Cyber defence training for Afghan professionals

  • 21 May. 2012 - 01 Jun. 2012
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  • Last updated: 01 Jun. 2012 15:52

A training in cyber defence was organised at the Informatics Institute of the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara, Turkey from 21 May to 1 June. The training, funded by the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme, demonstrates NATO's long-term commitment to Afghanistan during the transition phase and beyond.

Prof. Nazife Baykal, Director of the METU Informatics Institute in Ankara and of the Advanced Training Course (ATC)

The cyber defence training has been developed in close cooperation between NATO and Georgia. This is the first time that NATO and a partner nation have jointly created such a cyber defence course. Georgia's participation is part of its continuing contribution to NATO’s mission in Afghanistan.

This training, which is called "Practical training session in cyber defence for Afghan system and network administrators", had two main objectives: creating an institutional capability and increasing public awareness of cyber threats and the possible protective measures.

The training was aimed at network and system administrators in Afghanistan who already have some knowledge or experience of system network administration, information technology and information security. The activity was supported by Microsoft and Cisco, with course material provided free of charge. The 10-day training course included cyber security awareness, best practices, and threat identification and response.

In addition to the lectures, there have been conducted laboratory sessions during which students have been able to experiment with responding to attacks and employing defensive measures studied during the course. They have also learned some principles of cryptography, as well as basic security services and protocols. This course has pave the way for a more advanced programme on information system security, which may be offered in the near future.

The students have returned to Afghanistan with acquired skills enabling them to protect their networks and systems against several types of cyber attacks.