Gulf Information Security Expo & Conference (GISEC) 2022, Dubai

Lieutenant General Abdullah Khalifa Al Merri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, opened GISEC GLOBAL 2022, The most influential cybersecurity event in Dubai, which brought together more than 300 cybersecurity companies at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). Over 300 cybersecurity companies participate in GISEC Global 2022. The Emirates’ partnerships with global technology companies has helped spread this vision overseas and top cyber agencies will continue efforts to build a “cyber security coalition”, Mohammed Al Kuwaiti said at the Gulf Information Security Expo and Conference in Dubai.

The plan is to export the UAE’s cyber security model. Our goal is to spread cyber security culture inside-outside. Stakeholders security is our security; the more secure they are, the more secure we are,” Mr Al Kuwaiti said.

The Cyber attacks do not know borders or geographical areas. This is the importance of actually working with international partners and leveraging that relationship at private and government levels is an important thing for us.”

The UAE has invested heavily in building its cyber security infrastructure to protect the integrity of its government and economic systems even as the country pursues its digital economy ambitions.

Several initiatives and public-private partnerships have been signed to support these efforts. In January, Abu Dhabi Digital Authority teamed up with the UAE’s biggest telecom operator Etisalat Group — now known as e& and security software company Trend Micro to launch a programme aimed at strengthening the cyber security capabilities of government entities in the emirate.

The Central Bank of the UAE established a new Networking and Cyber Security Operations Centre to help defend the financial system’s IT infrastructure against cyber attacks

Corporate users were the prime target of financial malware attacks in the UAE during the first half of 2021, according to a study by Kaspersky. In the same period, ransomware attacks surged 151 per cent globally, the World Economic Forum said.

Mr Al Kuwaiti stressed that the world was facing a “cyber pandemic”, a term he previously used in November, saying that with remote work and online learning set to continue for a long time, there will always be threats, requiring organisations and individuals to remain vigilant.

The global challenge remains and Cyber attacks have been “breaking down boundaries” and are affecting the lives of more than 4.5 billion people around the world, Stephen Kavanagh, executive director of police services at Interpol, said at Gisec.

“It’s not a surprise that Covid-19 showed the ability of criminals to adapt quickly online,” he said. This needs to be countered in an equally paced way, “through models of cyber security co-operation in ways we haven’t seen,” he said.

“It is unrealistic to think law enforcement can recruit and retain the best brains, so that is where they turn to the private sector.”

The massive number of devices connected to the internet today, and the many more in the future, also pose huge opportunities for cyber criminals, forcing businesses to reassess their priorities to prevent large attacks, said MK Palmore, former head of the FBI’s San Francisco cyber security investigative branch.

“By 2025, 42 billion devices will be connected to the internet. This is a huge expanded digital surface area to protect. 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 number one issue for organisations,” he said.

Speaking to Dr Zakir Hussain President of Cyberspace council mentioned that, The pace digital transformation is happening across the globe, We are just seeing small piece of Cyber Risk and Attacks. If we are not going to address digital risk on time, These attacks are going to transform and make world vulnerable. We see sophisticated bad actress but at the same time we have hard time to find good talent to safe guard with cyber criminals. That’s the critical challenge for all of us.

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