3rd edition of ‘Cybersecurity Innovation Series’ concludes in Dubai, endorsed by UAE’s Cyber Security Council

DUBAI, 9th September, 2022 (WAM) -- The third edition of the "Cybersecurity Innovation Series" endorsed by the UAE’s Cyber Security Council concluded in Dubai yesterday.

The series focussed on discussing the leading challenges, best practices and effective strategies for enhancing the cybersecurity of organisations and individuals.

Dr. Mohammed Hamad Al Kuwaiti, Head of Cyber Security for the UAE Government, said, "The main goal was to focus on awareness, which is usually the weakest link in many cyber-attacks that are launched from one country to another and are not directed to this country using encryption, deception and the other methods, is the user, making it difficult to reach those responsible for these attacks, and representing a challenge in all electronic crimes."

Sultan Al Owais, Digital Lead Ministry of Cabinet Affairs, gave an opening speech on the topic, "The Economics of Cybersecurity."

His presentation offered a holistic overview of the current scenario in the country, along with current trends, such as the importance of cybersecurity and opportunities in the region. He also discussed the importance of various subjects, such as the opportunity cost of digitalisation, and highlighted the importance of the presence of skilled talents within the country to meet the needs of the economy amidst rising threats.

Ashraf Khalil, Chief Cyber Security Expert at Huawei Middle East, said, "The COVID-19 pandemic increased the pace of utilisation of cloud services and digital transformation, which has led to a rise in cyber-attacks and challenges, placing greater responsibility on us as information security experts working with companies and various social groups to create a safe environment for business."

He then urged all institutions, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, to adopt measures to deal with increasing and expected risks, by raising the efficiency of their protection and monitoring systems, noting that data also showed that it is not advisable to pay any sums of money to hackers or attackers.

"All members of society are targeted by cyber-attacks. Awareness must be taken into consideration, and cyber-training should be made available to all individuals and society as a whole," he added.

"There is an acute shortage of competencies and specialists, and there is a demand for more than three million jobs in the field of cybersecurity, which is an opportunity for job seekers from all disciplines to learn and acquire cybersecurity skills, as their first university degree does not have to specialised, in light of the availability of many programmes that will enable them to get qualified and acquire the information and skills necessary to enter the world of cybersecurity, bearing in mind that this requires a strong desire and commitment while allocating sufficient time for study and excellence," he further added.

Emad Haffar, Head of Technical Experts at Kaspersky, said, "With targeted attacks becoming increasingly sophisticated across all industries, only reacting to an incident is not enough. Enterprises of all sizes should mandate the use of threat intelligence within their cyber defence strategy. Kaspersky Threat Intelligence provides enterprises with superior visibility from east to west. Our regional researchers are currently tracking the activity of more than 29 APT groups actively present in the Middle East region. These groups primarily target government entities and large enterprises, and attaining insights on their operations is a critical step in drafting a resilient cybersecurity strategy."

The event was attended by Lt. Colonel Hamad Khalifa Swuidan Al Nuaimi, Head of the Communications Department at the Information Technology Centre of the Abu Dhabi Police General Headquarters; Adam Docrat, Head of Information Technology at the Aster Group; Sreejith Nair, Director of Information Security at Careem; Shafiullah Ismail, Vice President of Cyber Security and Architecture, Governance and Risks at Mubadala Capital; Imran Sheikh, Chief Technology Officer of Virgin Mobile UAE, and Shahabuddin, Director of IT Infrastructure and Group Security at the International Investment Consortium.

The event’s sessions talked about how developing cloud infrastructure security practices is critical to business, and how proactive threat scanning techniques can help protect against attacks.

The seminars included various topics, including securing the digital future and how networks can deal with attacks, as well as strategies for countering electronic attacks and ways of protecting data, in addition to clarifying the meaning of ransomware and offers advice on strengthening defences against these programmes.

They also included discussions on related challenges and data security and a panel discussion, titled, "The Future of Cyber Security, Challenges and Best Practices," leading to a "360-degree Internet Risk Management Process" to adopt new technologies to improve efficiency.

The forum included working sessions, with the participation of 35 experts in the cybersecurity sector and the attendance of more than 200 people interested in the digital economy. Over 25 sessions, they highlighted the latest innovations and discussed the measures taken by governments and private institutions to repel cyber-attacks, as well as ways of developing information infrastructure and expanding and improving them in the ever-evolving world of the Internet.

As part of the event, the Cybersecurity Innovation Series Awards 2022 were presented to the trendsetters and trailblazers of the year. Dr. Mohamed Al Kuwaiti, Head of the UAE Cybersecurity Council, won in the category of "Cyber-Influencer of the Year;" Huawei won in two categories, which are "Cybersecurity Company of the Year" and "Best Enterprise Security Solution of the Year;" Sultan Al Owais won the "Cyber-Personality of the Year" award; Dr. Fene Osakwe won the "Cybersecurity Youth Mentor 2022" award; Shafiullah Ismail from Mubadala Capital won the "Cybersecurity Deployment of the Year" award, and Inspira bagged an award in the category of "Secure Digital Transformation and Supply Chain."