Winner: SANS Institute for SANS Training
The SANS Institute is the leading organization in information security training and is known for providing intensive, immersion training designed to help students master the practical steps necessary for defending systems and networks. The SANS Institute's mission is to teach practical knowledge and hands-on skills that can be applied to real-world, everyday scenarios. At the heart of SANS are the many security practitioners in government agencies, corporations and universities around the world who invest hundreds of hours each year in research and instruction to help the entire information security community.
SANS courses are hands-on and full of technical exercises versus theory-based lectures. Students will be able to apply the knowledge they learned in class immediately on returning to the office. All courses are developed by administrators, security managers and information security professionals who are real-world practitioners in the field applying these best-case practices everyday.
More than 15,000 students a year attend SANS information security training. Diverse course offerings and expert instructors offer a unique learning experience and deliver true technical skills that students can use every day in their jobs. SANS courses are continually updated so content is current and includes active exploits. Students who train with SANS return for further training and recommend courses to their co-workers and friends.
In addition to top-notch training, SANS offers certification via the ANSI-accredited Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC), a security certification program, as well as numerous free security resources.
The GIAC validates the real-world skills of IT security professionals. GIAC's purpose is to provide assurance that a certified individual has practical security awareness, knowledge and skills in key areas of computer security, network security and software security. GIAC offers certifications for more than 20 job-specific responsibilities that reflect the current practice of information security.
GIAC certification is held in high regard because it measures specific knowledge areas instead of general purpose information security knowledge. Additionally, once certified, a certificant can strengthen their skills set at the higher levels of gold and expert status.