Cyber centre to protect assets in UAE
Advances in computer and technologies facilitated the unquestionable reliance of our society on cyberspace. The Internet evolved to become a global infrastructure used for commerce, banking, communication and entertainment. We live in what is dubbed as the “electronic age”.
“Two third of the global value of trade is now accomplished through an electronic exchange. Gone are the days where exchange of cash is the main method of bartering,” Christophe Calesse, head of sales at Emirage, told Gulf News.
Calesse was speaking at the launch of the Cyber Operations Centre of Excellence at Khalifa University together with Cassidian and Emiraje Systems. The new centre will focus on research of the security of industrial control systems which are critical for energy infrastructure, encryption and digital forensics. Such reliance on computers and technologies demands a higher level of cyber security to ensure the protection of information and property from theft or corruption, yet allow the systems to remain accessible and productive.
This is where the cyber operations centre comes in. The centre will develop intellectual property in cyber operations and will also enhance research in networking security, mobility security, cryptology, forensics, and embedded devices such as Industrial Control Systems (SCADA).
“Effective monitoring, proper tools, procedures and training are mandatory to analyse, detect and deter cyberspace attacks,” said Andrew Beckett, Regency IT consulting, who attended the launch. The UAE is a model for the GCC in adapting advanced communication and networking technologies. This also renders it a potential first target for cyberspace attacks.
“Our joint analysis with UAE authorities concludes that a potential major threat to UAE national security will be through cyber domain,” said Guy Meguer, vice-president of Cassidian Cyber Security, told Gulf News.
“Primary UAE targets are the armed forces, police, oil and gas industries, and other high value assets. “The UAE is preparing to build a skilled Emirati workforce to protect these vital assets,” he added. “The new centre will focus on research and development of indigenous technologies and processes that are in line with the national security and economic needs of the UAE,” Tod Laursen, President of Khalifa University said.
The Centre will develop programmes prepared by experts in fields of critical importance for cyberspace security. The programme will first be offered to students at Khalifa University, and will eventually open up to GCC students.
Students will initially receive a professional certificate, but the university is developing the programme to grant a graduate degree in cyber security. The new centre will focus on research and development of indigenous technologies and processes that are in line with the national security and economic needs of the UAE.”
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