Before the internet became a widely known concept, the SANS Institute began its mission to research and educate as many IT professionals as possible about protecting networks from malicious activity.
Alan Paller founded SANS Institute in 1989, surrounding himself with talented system security professionals – this was, of course, before anyone could have understood how critical cyber security aptitude would become. The new company committed to the discovery and sharing of security knowledge with those who would use it for the protection of society.
Today, the key to SANS’s success in educating thousands of professionals on cybersecurity standards and tactics each year is its unique faculty and comprehensive course catalog. SANS students benefit directly from SANS instructors’ extensive real-world experience, packaged with effective teaching styles and one goal – to impart knowledge and skill that will protect important data and systems from threats.
The SANS Institute’s courses are regarded as the best cybersecurity training in the world. No other training organization is as trusted or trains as many information security professionals with hands-on immersion style courses. This is because SANS’s #1 priority is to educate and empower those who protect data from cyber attacks, protecting society from those who wish it harm.
Cyber attacks not only pose a threat to society, but also to business. The financial rewards from cyber crime climb every day, and even the smallest breach, repeated many times (by automation, often), can prove profitable. Preventing data loss, data compromise, or denial of access to data, is important to organizations in every industry, at every scale. Commercial enterprises and government organizations alike require training and information they can trust to help them block or respond to attacks.
Without proper preparation and training, the loss of intellectual or confidential material may be the “reputational risk” that keeps a CISO or CEO awake at night, says one of SANS’s certified instructors, Nick Klein. Additionally, “Financially motivated attackers continue to develop their techniques, from […] stealing online banking credentials to clever social engineering attacks such as bank transfer phishing emails, often stealing much larger sums.”
Klein says, “If companies are not continuously improving their cyber security position, they’ve already fallen behind. Executives must develop their understanding […] from their own assessment and testing, not from what they learn in the aftermath of a successful attack against them.”
SANS Institute’s founder and director of research Alan Paller adds, “Having enough money almost never leads to effective security when the skills of the people doing security are insufficient.” In short, throwing money at hardware and tools isn’t the only or necessary solution. The speed at which so-called black-hat hackers move negates the impact of massive investment in an infrastructure, however well-intentioned.
Paller says, alarmingly, “[…] attackers will get through the outer defenses of nearly every organization.”
This is why building an internal team equipped with skills capable of mitigating attacks’ effects is so important. Or, if it’s not possible to build such a team internally, it’s essential to be able to source external suppliers with those skills and the wherewithal to keep those skills up to date.
The value of SANS Institute’s hands-on, lab-based training and real-world testing of skills is its practicality and usefulness in combatting hacking attempts and defending systems. Courses range from the technical (penetration techniques & testing etc.) to the foundational, looking, for instance, at the methods used to target individual employees on- and off-line.
A skilled, confident, and motivated cyber security team is the best proven defense for data and systems, and a consistent training plan from a reputable education provider is what will ensure an organization’s long-term security. SANS Institute’s training, certifications, and hands-on challenges are available in classrooms worldwide, and online anytime, anywhere. Utilize SANS training and resources to keep your team alert and responsive.