The Public Authority for Privatisation & Partnership (PAPP) has signed a Tawazun Oman Project agreement with Thales to deliver advanced Cyber Range solutions and training at the country’s Advanced Cybersecurity Academy (ACA).
The signing of the agreement was held under the patronage of H.E. Sheikh. Abdullah Nasser Al Bakri, Minister of Manpower and attended by H.E. Dr. Ali bin Masoud Al-Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Authority, and H.E. the Ambassador of the Republic of France to the Sultanate.
The agreement was signed by Dr. Dhafir bin Awadh Al Shanfari, PAPP CEO and Mr. Pierre Jeanne, Vice President of Thales Group for Cybersecurity Technologies and Solutions.
The Advanced Cybersecurity Academy aims to train and qualify national cadres with high professional skills in accordance with the recognized professional standards at the level of the global training institutions and the cybersecurity organizations, as well as providing support to various governmental departments and the private sector, with specialized skills and expertise to deal with any cyber-attacks or electronic piracy to reduce the risks of electronic threats. Moreover, the Academy is equipped with the most advanced means and techniques.
As part of its offset (Tawazun Oman) obligations in the country, Thales will provide Cyber Range Platforms (sophisticated cybersecurity training and testing facility) to the Advanced Cybersecurity Academy in addition to a complete cyber training program – from basic to expert level – led by Thales cyber experts who will be based in Oman for two years, and train 16 Omani trainers at the Academy.
Thales will leverage its expertise to develop five comprehensive cyber curricula for the Academy. The group will also grant a Licence to the Academy to perform the five cyber curricula in country. All course materials will be provided, including scenarios and topologies to develop strong cyber security skills which will include professionals from a range of sectors in Oman.
Thales will provide Cyber Range Platforms, developed and powered by its partner DIATEAM, which will include their advanced training tools for the Academy. Trainees will learn how to protect and defend their networks against cyber-attacks with the Cyber Range Platforms, virtualizing all possible scenarios and solutions. The program will be implemented with the support of Thales experts whose mission is to enable the Academy’s trainers to deliver the courses autonomously.
Dr. Dhafir Awadh Al Shanfari, CEO, Public Authority for Privatisation and Partnership welcomed the signing of the agreement which achieves one of the Tawazun Oman program objectives to create new investment partnerships with the world's leading companies.
“The Advanced Cybersecurity Academy is one of our key projects under the Tawazun Oman Program that is in line with Oman’s vision. This is a significant step forward for the enhancement of the Sultanate’s security capabilities. Through our international strategic partner, Thales, we have a partner with deep knowledge and proven capabilities in cyber security, which will benefit Omani professionals throughthe bespoke Cyber Range and training solutions offered at the Academy,” he said.
Oman already ranks third in the world, next only to USA and Canada, in cyber-attack readiness according to the Global Cybersecurity Index. The country also ranked second in the Middle East, as per the latest International Telecommunications Union Global Cybersecurity Index, for protecting its national infrastructure.
The Public Authority for Privatisation & Partnership (PAPP) was established pursuant to the promulgation of Royal Decree 54/2019 to manage and administer the Tawazun Oman Programme (PFD Previously), Privatisation Law and Public-Private Partnership Law.
PAPP aims to contribute to the development of Oman’s economy, enhancement of the local added value and the diversification of the sources of income, encourage partnerships between the public and private sectors, and contribute to the capacity building of Omani citizens and the development of the capital market.