Experts call for cybersecurity readiness culture


Cybersecurity experts on Monday underlined the need to accelerate the efforts to build ‘Cybersecurity readiness’ culture to prevent large-scale cyber-attacks on key institutions.

While addressing the 10th edition of Gulf Information Security Expoand Conference (Gisec) Global, the industry leaders said to private sector and government collaboration is a must to evolve an effective strategy to combat cybercrime across the globe.

They also uncovered the latest cybersecurity trends and discussed ever-increasing digital challenges to chalk-out future plan to prevent cyberattacks and cybercrime.

Dr Mohamed Al Kuwaiti, head of Cyber Security, UAE Government, discussed the shared responsibility required to tackle the volatility of cyberspace and how collaboration is essential to successfully protecting against global cybercrime.

“If we look at the current landscape, awareness and collaboration are key to building a culture of cybersecurity readiness. We need to innovate and work towards building the next generation of cyber security professionals. The UAE Cybersecurity Council has a timeline and the plan is to export the UAE’s cybersecurity model across the region,” Al Kuwaiti said.

Analysing cybersecurity issues

Gisec Global 2022, which is organised in close partnership with the UAE’s most influential cyber entities, will be featuring 200 renowned industry speakers analysing the most pressing cybersecurity issues. The UAE Cyber Security Council, Dubai Electronic Security Centre, Dubai Police, Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority will curate and prioritise the region’s strategic cybersecurity agendas.

“As the world starts to recover from the pandemic, big industry – education, healthcare, oil and gas, aviation, etc. – is going through rapid digital transformation. Their security is our security, and the more they are secure, the more we are secure. Cyber-attacks aren’t bound by borders, so neither should be our approach to private sector and government collaboration,” Al Kuwaiti said.

That collaboration can be epitomised by the UAE Cyber Security Council’s National Bug Bounty Programme, where 100 ethical hackers will work in real-time at Gisec Global to hack, identify, and solve software flaws discovered across different scenarios and mainframes – including electric cars, mobile phones, and drones.

Sayed Hashish, general manager, Microsoft UAE, said the growing sophistication of threats is driving widespread change for cybersecurity professionals, enterprises, and governments.

“Cybersecurity experts must work together as a community and share expertise, research, and insights,” he said.

Jiawei Liu, CEO of Huawei UAE, cybersecurity is an integral part of all “our products and solutions”, right from the conceptualization stage.

At Gisec 2022, Huawei is looking forward to connecting with the regional business leaders from all industries and sectors and showcasing our wide range of secure digital transformation solutions and strategies that can help them better protect and defend themselves,” Liu said.

Public, private sector collaboration

Stephen Kavanagh, executive director of Police Services at Interpol, discussed how the public and private sectors must play collaborative roles in the response to cybercrime.

“Today, we find ourselves in a new world,” said Kavanagh, former chief constable of Essex Police in the United Kingdom.

“We need a clear vision where all parties work together. Interpol is increasingly bringing data and expertise from the private sector to assist law enforcement. It is unrealistic to think law enforcement can recruit and retain the best brains, so that is where they turn to the private sector,” he said.

MK Palmore, former head of the FBI’s San Francisco Cybersecurity Investigative Branch, outlined how global development is forcing businesses to reassess their priorities to prevent large-scale cyber-attacks.

“By 2025, 42 billion devices will be connected to the internet. This is a huge expanded digital surface area to protect, so offers huge opportunities for cyber criminals. It is no surprise then that, from an infrastructure and security standpoint, our reliance on digital services as we look to maintain society and business operations has become the No1 issue for organisations,” Palmore said.

Dubai Police chief opens Gisec Global 2022

Earlier, Lieutenant-General Abdullah Khalifa Obaid Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, on Monday opened the Gisec Global 2022 at Dubai World Trade Centre.

Al Marri toured the three-day event accompanied by Dr Mohamed Al Kuwaiti and Hamad Al Mansoori, director-general, Dubai Digital.

With more than 300 global cybersecurity brands showcasing cutting-edge technologies, Gisec Global 2022 is hosting leading international and regional innovators such as Huawei, Spire Solutions, Microsoft and Etisalat on how to tackle increasing threats resulting from a rise in remote working and rapidly accelerated digitalisation.

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