SANS Institute, a global leader in cybersecurity training and certifications, is hosting its first live training event in Cardiff from September 30 to October 5, 2019.
The move recognises what has been a well-kept secret for several years – Wales has a thriving cyber ecosystem, with large companies like Airbus, Thales, BT, AML and General Dynamics, and indeed SANS itself, choosing to locate either its European headquarters or significant cyber operations in and around South Wales.
A number of cyber-focused military units are also based in Wales and the area around Newport is home to large government organisations such as Companies House, the Passport office and the Office for National Statistics, with the DVLA further West in Swansea, all of which process vast quantities of UK citizens’ data and have a high level of responsibility to keep that data safe.
The recent launch of Airbus’ new state-of-the-art cyber innovation hub, in Newport and Thales’ new National Digital Exploitation Centre in the Valleys have both further highlighted Wales’ cybersecurity prominence and reputation for cyber excellence.
And there is a strong academic focus in South Wales on cybersecurity, with Cardiff and Swansea universities and the University of South Wales boasting significant cybersecurity teaching functions and centres for excellence.
Cyber Wales is the largest cybersecurity cluster of its kind in the UK and the South Wales cluster has members from more than 400 companies with a cybersecurity focus from the area. These range from big organisations like Airbus to the many cybersecurity-focused SMEs that have grown up in South Wales. It also includes, among its members, representation from Welsh Government, universities, military and police.
Stephen Jones, SANS MD for the UK and Nordics, said: “All of this cyberactivity in South Wales means that there is a significant need to develop cybertalent in the region and keep current the skills of those already working in the cyber industry in Wales.
“It’s a perfect time for us to launch SANS Cardiff, which will enable security professionals in the region to further develop their skills and knowledge, extending South Wales’ cyberthreat capabilities.”
John Davies, Co-founder and Chair of Cyber Wales, added: “Cyber Wales is underpinning Wales’ mission to be recognised on the global stage for creating and adopting solutions to significant cyber security challenges, ensuring a flourishing cyber ecosystem. We therefore welcome the move by SANS to support the local economy and extend its world-renowned training to Wales.”
Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, added: “The world is changing rapidly and skills in cybersecurity will be vital for any organisation to consider itself fit for the future. Public bodies in Wales now have duties under the Future Generations Act to ensure that they are planning for the long term.
“Ensuring their own workforce is well equipped with the right skills for the future will be a key part of this, as well as recognising the opportunities to the wider economy that could be achieved by developing the capacity of Wales as a nation to meet the demand for these skills.”
The three courses running at SANS Cardiff are: