UAE ready to counter cyber threats, official says
Head of Cyber Security highlights role played by individuals in defending cyberspace at IGCF
The UAE must deal with ever-evolving cyber threats with the same proactive approach that saw the country turn the corner against the Covid pandemic, a leading cybersecurity official has said.
Dr Mohamed Hamad Al Kuwaiti, Head of Cyber Security for the Government of the UAE, “In the last year, our Covid-19 measures have been very successful and made us a world leader in controlling the spread of the pandemic. We want to transfer those same standards to cybersecurity measures, establishing strategies and departments in each emirate to deal with potential attacks on the state, organisations, and individuals,” he said on the second day of the 10th International Government Communication Forum (IGCF).
He stressed on the role played by individuals in defending cyberspace, while highlighting the dangers posed by security violations to individuals and entities.
Dr Al Kuwaiti, said the UAE has been focusing on cyber threats for years now and this has seen the country rank 33rd in the global cybersecurity index, thanks to its effective national incident response plan. He said that in recent years, the country has also witnessed a decrease in cyber-attacks on government and personal entities.
“Today, wars are being fought at a ‘soft level’, with social media platforms being used to spread opinions, extremism and conflicts. The UAE has been highly active in coping with this development, moving seamlessly to e-governance and smart government activities,” Al Kuwaiti added.
The expert highlighted examples of cyberattacks that impacted government and private entities and even led to ransomware locking up systems. Classifying cyber threats under cyber security, cyber wars and cyber terrorism, Dr Al Kuwaiti pointed out that while the UAE has the necessary expertise to ensure a safe online environment, cyber-crimes are rapidly evolving in nature with the use of AI, deepfakes and rampant identity thefts.
Many sessions on online and cyber security awareness and the role played by Gen Z in futureproofing the world were also held on the second day of the event.
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