SANS Institute to conduct first cyber training event in KSA

by Pippa Sanderson   4 April, 2017
SANS Institute to conduct first cyber training event in KSA

Erik Van Buggenhout, Certified Instructor at SANS Institute.

From 6-11 May, the SANS Institute is hosting instructor-led classroom training in Riyadh to arm organisations with the knowledge and skills needed to prevent and mitigate against the impact of cyber attack. Each of the four courses at SANS Riyadh will prepare students to take the associated globally renowned GIAC certification exams.

The growing importance of cybersecurity in Saudi Arabia was highlighted at the very start of this year when an estimated 10 high-profile government and private-sector enterprises were targeted by the destructive Shamoon 2 malware.

SANS Riyadh 2017 will feature four courses, covering cybersecurity essentials as well as in-depth hands-on training on the key topics of network forensics and analytics, hacker tools and techniques, and penetration testing and ethical hacking. “Cyber security is a hot topic in Saudi Arabia as the country has been at the epicentre of multiple large-scale politically and financially motivated attacks,” explained Ned Baltagi, Managing Director, Middle East & Africa at SANS. “Now for the first time, organisations in the kingdom will be able to undertake our expertly led world-class cybersecurity courses at a SANS training event. We have specifically designed the training to tackle real-world scenarios, so attendees will be prepared to handle the complex cyber challenges that have plagued the country in recent years.”

With the rise in advanced persistent threats, it is almost inevitable that organisations will be targeted. SEC401: Security Essentials Bootcamp Style will teach attendees how to develop effective security metrics, analyse and assess cyber risks, and create robust security programmes anchored on the tried and tested PREVENT-DETECT-RESPOND strategy.

As human behaviour is a key element in both the manner in which attacks are carried out and their success rate, SANS has included the courses SEC560: Network Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking and SEC504: Hacker Tools, Techniques, Exploits and Incident Handling to address the various challenges associated with this factor. SEC560 will teach attendees to uncover and remedy flaws in their organisation’s IT infrastructure, while SEC504 will familiarise students with the tools and techniques that hackers commonly leverage to carry out their attacks.

Finally, as no security systems can today offer a 100 per cent safety guarantee, FOR572: Advanced Network Forensics and Analysis will provide attendees with the critical skills needed to mount efficient and effective post-incident response investigations. Armed with this, they will be able to handle intrusion incidents, data theft cases and employee misuse scenarios, and also engage in proactive adversary discovery, all of which are essential to pinpointing and addressing the cause of the attack.

The instructors for the courses include Philip Hagen, who has worked in IT security since 1998; Hidayath Ullah Khan, who holds CISSP, GCIH, GPEN, GSEC, GHD certifications and has more than 20 years’ experience in Information Security; Steve Armstrong, whose distinguished 23+ career includes serving in the UK Royal Air Force; and Erik Van Buggenhout who, in addition to being an instructor at SANS, is also the head of technical security services at nViso.

“SANS is delighted to bring this unique combination of cyber security training to Riyadh,” said Van Buggenhout. He continued: “From our vast catalogue of cybersecurity training, we selected courses ranging from Security Essentials to Incident Handling, Penetration Testing and Digital Forensics. I would personally like to invite attendees to my Penetration Testing course, where I will explain in-depth hacking concepts and techniques and share my experiences from nine years in the field as a penetration tester! Don’t miss it!”

SANS has already begun enrolment for the four courses and attendees can visit www.sans.org/event/riyadh-2017 for all necessary information and for registration.


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