PGI Opens Advanced Cyber-training Academy in UK

UK risk management firm Protection Group International (PGI) on Monday opened what it is already claiming to be the world’s “most sophisticated” facility for cybersecurity training.

The academy was opened to great fanfare by the minister for modern slavery and organized crime, Karen Bradley, in a bid to showcase the government’s own commitment to improving cybersecurity among public and private sector bodies.

The facility has been designed not only to train information security professionals but also offers courses for executives, regular IT staff and “entire workforces” to boost cyber-readiness throughout an entire organization, PGI said.

Courses available include “Advanced Threat Methodology,” which teaches IT pros how to design networks in a more resilient manner, and “Executive Cyber Awareness” for board level members to better understand the online risks facing their organizations.

PGI’s managing director for cyber is Brian Lord, a former deputy director for intelligence and cyber-operations at spy agency GCHQ.

He told Infosecurity  by email that the firm’s bold claim about the academy being the world’s most sophisticated is borne out by its combination of people and technology.

"The PGI facility is unique due to the combination of the immersive environment that provides up to 40 sandboxed, networked computers on which to use real malware in highly realistic scenarios that replicate students' workplaces, the training staff who are all active practitioners in the field, and the wide range of tailored courses to suit the range of needs in the market," he said.

Lord added that PGI has already signed up “students” from a wide range of industries.

“The key to understanding the cyber-threat is that every industry is at risk, though often in different ways,” he said. “Our approach is tailored to ensure that people attending our courses are going to learn what's relevant to them."

Government minister Bradley, meanwhile, singled out the new facility as “a major step forward” in the ongoing arms race with cyber-criminals.

“It is an excellent example of how British know-how and capability can help governments and businesses around the world protect themselves in cyberspace,” she added in a statement.

In fact, PGI is currently working with foreign governments and international partners to take the academy model overseas.

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