Opening of the Gulf International Cyber Security Symposium – GICS under the Patronage of the UAE Ministry of Defense and with the official government support from Dubai eGovernment , Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce, Telecommunication Regulatory Authority and aeCERT
Dubai: Day 1-December 09, 2012
Under the Patronage of the UAE Ministry of Defense and with the official government support from Dubai eGovernment , Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and aeCERT, the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis (INEGMA) held the first edition of the Gulf International Cyber Security Symposium- GICS- on December 09 & 10, 2012 at The Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, UAE.
The first day was attended by a crowd of senior officials, business and political leaders and diplomats of different countries as well as industry representatives.
Riad Kahwaji, INEGMA CEO, opened the conference by welcoming the audience and the delegates to the first edition of the GICS conference. He thanked the UAE Ministry of Defense, represented by His Excellency Major General Mohammed Al Essa, and also he thanked Dubai eGovernment ,Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce, Telecommunication Regulatory Authority and aeCERT for their official government support.
His Excellency Major General Mohammed Al Essa, gave the keynote speech stating: “Under the leadership of our President &Supreme Commander HH. Sheikh Khalifah Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, HH. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai , and the follow-up of HH. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, we at the UAE Ministry of Defence and the three services of the Armed Forces have been working closely on enhancing the security of our advanced digital communication systems and rapidly-evolving information infrastructure which we have succeeded to establish over the past years, and how to sustain a high level of readiness to face any threat to our national and regional stability.” He added: “The UAE Armed Forces and security agencies have come a long way in the past couple of decades and have seen considerable progress on all fronts, especially in enhancing defensive capabilities in area of cyber space. The UAE firmly believes that cyber security can be achieved only through cooperation with the peace-loving countries. Hosting such a conference by the UAE adds a real value to the efforts that aim to address the cyber security threats and cybercrime in its various forms.”
UAE Minister for Education Mr. Humaid Mohammed Al Qutami, stated in the second keynote speech: “The United Arab Emirates, under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, President of the State, and his brother His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and their brothers, Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, has realized the importance of keeping pace with global technological development, and its necessity in continuing the process of development and prosperity..” He added: “The Ministry of Education is currently implementing a set of projects and initiatives in this regard, including the Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Smart Learning, which adopts a comprehensive methodology to develop the educational system, along other projects the Ministry seeks in order to provide citizens with tools that help them deal with high-tech advancements in a safer technical environment.”
The opening session was closed by the third keynote speech of His Excellency Ahmed bin Humaidan, Director General of Dubai eGovernment who discussed the growing role of e-governance in the UAE as a wave of the future.
The first session moderated by Major General (Ret.) Khaled Abdullah Al Buainnain, Former Commander, UAE Air Force and Air Defence and President of INEGMA, featured three speakers. Rear Admiral Arnaud Coustilliere, Cyber Security General Officer in the Ministry of Defense in France delivered a lecture on “Attribution and Making Distinctions between Attacks by State and Non-State Actors.” He also remarked that the technical forensic is only a part of identification axis and is not in the tempo of strategic decision process.
Dr. (Eng) Mohamed N. Alahbabi, Chief Information Officer (CIO) & Space Advisor, Center of Excellence & Development in the UAE Armed Forces discussed: “Defining Readiness for Cyber Warfare.” He described the recent changes in UAE laws governing cyber security.
Mr. David Ferbrache, Head of Cyber Policy and Plans in the Ministry of Defence in UK gave a presentation about: “Reacting to Cyber Attacks and Defining Proportional Responses: Mr. Ferbrache argued that the cyber policy and planning needs to be updated constantly on a regular basis because of new and emerging threats.
The second session was moderated by Dr. Theodore Karasik, Director for Research & Consultancy in INEGMA and it featured two speakers. Lieutenant Colonel Faisal Mohammed Al Shamari, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) of Abu Dhabi Police GHQ and Director in UAE Ministry of Interior Child Protection Centre discussed “Cyber Defense Initiatives: Strategy and Implementation.” Also, he discussed how Abu Dhabi policy is concentrating on child abuse via cybercrimes.
General (Ret.) Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Panglima Mohd Azumi Bin Mohamed, Chairman of CyberSecurity Malaysia, Chairman of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation - Computer Emergency Response Team, Former Chief of the Malaysian Army had a lecture on “Crafting A Coherent Response To Cyber Security Challenges.” Gen Mohamed stated lessons learned from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Computer Emergency Response Team “OIC-CERT” and how South East Asian States can help Gulf States with lesson learned when it comes to cybercrime.
The third session of day one of the conference ended up with a focus group that was moderated by Mr.William C. Bodie, Global Business Development Manager at Parsons that explored “Organizing for Cyber Security Nationally.” This session included a panelist of three speakers: Lord John Reid, Former Home Secretary & Secretary of State for Defence, General (Ret.) John Abizaid, Former Commander in the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) and Vice Admiral (Ret.) Robert Murrett, Former Director in the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, United States. The focus group contained wide ranging views on how individual countries organize themselves on a national level for cyber security.
GICS 2012 sponsors were: Gold Sponsor: Parsons and Silver Sponsor: Lockheed Martin.
The conference concluded with enormous success.