Feb 6, 2017, Abu Dhabi --(ASIA TODAY)-- Focusing on building an IT defense strategy that works, the Cyber Resilience and InfoSec 2017 conference kicked off at the Sofitel Hotel in Abu Dhabi today. Endorsed by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association - ISACA (UAE Chapter), the conference witnessed a gathering of information security and cyber defense experts who will address topics ranging from cyberwars and dangers of ransomware to the changing role of women in IT security over the course of the next two days.
Launching the event with a keynote address, Stephen Gaudin, FBI Legal Attaché at the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi, spoke on the FBI's Cyber Program Initiatives and their collaboration with both private and public sectors to curb cyber intrusion. Gaudin was followed by Chris Yule, Senior Security Researcher, at SecureWorks, who commented on the significance of this event saying: “The UAE is a key market in an increasingly globalized world and it’s important for us to engage with prominent decision makers in the region about how they can protect their organizations against growing cybersecurity threats."
“With cyber-attacks on the increase and a conveyor belt of high-profile IT security breaches hitting the headlines, organizations need to prioritize their incident response plan and build a proactive, ongoing incident management program to counter any future security breach. By working with a trusted partner, organizations can ensure that they’re well protected against emerging threat group trends and directing their resources to protect the appropriate part of their business”. Yule added.
One of the 1st day’s highlights also included a Though Leader Panel that saw a group of CIO's and CISO’s from Cleveland Clinic, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, GE Corporate, Corporate Services Emirates Global Aluminum and Dubai Customs on how companies need to drive the issues of cyber security further up the board's agenda. The discussion saw both participants and delegates debate on topics such as increasing security governance and aligning an organization's enterprise risk management with information security and privacy functions.
With governments increasing investments in technology and smart city infrastructure, countries are moving towards a technology dependent framework which also brings with it a multitude of security challenges. Speaking from the telecom perspective, Saeed Abdulla of du compared evolving technologies like Internet of Things (IoT) to Internet of Threats and how we still need to harness its power and leverage it for digital immunity. Speaking on cloud technology, Dr. Jassim Haji, Director IT at Gulf Air presented a case study on enterprise social media and cloud adaptations and how Gulf Air has implemented big data on the cloud. The case study also looked into the effects of cloud business applications and security controls.
The event also included two key panel discussions on placing cyber security in the at the heart of 'smart enterprise" and how companies need to transform the security mindset and rethink cyber security to ensure effective technology adoption, education and awareness to overcome critical pain points for today and tomorrow. Participants on these panels included representatives from the likes of Emirates Investment Authority, Takreer, Object Management Group, Dubai Airports and Etihad Aviation Group presenting an interesting cross-industry perspective.
Key figures from Dubai Smart Government, GE MENAT, Cleveland Clinic, National Bank of Egypt, Khalifa University and National Bank of Abu Dhabi will be addressing topics on e-government evolution, safe and secure e-smart government infrastructure. Experts from the industry like Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP Middle East) and Object Management Group (OMG) will also shed light on how password policies are not effective and the importance of standards in cyber security for both industry and government.
From an IT solution standpoint, delegates will be hearing from Ray Kafity of Attivo Networks on the art and science for advance threat detection and Gordon Lawson from PhishMe will discuss how to reduce susceptibility to human-targeted attacks by providing immersive simulated phishing and how to empower users to be human sensors that can recognize and report suspected attacks, thus reducing the attack detection window.
The highlight of the 2nd day of the conference will be a discussion panel on the changing role of Women in IT Security focusing on obstacles impacting women’s participation in the industry, attracting and retaining female IT security professionals and leaderships style difference between women and men. The “women empowerment panel” will feature Irene Corpuz, head of IT security at Abu Dhabi Government Entity, Deepika DiGiovine, CIO at MENAT, Meera Al Mansoori, Head of Information Security at Abu Dhabi Government Entity, Abeer Khedr, Information Security Officer at National Bank of Egypt and Rasha Abu AlSaud, Senior VP and CISO at a leading bank in Saudi Arabia.
Cyber Resilience & InfoSec 2017 is organized by Fleming, with the support of ISACA, OWASP and OMG. The conference is sponsored by SecureWorks, Attivo Networks, Bitdefender, PhishMe, Arbor Networks, F-Secure, Go-Trust, mimecast, DarkTrace and Blackberry.
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