How SANS cybersecurity training helped Kuwaiti learner land his dream job

Dedication to life-long cybersecurity training, powered by SANS, has led Kuwaiti Ali AlEnzi to a fulfilling career at one of the country’s most prominent agencies

AlEnzi: SANS isn’t training, it’s an investment.
AlEnzi: SANS isn’t training, it’s an investment.

A bachelor’s degree from Gulf University for Science & Technology (GUST University) in Kuwait, two Masters degrees from Kuwait University and numerous courses with SANS, has steered AlEnzi to the Senior Network/Security Infrastructure Supervisor position at Kuwait Aviation Services.

AlEnzi has so far completed five SANS courses already, with two certificates already obtained (GPEN and GWEB) and another three exams pending. He plans to have all five certifications by the end of 2020. “I’ve learned the steps of attacking, terminology and how to build reports for penetration testing. With SANS training and certification, I can now go through pen test reports, as well as spearhead incident handling in case of an attack,” said AlEnzi. 

Kuwait Aviation Services’ approach towards cybersecurity has shifted dramatically in the time AlEnzi has worked there, with training and awareness a major focus area for the agency. “Kuwait Aviation Services has come to understand the value of the skills staff can gain from SANS training and is moving towards running company-wide training with SANS.

Promotions will be conferred based on the pursuit of this training,” he said. The cybersecurity field is constantly shifting; changing and keeping up with the evolving cyber threats drives AlEnzi desire for continuous learning. “I try to stay ahead of the game by utilising all the resources on the SANS website, and within the SANS community. I’m continuously listening to podcasts, keeping an eye on RSS feeds, and staying in the loop on the SANS Twitter page. I also have a flash drive with a load of audiobooks on the industries’ trending topics, which is great for when I’m commuting.

“The way I see it, SANS isn’t training, it’s an investment. It’s investing in yourself,” he added.

SUPPORT

Support from SANS is reassuring. “Whenever I post anything on social media, SANS experts always respond, which makes me feel valued. Without their constant mentoring, morale-boosting, exceptional training, and the website resources of course, I wouldn’t have found myself in current position,” he added.

As part of the SANS community, AlEnzi has formed a group within the Alumni, made up of professionals from various fields. “We all communicate on Slack and WhatsApp, sharing feedback, the knowledge we’ve learned in training, recommended courses, current issues in the field, and information on attacks. We help each other to improve and identify what skills are required,” he said.

THE FUTURE

The next target in AlEnzi’s SANS training journey is reverse engineering. “I’ve enjoyed reading through the code and found the free 60-minute demo for SANS reverse malware, FOR610 course fun and engaging”.

AlEnzi has taken the following SANS courses: SEC504: Hacker Tools, Techniques, Exploits, and Incident Handling SEC560: Network Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking SEC542: Web App Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking DEV522: Defending Web Applications Security Essentials SEC566: Implementing and Auditing the Critical Security Controls - InDepth He has passed GPEN, GWEB and has registered for GCCC and is planning to sit for GWAPT, GCIH.

For more information on SANS training head to their website: http://www.sans.org/ME-SANS-Training

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