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CREST signs MoU to help Qatar’s National Cyber Security Agency deliver penetration testing and SOC accreditation programmes

The National Cyber Security Agency (NCSA) in Qatar has signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with CREST to launch accreditation programmes focused on enhancing Penetration Testing providers and Security Operations Centres.

These new programmes will run alongside its existing accreditation programmes for Advisory Services and Audit and together they will form a key pillar of Qatar’s National Cyber Security Strategy. Qatar is hosting the FIFA World Cup in November 2022 and has also been enhancing its cyber resiliency to ensure it is prepared for the increased exposure this global event will bring.

Rowland Johnson, CREST’s President, presented details of CREST’s accreditation programmes at the Qatar Cyber Security Conference in Doha in May where he signed an MoU with Dana Al-Abdulla, the Qatar NCSA’s director of Cyber Governance and Assurance Affairs.

“Qatar takes cyber security very seriously and has implemented a series of initiatives over recent years to grow and enhance its cyber security ecosystem,” said Rowland.

“CREST exists to help increase capability, capacity, and consistency in the cyber security industry. Although the industry has exploded over the last decade, organisations are still compromised and user data is still stolen. CREST has an essential role to play in addressing the asymmetry of information and expectation that exists in the Penetration Testing and Security Operations centre markets between providers and the buying communities. When CREST supports a government, a regulator or a supply chain through accreditation, skills measurement or through operating the scheme, it delivers market intervention that provides measurable quality assurance for the global cyber security industry.”

On 24 May this year the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland the Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP and His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, The Amir of the State of Qatar, met in London and signed a Qatar-UK Strategic Investment Partnership, talking about their ambitions to build strong links between the two countries.  The UK-GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) negotiations for a UK-GCC Free Trade Agreement are due to start this year and will include the cyber security industry. CREST’s work with NCSA will play a part in increasing the collaborative relationship between the nations and benefit the cyber security industry globally.