February 16, 2022


Aggies helping Aggies. For Texas A&M University and Texas A&M University at Qatar, that means watching each other’s backs from across the globe — 24 hours a day.

Since Qatar is nine hours ahead of Texas, security technicians in the Arabian country are beginning their day as College Station staff members are retiring for the evening. The reverse is true as each day comes to an end in Qatar. This makes the universities perfect for a “follow the sun” service model, which allows full, around-the-clock protection for both locations without placing an extra burden on one site.

Associate Director of Security Operations Chris Wiley explained that security analysts at the Qatar branch are receiving full training and access to the security tools and processes used by the main campus. This will allow them to closely monitor the College Station campus after hours. A comprehensive set of communication protocols are also being developed so incident response logs are thoroughly shared.

“Bad guys don’t take off after 5 p.m. no matter where it is,” Wiley said. “So we will always be able to keep an eye on each other through this bidirectional system. This will allow us to detect and remediate an intrusion before they become major issues.”

Wiley explained that rapid detection is important, as Texas A&M thwarted 74 billion cyber attacks in January 2022 alone. This includes blocked emails and inbound firewall attempts.

“This is increasing Qatar’s knowledge base of security and incident response a great deal,” he said. “This will help us all find the bad guys more quickly and thwart their attempts before they can get a foothold.”