Saudi to train 800 cyber security specialists

The kingdom is looking to expand its cyber defence capabilities



Saudi Arabia’s National Cyber Security Authority has announced plans to train 800 specialists under the first year of a programme to improve its cyber defences

The initiative comes after an agreement between the authority and Ministry of education in June to fund cyber security degrees for 1,000 students over five years.

Read: Saudi to offer 1,000 cyber security scholarships

The Cybersecurity Training Initiative aims to raise the efficiency of government employees already working in cyber security and prepare students who have recently graduates in related disciplines for cyber security roles.

International companies will offer a mxi theoretical and practical content across three levels.

Foundation level training will include a four-week programme on operating systems, computer networks and security basics.

Intermediate training will span four-weeks on ethical penetration and protection of networks and systems.

While a third level will cover advanced and specialised areas, including penetration testing, incident response, cyber security and operations over two weeks.

Trainees will be selected in coordination with government agencies and universities based on assessment tests in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam.

The National Cyber Security Authority was established last November following a series of high profile attacks on the kingdom.

Read: Saudi establishes cyber security authority

In January 2017, authorities issued warnings relating to a new variant of the Shamoon virus that crippled the systems of oil giant Saudi Aramco in 2012 in one of the most damaging cyber attacks ever recorded.

Read: Saudi warns on cyber defence as Shamoon virus resurfaces

Organisations affected by the January attack included the labour ministry, which was unable to renew or transfer residence permits weeks later, according to reports.

Read: Saudi labour ministry still crippled by Jan cyber attack