Posted on February 03, 2014

More than 400 delegates representing governments and companies from the Gulf and beyond will tomorrow convene at the St. Regis Hotel in Doha for the 1st GCC Digital Security Forum organized by MEEZA under the patronage of H.E. Dr. Hessa Al Jaber, Minister of Information and Communication Technology in Qatar.

Hessa Al-Jaber, MEEZA [].jpgSecuring the Digital economy in the face of the ever evolving threats paused by hackers and cyber criminals will be the dominant focus of the 2-day forum. The Forum will feature a line-up of more than 25 renowned speakers in Digital Security from across the world including: Dr. Hessa AL Jaber, Minister of Information and Communications Technology in Qatar; Mr. Rashid Al-Naimi, Chairman of MEEZA and CEO of QF Investments; Dr. Hamadoun Touré, Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union; Mrs. Ghada El Rassi, Chief Executive Officer of MEEZA;  

Mr. Khaled Al Hashmi; Cyber Security Executive Director Q-CERT; Mr. Troels Oerting, Head, European Cyber Crime Centre in the Netherlands; Lieutenant Colonel Ret. Bill Hagestad, Cyber Threat Researcher & Technical Author at Red Dragon Rising Publishing, USA; Mr. Noboru Nakatani, Executive Director, INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation; Dr. Fadi Aloul, PhD, CISSP Professor, Cyber Security Advisor, Public Speaker, ANKABUT Advisory Board Member;  Mr. Andy Archibald, Deputy Director, Cyber, National Crime Agency of the UK;

Mr. Riemer Brouwer, Head IT Security, Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO); Mr. Den Sullivan, Head of Architectures, Emerging Markets, Cisco Systems, UAE; Mr. Francisco J. Sànchez, Former Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration; Eng. Qusai Al Shatti, Deputy Director General for Information Technology, Central Agency of Information Technology, Kuwait; Mr. Martin Howard, Director - Cyber Policy, GCHQ, UK;  Dr. Dimitrios Serpanos, Principal Scientist in Cyber Security research team, QCRI;  

Mr. Nicolas Furge, Security Services Director, Orange Business Service; Mr. Art Coviello, Executive Vice President, EMC; Mr. Nader Henein, Director, Advisory Division, Security Group, BlackBerry; Mr. Christaan Beek , Director of Incident Response & Forensics EMEA, McAfee; Mr. Richard Archdeacon, CTO, Strategy and Technology, HP Enterprise Security Services, Hewlett-Packard Company, UK; Mr. Philip Victor, Director, Centre for Policy & International Cooperation, International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Threats (IMPACT); Mr. George Galica, Head of Business Solutions, Vodafone, Qatar; Mr. Hüsamettin Başkaya, Regional Director, Websense; Mr. Chris Woods, Director - Information Security, MEEZA, Qatar.

Speakers will discuss key digital security issues of vital importance to governments and companies in Qatar and across the Gulf. Topics to be addressed include: the current state and future of Digital Security in the Gulf; policies, initiatives and measures that are being undertaken by governments to counter cyber-attacks and intrusions to safeguard the economy and society from potential damages and disruptions that may be caused by these illegal activities; overview of threats and solutions; strategies adopted by various government and private institutions to defend their networks and data against malicious attacks and fend –off attackers; the role of CERTs in the fight against digital attacks and in reinforcing national responses to these threats.

In addition, the forum will delve into discussing the potential of cooperation between governments and the private sector to beef up digital security and shield the economy and society in the Gulf countries from possible disruptions and damages and will also explore the necessity for joint inter-governmental efforts to establish a regional framework for Digital Security to protect and safeguard critical sectors such as infrastructure, energy, telecommunication, banking and financial markets.  The Forum will also include a demonstration of a live attack in addition to workshops.

The GCC Digital Security Forum will take place amidst heightened fears from the rising risk posed by digital attacks and breaches on the global economy and particularly on critical infrastructure, financial markets and payment systems. More and more governments and corporations are now considering Digital Security as an issue of strategic nature and are therefore investing heavily in security infrastructure, counter measures and solutions.

Ghada El Rassi, MEEZA [].jpgIn the past few years, the Gulf region has been subject to an increasing number of digital attacks. While no large scale breaches and disruptions have been recorded, it is feared that networks and data might be subjected to sustained attacks in the coming years using more malicious and sophisticated techniques which necessitate more focus on boosting defenses and building up awareness of threats and also nurturing a robust digital security culture across all sectors and industries.

“Envisioned and organized by MEEZA, the GCC Digital Security Forum was designed to bring the issue of digital security to the fore of the public domain and to add value to the efforts made by governments and the private sector in Qatar and the other Gulf countries to fight digital crime and protect the economy and society from its potential risks and damages” said Ghada El Rassi, Chief Executive Officer of MEEZA.

“The Forum is another reflection of MEEZA’s strong commitment to bring to Qatar and the Gulf the most advanced information and telecommunication and security technology and make it available to customers in a cost effective manner. In line with its strategy, MEEZA has been the first in Qatar to launch the first certified commercial Security Operations Centre (SOC) and to offer clients the highest protection possible to critical information and data” she added.

The GCC Digital Security Forum is sponsored and supported by leading companies including: CISCO (Strategic Partner), HP (Pearl Sponsor), Vodafone Qatar (Oryx Sponsor), Al Khaliji Bank (Oryx Sponsor), Orange Business services (Oryx Sponsor), Blackberry (Oryx Sponsor), EMC/RSA (Workshop Sponsor), and Mcafee-Intel, Paramount Computers, Cassidian Cyber Security and Websense (Supporting Companies), Al Sharq Newspaper, Al Defaeya Magaine, Middle east Security and Fire (Media partners).