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SANS Announces $1 Million Grant to Expand Cyber Security Capacity of Developing Countries "We are All In This Together"

SANS Institute Commits $1 Million for Joint Cyber Defence Program with International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber-Terrorism (IMPACT)

Groundbreaking initiative to expand cyber security capacity of developing countries

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (May 20, 2008) Today at the IMPACT World Cyber Security Summit, SANS Institute Director of Research, Alan Paller announced a major joint initiative to help developing nations build capacity for improved cyber security.

The SANS Institute, a respected Washington, DC-based center that operates the Internet Storm Center and has trained more than 83,000 cyber security experts from 60 countries, has committed $1 million for the new project with the International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber-Terrorism (IMPACT).

IMPACT was officially launched yesterday at the World Cyber Security Summit as the largest public-private partnership on cyber security.

The joint initiative will focus on four key areas to help developing countries build strong cyber defences: Cyber security training, secure application development, improved early warning systems and security news information dissemination.

"Everyone on the Internet is connected; weak security anywhere puts all other users at risk,"" said Alan Paller. "By investing in improving cyber defences and more secure application programming in the developing world, we hope we are helping to improve cyber security everywhere.

The Improved Cyber Defences through Cybersecurity Training and Skills Development program will train teachers to deliver intense, hands-on courses in key cybersecurity skills like forensics, intrusion detection, penetration testing, and more so that regardless of income levels every country can provide world-class training to its cyber defenders.

Responding to the current wave of web application attacks, the Secure Application Development program will support local academic institutions that train each nation's programmers, by developing faculty skills and providing essential tools to enable them to weave secure coding and secure application design into their educational programs to ensure that every application is built securely by well-trained programmers.

SANS landmark Internet Storm Center will enter into a partnership with IMPACT, and through IMPACT with other countries where applicable to empower participating nations to participate fully in the early warning system, gaining early knowledge and providing key information about attacks as they spread around the world.

Lastly, the joint initiative will expand the weekly cybersecurity news to cover developments in and relating to developing nations.

"IMPACT was founded because cyberspace has no national boundaries. By joining with the SANS Institute, we double our effectiveness at combating cyber threats," said Mohd Noor Amin, Chairman of IMPACT. "We are thrilled with the enthusiastic response to IMPACT and believe it points to our critical role in facilitating coordination between developed and developing nations on cyber security issues."

The SANS Institute is the most respected and by far the largest provider of advanced cybersecurity education and certification. SANS' 83,000 alumni operate and manage cybersecurity capabilities in more than 60 countries. In addition to the Internet Storm Center, the open source early warning system for the Internet, it manages the Software Security Institute, which is setting standards for and developing certifications for measuring secure application development skills.

IMPACT, the International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber-Terrorism, is the first global public-private cyber security initiative. IMPACT is dedicated to bringing together governments, industry leaders and cyber security experts to enhance the global community's capacity to prevent and respond to cyber threats. IMPACT's permanent secretariat is headquartered in Cyberjaya, Malaysia. IMPACT's first World Cyber Security Summit attracted the participation of cabinet secretaries, ministers and senior officials from more than 30 countries — making it the largest ministerial-level gathering ever organised on cyber-terrorism.