. The partnership will leverage the power of gamified cyber range training to minimise the gap of skilled cyber professionals in the UK,” commented Laurie Webb-DesJardins, Director Global Partnerships at Circadence. “Cybersecurity challenges, coupled with the increased need for remote learning, are impacting every organisation across the world. In this environment, partners such as QA are critical to delivering superior customer training through a deep understanding of Circadence’s product and the global cybersecurity landscape. Circadence is proud to have QA as our first strategic partner in the UK.” 

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