SANS: Security Leadership Essentials for Managers

What You Will Learn

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.

This course empowers you to become an effective security manager and get up to speed quickly on information security issues and terminology. You won’t just learn about security, you will learn how to manage security. MGT512 covers a wide range of security topics across the entire security stack. Data, network, host, application, and user controls are covered in conjunction with key management topics that address the overall security lifecycle, including governance and technical controls focused on protecting, detecting, and responding to security issues.

The approach of this course will prepare you to:

  • Make sense of different cybersecurity frameworks
  • Understand and analyze risk
  • Understand the pros and cons of different reporting relationships
  • Manage technical personnel
  • Build a vulnerability management program
  • Inject security into modern DevOps workflows
  • Strategically leverage a SIEM
  • Change behavior and build a security-aware culture
  • Effectively manage security projects
  • Enable modern security architectures and the cloud


MGT512 uses case studies, group discussions, team-based exercises, in-class games, and a security leadership simulation to help students absorb both technical and management topics.

The course uses a board game called Cyber42 (see graphic). This security leadership simulation is a continuous tabletop exercise where students play to improve the security culture, manage the budget and schedule, and improve security capabilities at a fictional organization. This puts students in real-world scenarios that spur discussion and critical thinking of situations that they will encounter at work.


If you are taking this class In Person or via a Live Online format you must have a computer with Microsoft Excel which will be used for the Cyber42 game.

If you are taking this class in OnDemand you must have Acrobat Reader which will be used for the Cyber42 game.


  • Become an effective information security manager
  • Get up to speed quickly on information security issues and terminology
  • Establish a minimum standard of security knowledge, skills, and abilities
  • Speak the same language as technical security professionals


  • Electronic Courseware containing the entire course content
  • Digital game board for the Cyber42 security leadership simulation
  • MP3 audio files of the complete course lecture


Some course material for SEC401 and MGT512 may overlap. SANS recommends SEC401 for those interested in a more technical course of study, and MGT512 for those primarily interested in a leadership-oriented but less technical learning experience.

This course prepares you for the GIAC Security Leadership Certification (GSLC), which meets the requirement of DoD 8570 IAM Levels 1, 2, and 3.

Register here.

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