UAE Prepares to Project Its ‘Sturdy’ Global Cyber Security Presence
UAE Prepares to Project Its ‘Sturdy’ Global Cyber Security Presence

Image: Saj Shafique (unsplash)

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) harbors intentions to broaden its cyber security measures, extending them to governments and businesses worldwide.

Dr Bushra Al Blooshi, the head of research and innovation at the Dubai Electronic Security Centre (DESC), part of Digital Dubai – an agency of the Dubai government responsible for fostering the city’s technological evolution, conveyed this intention. She did this while giving an international keynote presentation titled: “Securing the future: An overview of Dubai’s cyber security landscape and developments in digital skills,” at the ITWeb Security Summit 2023 in Sandton.

In her address, she accentuated Dubai’s cyber security pursuits, the accomplishments thus far, and future trajectories in the domain of cyber security and digital skill endeavours.

The mission of DESC revolves around the digital safeguarding of Dubai, involving securing and protecting information, telecom networks, and information systems. By developing, modifying, and employing necessary tools in cyber security, the centre dedicates itself to assisting all Dubai government entities in adhering to information security.

The center’s efforts primarily consist of arranging cyber attack scenario simulations involving government and private entities and executing cyber security training programs, as stated by Blooshi.

According to the Global Cyber Security Index 2020 report, the UAE positioned itself as the fifth globally in terms of strong cyber security infrastructure. The ranking was made by the International Telecommunication Union.

Drawing upon data from Statista’s Cyber Security Outlook, Blooshi underscored that the worldwide cost of cyber crime in 2022 was estimated to be a staggering $8.4 trillion. Meanwhile, numerous businesses worldwide remain inadequately equipped to handle cyber attacks.

The figures suggest that around 90% of small businesses lack a cyber security strategy, despite the average cost of a data breach in 2022 being $4.35 million.

Negotiations are underway with several European nations to bring UAE’s cyber security initiatives to these regions. Discussions with France are ongoing about extending some of their programs to the country. Moreover, the UAE is receptive to partnering with any other country or company desiring to enhance their employees’ cyber security skills.

Blooshi further elaborated that the DESC has formulated a range of standards and guidelines to assist organizations in enhancing their cyber security and/or cyber resilience, tailored to their unique business requirements.

In 2021, the organization set up its research and knowledge wing, the Dubai Cyber Innovation Park, responsible for fostering specialized cyber competencies and nurturing technological indicators to facilitate the digital economy of the UAE and beyond.

The organization also conducts boot camps, aimed at university graduates or entry-level employees aspiring to a career in cyber security.

The Dubai Cyber Innovation Park aspires to foster a secure cyberspace through innovation and education. Since 2021, it has tutored 1,150 individuals in cyber security skills and is currently grooming another 510 trainees.

The UAE government initiated the Dubai Cyber Index in 2020, as part of its strategy to implement projects and initiatives bolstering the Emirate’s standing as a global innovation, safety, and security leader.

The index supplies real-time data to Dubai’s leadership on crucial initiatives and infrastructure, besides monitoring the comprehensive cyber security performance of government entities, Blooshi clarified.