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SANS Institute unveils training programme to narrow cybersecurity skills gap in GCC region

SANS Institute unveils training programme to narrow cybersecurity skills gap in GCC region

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SANS largest regional training event has been is designed to empower and equip professionals with specific skills and expertise required to advance in the current cybersecurity landscape.

SANS Institute, the global leader in cybersecurity training and certifications, has announced its upcoming online and in-person training programme, “SANS Gulf Region 2021”, to be hosted from November 6th to 25th 2021. The interactive event, led by industry experts, aims to build practical skills that participants can put into immediate effect. The programme includes nine courses covering an extensive and immersive range of cybersecurity tactics. From standardised foundational skills, detecting and responding to threats, assessing deficiencies in an organisation’s security architectures, to conducting successful penetration testing and ethical hacking projects, SANS Gulf Region 2021 offers a comprehensive training experience.

“Synchronous with the acceleration in remote work due to the pandemic, the cyberthreat landscape is rapidly evolving in the GCC region. Consequently, the need for relevant and updated security increases as cybercriminals take advantage of this ongoing shift to execute attacks on vulnerable networks. By participating in and implementing learnings from regular training programmes like SANS Gulf Region 2021, organisations will be better prepared to detect and prevent security breaches, even before they can escalate and disrupt workflow,” said Ned Baltagi, Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, SANS Institute.

In the latest threat intelligence report, released in August 2021 by Check Point Software Technologies Ltd, a provider of cybersecurity solutions globally, it was revealed that organisations in the UAE alone have experienced at least one intrusion and on average, been targeted for attack 295 times per week in the last six months. This can be largely attributed to the cybersecurity skills gap in their workforces.

SANS Institute said the pandemic has generated a significant and relentless digitalisation of the corporate world in the GCC region and therefore, it is crucial that this gap is effectively addressed, for businesses to successfully navigate further digital transformation.

“Reskilling and upskilling employees will not only bridge the skills gap, but also go a long way in ensuring that businesses are safe from irrecoverable losses of data, repair time and financial damage. SANS is committed to boosting the level of cybersecurity skills and the number of skilled and certified professions in the region, through our live online courses and in-person training programmes in 2021 and coming up in 2022,” added Baltagi.

The programme will offer practical training taught virtually by renowned cyber security practitioners, through live-streamed sessions. It will feature hands-on labs, supported by content from electronic and printed books, including several that align with GIAC certifications.

SANS Gulf Region 2021 will have classes taught in SANS’ unique in-person live-stream (IPLS) setting. This training modality allows for participants to come to the training venue and train in a classroom with live support from professional teaching assistants, in compliance with global and local COVID regulations and World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.

In-person live stream comes in two different formats – In-person live-stream dedicated classroom and In-person live-stream study hall setting. Most of the courses for this event are set to take place in a dedicated classroom format, in which like-minded participants can engage face-to-face to discuss case studies, lessons learned or explore new tools and innovative strategies. The course instructor will not be physically present, but live streamed to the classroom.

“In-person live-stream also shows the flexibility SANS has demonstrated throughout the pandemic. Whilst we offer in-person training as well as complete online training, in-person live-stream aims to offer the best of both worlds by allowing students to interact together and study in a dedicated and quiet space, without the distractions from their home environment and with direct access to our world-class instructors as well as certified and knowledgeable teaching assistants,” he explained.

The instructors for the courses for the upcoming Gulf Region 2021 online event are Moses Frost for SEC588: Cloud Penetration Testing; Ovie Carroll for FOR500: Windows Forensic Analysis; Joshua Wright for SEC504: Hacker Tools, Techniques, Exploits and Incident Handling; Bryan Simon for SEC401: Security Essentials: Network, Endpoint and Cloud; Mike Pilkington for FOR508: Advanced Incident Response, Threat Hunting and Digital Forensics; Tim Medin for SEC560: Network Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking; Justin Searle for ICS410: ICS/SCADA Security Essentials; Eric Conrad for SEC511: Continuous Monitoring and Security Operations and Robert M. Lee for ICS515: ICS Visibility, Detection, and Response.

By participating in SANS Gulf Region 2021, organisations will be better prepared with a course of action to overcome even the most complex attacks, while benefiting from relevant and updated resources to protect their businesses.

Majority of the in-person live-stream and simultaneous live online classes begin at 10am and end at 6pm, Gulf Standard Time, except for the SEC401 and SEC511 courses which will begin at 10am and conclude at 8pm, Gulf Standard Time.

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