Smartworld, MENA's first cybersecurity center, to open in Dubai

Published August 23rd, 2016 - 07:30 GMT
In the UAE, the first most affected sector for spear phishing is finance, followed by oil and gas.  (Shutterstock)
In the UAE, the first most affected sector for spear phishing is finance, followed by oil and gas. (Shutterstock)

Smartworld, a joint venture between Etisalat and Dubai South, has signed an agreement to launch the Middle East’s first of its kind ‘Cyber Security Centre.’ The UAE is among the top three targeted countries in the world in terms of cyber attacks, according to the data shown at the new Cyber Security Centre at Smartworld Headquarters in Dubai. In its 2015 Internet Security Threat Report, Symantec noted that the UAE has jumped dramatically in the world ranking from 49 in 2014 to 41 in 2015.

The UAE, however, was the number one target in the Middle East and Africa for spear phishing, in which attackers target specific individuals or companies. Globally, the UAE ranks eighth in such attacks. “In the UAE, the first most affected sector is finance followed by oil and gas,” Dr Saeed Al Dhaheri, chairman of Smartworld, told Khaleej Times.

A strategic partnership for setting up the centre was signed between the two companies by Abdulqader Ali, CEO of Smartworld, and Dr Mounes Kayyali, CEO of The Kernel.

Dr Al Dhaheri said: “Smartworld is proud to partner with The Kernel for this unique initiative, which will cater to the rapidly-rising demand for cyber security and local talent in this area. With this initiative we reaffirm our commitment to support the UAE leadership’s vision to excel in every sphere.”

“Over half a billion personal records were stolen in 2015 in the world during 9 mega breaches where more than 10 million personal records have been stolen per breach,” the chairman said.

The initiative is in line with the vision and development strategies of the UAE and Dubai especially toward technological advancements in all areas and supports the most critical component of security for organisations.

Worldwide, cyber threats have been increasing in sophistication as well as in number of attacks, exposing organizations to threats of losing sensitive information as well as competitive advantage.

According to a Kaspersky survey, these costly attacks are now almost routine with 90 per cent of the 5,500 companies surveyed reporting at least one security incident and nearly half, 46 per cent of businesses, lost sensitive data due to an internal or external security threat.

The advisory Dr. Saif Al Ketbi said: “UAE and Dubai are making tremendous progress in adopting the world’s latest smart technologies. These advancements bring with them the responsibility to ensure safety from external threats. Particularly as we witness the launch of several mega projects and hosting the Expo 2020, the progress in the area of smart technology is set to be massive.“

Dr Mounes Kayyali, CEO of The Kernel, said: “The Kernel has a large team of security experts and software developers who are dedicated to continuous innovation in the tech industry by developing in-house products for unified threat management, web filtering, and incident response. We utilising cutting-edge technologies such as machine learning, multi-lingual morphology, proprietary algorithms that understand business logic, and we are constantly exploring new research.”

The Kernel is also a partner of several leading security companies in Russia and worldwide, and we have worked on several high-profile projects within the field of cyber security.

By Abdul Basit 

 

 

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