Managing an Academy Lab

Looking to configure your Academy Lab? Look no further.

Ryan Gordon avatar
Written by Ryan Gordon
Updated over a week ago

If your company has purchased an Academy lab, you'll want to know how to manage it properly. Admins and Moderators can both manage an Academy lab fully. This includes adding and removing user seats, provisioning content, creating custom Playlists, and creating Spaces.


Creating and Understanding Spaces

Spaces are a concept that currently only exists in our Academy Labs. They allow you to break up your lab into multiple 'virtual labs,' each having different content, users, and reporting.

Instead of having a single 'space' that all your users are assigned to and get their content from, you can instead create multiple spaces that you can use to organize different types of content and assign different users.

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You could have a Space for junior pentesters new to your company, and add content to that space focused on fundamental skills and basic enumeration. Or, you could have a Space for members of your SOC team who are looking to upskill, and assign defensive or general content to it.

Spaces give you the flexibility to tailor and curate the training experience for your users if you are inclined to do so. Alternatively, you could opt only to use the Main Space, which everyone whom you've given an Academy seat will have access to

Creating a Space

In the Navigation Pane on the left of the website, you'll see Academy Lab listed. There, you'll find the option Create New Space. Clicking on it will pull up the Space Creation Menu.

You'll be prompted to add a name for your Space. We'd recommend that you keep this short but descriptive. You'll also have the option to make the Space private, which will make it visible only to those who you've assigned to it.

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Assigning Seats

Seat assignment in Academy initially works much the same way it does in our other types of labs. From the Manage Users page under the Management panel, you can assign users a license for the lab.

You can also assign users to the lab directly from the lab page itself by clicking on the Seats option in the upper-right corner.

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Assigning a user to your Academy Lab will assign them to the Main Space. This is a space that all users have access to.

You can also assign users to a specific Space but navigating to that Space, and following the same process shown above.


Provisioning Content

You can choose what content (or groupings of content) you'd like to provision to both your Main Space and any additional Spaces you've created. You can do this by navigating to the Space and hitting the Manage button under the Lab tab.

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We organize Academy Content in several different ways to make it easier for you to quickly provision whatever works for you and your team.

Modules

Modules are the core of Academy. They are discrete, guided courses that offer both theoretical study material as well as practical labs. Each Module is broken up into Sections which can be thought of as chapters, and teach a specific topic. Many Sections have Target Systems that let you put what you just learned directly into practice.

Role Paths

Role Paths contain the Paths which work towards our Certification Exams, such as the Certified Bug Bounty Hunter or Certified Penetration Testing Specialist certifications. To be eligible to take a certification exam, users must first complete the relevant Role Path.

Skill Paths

Skill Paths are Paths that contain Modules that are focused on a particular skill or topic, as the name would suggest. The Active Directory Enumeration contains modules that focus specifically on the enumeration aspect of Active Directory, for example.

Playlists

In a sense, Playlists are somewhat similar to Paths, in that they are also lists/groupings of Modules that you can quickly deploy to a Space. Rather than being curated by us, however, they are created by you. Admins and Moderators can create their own custom Playlists and add whichever Modules they'd like, and then deploy those to a Space the same way you would a Path.

Creating a Playlist

Playlists can be created by navigating to any Space, hitting the Manage button under the Lab Tab, and then clicking Create a Playlist under the Playlists tab.

You'll have the option to name your Playlist, filter modules by category or difficulty, and add Modules to the Space.

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Once you've added the modules, you have the flexibility to determine the sequence in which these modules are presented in the playlist. This order depends on the training plan you've established for your team. You can drag and drop the modules to change the final order:

To preserve the changes, click the Save Playlist button in the upper-right corner.

Adding Content to a Space

Adding content to a space is simple. Click on the Management button under the Lab tab, and you'll be able to choose from the different options listed earlier. Adding a Module, Path, or Playlist is as simple as clicking the Add to Lab button.

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Removing content can be done in the same way.

Skill Mapping with MITRE ATT&CK

Each Module has a Skills button next to it that will pull up the Tactics & Techniques showcased in the Module. Each of these is mapped to a MITRE ATT&CK technique.

With this, you can directly map the learning outcomes of each Module against an industry-recognized system of standards, as well as track your team's specific training in an easily reportable way.

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Search and Organize

Under the Modules tab, you can easily filter the list using Module Type, Categorie, Difficulty, and Tier.

For a more in-depth search, you can use the Search Field to find Modules based on their names or specific keywords within the sections. Moreover, the search functionality also supports MITRE ATT&CK techniques or sub-techniques.

The search function will display all instances of the entered words as a Module's title, within the section, or as a MITRE attack.

By utilizing the drop-down, you have the option to include Modules in your Lab by selecting the "ADD TO LAB" button or remove them by choosing "REMOVE."

Pressing the Enter key on your keyboard will result in the search results being displayed on the page as separate cards.


Space Settings

Each Space has a Settings tab that will allow you to set specific configurations for that Space only. Changing the settings of one space do not affect that of another.

You can choose to make the Space private here, meaning it will only be visible to those who are assigned to it. You also have the option to enable writeups for your users.

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Module Walkthroughs

As shown above, one of the settings you can configure is whether or not Walkthroughs are enabled for your users. Each Walkthrough contains step-by-step solutions to each of the Module Sections, as well as the answers to the assessment questions.

Admins can always view the Walkthrough for Modules regardless of whether this setting is enabled.

Viewing a Walkthrough

To view a Walkthrough, navigate to a Module Section and scroll to the bottom. If the Section is Interactive, meaning it has assessment questions for you to answer, there will be Show Solutions button.

Clicking this will pull up the Walkthrough and automatically scroll to the solution for the particular Section you are currently on.

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The first time you try to view a Walkthrough, you will be prompted to agree not to share solutions outside your organization. We consider these solutions to be sensitive intellectual property, and sharing them outside your organization is prohibited, per our Terms of Service.


Certifications

As an administrator, you have the ability to oversee vouchers, examine exam deadlines, and review their current status.

For additional details, please refer to:

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