Visionary_Corporate_Leadership-SANS-Institute-Ned-Baltagi for web
Ned Baltagi

Explain how unique SANS’ value proposition is while elaborating on its service portfolio.

As one of the most trusted and, currently, the largest provider of cybersecurity training worldwide, it is SANS’ ongoing mission to educate and empower individuals with the practical skills and knowledge necessary to make our world a safer place.

Our renowned instructors – all active cybersecurity practitioners – teach more than 60 courses at global in-person and virtual cybersecurity events. GIAC, an affiliate of the SANS Institute, validates practitioner skills through more than 35 hands-on technical certifications in cybersecurity. Moreover, the SANS Technology Institute offers master’s and bachelor’s degrees, and graduate certifications, in cybersecurity.

SANS Security Awareness provides organisations with a complete and comprehensive security awareness solution that teaches them to manage their “human” cybersecurity risks with ease. SANS also delivers a multitude of free resources to the InfoSec community, including webcasts, podcasts, newsletters, consensus projects, and research reports, and operates the Internet Storm Center, the Internet’s early warning system.

Our data, research, and interactive methods ensure that individuals and organisations, small and large, have the actionable education and support they need – be it through training courses, webinars, networking events, and more.

How is SANS skilling cybersecurity professionals for jobs of the future?

A fascinating and dynamic field, cybersecurity is vital at a time when both the threat landscape and the number of malicious actors are expanding during an increasing worldwide talent gap. Due to the shortage of skilled personnel available on the job market, it is challenging for organisations to find the right talent to fill these roles.

Our SANS Foundations course can bridge this gap by exposing students to requisite cybersecurity principles, shaping the beginning of their IT education and career. SANS Foundations offers core IT and computer knowledge and abilities integral to a future career in cybersecurity. It teaches students a broad array of fundamental knowledge in computer hardware, networking, Linux, operating systems, data storage, and much more. The skills gained apply to everyone in an IT, computing, or security role.

Alternatively, our Cyber Immersion Academies support organisations in discovering internal cybersecurity talent within their existing employees by retraining and upskilling them.

Since the world started moving towards digital platforms, phishing and data security threats have been a constant for corporate bodies. How are SANS’ simulation training programmes providing professionals with the skillsets to counter these threats?

Today, because we are more digitally connected than ever, phishing is a primary attack method used by cybercriminals. An essential and effective way organisations can promote action towards this threat is to include phishing simulation in their cyber security awareness training.

As part of our SANS Security Awareness training curriculum, we offer Phishing Awareness Simulation Training. The SANS Phishing Platform allows organisations to control every aspect of their phishing awareness program with pre-configured or customisable phishing tests, just-in-time training, and automated remedial courses. It enables professionals to discover and flag risk areas, communicate how the organisation should handle phishing, and promotes safe email practices.

As a corporate leader and visionary in the cybersecurity space, how do you envisage the sector expanding and the role SANS will play in this growth story?

Not one day is the same in cybersecurity; each day brings new developments, patches, and threats. Therefore, it is crucial for professionals in this industry to continuously learn, train and improve themselves in addressing these risks. Cybersecurity will remain one of the most relevant professions of all time as rapid digitalisation and, therefore, cybercrime evolves. However, there is a wide skills gap and a shortage of talent.

A robust cybersecurity posture is required across industries; this is where SANS comes in. SANS’ mission is to address the problem by encouraging young people to become a part of this evolving industry and motivating existing professionals to boost their current skills and knowledge to keep in line with the sector’s demands.