Regional Cybersecurity Week kicks off with participation from 45 countries

Regional Cybersecurity Week kicks off with participation from 45 countries

October 28, 2019

In 2018, Oman CERT handled:

  • 432,978 cyber-attacks in the Omani cyberspace
  • 71,472 attacks on Omani websites
  • 203 malwares discovered through monitoring technologies

 

Organized by the Arab Regional Cybersecurity Center (ARCC) and with the participation of 600 cybersecurity specialists and 49 speakers from 45 countries, the agenda of the Regional Cybersecurity Week kicked off at Kempinski Hotel and will continue until the 31st of October. The official opening of the week is held on Monday 28th October, under the patronage of HH Sayyid Shihab Al Said.

Hosted by the Ministry of Technology and Communications, the event aims to shed light on the best practices and policies in the cybersecurity field, in addition to the best practices in combating cybersecurity threats and their effects on countries, entities and individuals. Through such events and gatherings, the organizers aim to reinforce collaboration between Arab countries and the concerned international organizations.

 

Summit

This week’s agenda includes the 8th Regional Cybersecurity Summit, the First and ITU-ARCC Symposium, the 11th OIC-CERT annual conference and the 7th Regional Cyber Drill. This year’s regional cybersecurity summit is under the theme “cybersecurity revolution” and it focuses on the technological advances of the 4th industrial revolution (4-IR), and evaluating the necessary procedures to eliminate security threats.

 

The first day of the summit witnessed the talk of 11 speakers and a panel discussion addressing the future of cybersecurity. The Director General of OCERT and the Head of the ITU Arab Regional Cyber Security Center, Badar Al-Salehi started with an opening statement where he said “The 4-IR, which entails artificial intelligence, 5G network, robotics, internet of things (IoT), quantum computing, 3D printing, blockchain technologies and more, will contribute to creating a new industry in the field of information and communication technologies. This will support diversifying and enhancing the economy which will lead to better social welfare and will open horizons for new job opportunities. Simultaneously, the opportunities and challenges that will accompany that are going to require governments and businesses to make cybersecurity a priority to combat cyber threats and their effects on governments and organizations. This will help minimize the threats connected to the technologies of this information revolution.”

 

Cyber-attacks

Al-Salehi continued, “The information field is facing an increasing pace of cyber-attacks and information security incidents which lead to enormous economic losses. On the local level, the Ministry of Technology and Communications represented by the Oman Cybersecurity Emergency Readiness Team (OCERT) successfully dealt with 2334 security incidents in 2018. There were about 432,978 cyber-attack attempts targeted to the Omani cyberspace, in addition to 71,472 attacks on Omani websites in 2018. Moreover, OCERT dealt with 203 malwares that were discovered through their monitoring systems in the same year.

 

Regional Statistics

On a regional level, a study by PwC shows that companies and entities in the Middle East suffered from cyber-attacks and information security incidents more than their counterparts around the world in the last year. They suffered 500,000 USD in economic losses due to cyber-attacks on about 48% of the companies and entities in the Middle East and Africa. 58% of these companies suffered a disconnection for more than five hours as a result of these attacks according to a study by Cisco on the standards of security capabilities for the year 2018.

 

Day 1 presentations

The first day of the summit focused on several topics including, cybersecurity challenges and differences in the ideologies underlying cyber conflict in the fourth industrial revolution, cybersecurity for the satellite sector, blockchain technology & cybersecurity, and enabling cyber-physical systems for 5G networking within critical infrastructure.