Cyber Security Strategies in UAE

Vimal Ramachandran, Director

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UAE, a highly advanced digital economy, has been at the forefront of embracing technologies, be it block-chain, artificial intelligence or cloud. With the advancement in technologies, the question of security arises. To provide a shield to prevent attacks, a national cyber-security strategy is a must.

The UAE National Cyber-security Strategy was launched recently by The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), that aims towards a safe cyber infrastructure. According to H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, TRA Director General, “The cyber-security strategy is based on a well-known reality, that cyberspace provides vast horizons and endless opportunities for well-being, happiness and sustainable development. However, it also provides a gateway for hackers and phishers. It is obvious that the battle between the two sides is a battle of knowledge and technology, a battle of intelligence, perseverance and patience. Yet, in essence, it is a manifestation of the eternal conflict between good and evil.”

The increase in the number of cyber-attacks across the globe, that results in losing data, money and reputation, has compelled the government to develop the strategy.  The strategy is based on 5 pillars and 60 initiatives, that intends to mobilize the whole cyber-security ecosystem in the UAE.

Pillars and goals of the strategy

  • Implement a framework that will include all types of cyber crimes
  • Protect the current and developing technologies
  • Secure SMEs against most common cyber threats
  • Enabling a vibrant cyber security ecosystem by:
    • Tapping into the opportunity of AED 1.8 billion cyber-security market in the UAE and the AED 18 billion cyber-security market in MENA
    • Enhancing the talents of more than 40,000 cyber-security professionals, motivating professionals and students to opt for a career in cyber-security, developing cyber-security abilities and nurturing a vibrant ecosystem of cyber-ecurity training providers
    • Providing awareness to citizens on cyber-security and help them realize the risks related to the cyberspace. Even institutions should see to it that proper training on cyber-security is imparted.
    • Organizing national awards programme to acknowledge excellence in cyber-security and encourage entities to drive cyber-security programmes.
  • Setup a robust ‘National Cyber Incident Response Plan’ that will aid in instant, coordinated     response to cyber incidents in the country by:
    • Streamlining the identification and reporting of cyber security incidents
    • Setting up standardized severity assessment matrix to mobilize the required support.
    • Establishing advanced capabilities that can respond to all types of cyber incidents.
  • Protecting critical assets of the country that belong to the following sectors:
    • Energy
    • ICT
    • Government
    • Electricity and water
    • Finance and insurance
    • Emergency services
    • Health services
    • Transportation
    • Food and agriculture.
  • Mobilizing the whole ecosystem through local and global partnerships to jointly attain cybersecurity goals and ambitions. This would include:
    • The public sector
    • The private sector
    • Academia
    • International consortia.

The national cyber security strategy is not the sole initiative by the government to enhance security and reduce risk. A strategy specifically intended towards strengthening Dubai’s position as a world leader in innovation, safety and security, has also been on the agenda of UAE government. This resulted in the launch of Dubai cyber security strategy.

Protection against the dangers of cyberspace, support for innovation in cyberspace and the growth of the emirate and its economic prosperity, are the motives of Dubai cyber security strategy.

Adopting latest technologies is a must when it comes to surviving in this competitive world; so is ensuring the security of your data.

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