Posted on December 08, 2016

The governor of Qatar Central Bank, His Excellency Sheikh Abdulla Bin Saoud Al-Thani, emphasized the importance of strong cyber governance, continuous monitoring, step by step detection and a well-designed contingency plan to mitigate any vulnerability on account of cyber risks to Qatar’s financial sector. Speaking at a Dean’s Lecture at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, His Excellency noted that cybercrime is now considered the second most common economic crime in the Middle East.

“Both attackers and their motivations are becoming more diverse – from financial gains to disrupting activity to causing political and financial instability,” he remarked, noting that cybercrime in Qatar increased by 52% in 2015 over the previous year. He further noted that “Central banks and the banking community have to be proactive and ensure the cyber resiliency of the payment system, given the importance of a safe and uninterrupted payment system to the financial and economic development of the country.” His Excellency detailed the work the Qatar government has taken to combat cybercrime, including establishing the National Cyber Security Strategy. “Going forward, in order to benefit from the resiliency efforts of the financial institutions, Qatar Central Bank is preparing the Qatar Financial Sector Information Security Strategy, which will enhance and maintain information security and create a more resilient and secure cyberspace to safeguard the financial sector in Qatar.”

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Ilker Baybars, Dean and CEO of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, commented on the timeliness of the topic: “As the financial sector employs more and more sophisticated computing for big data analysis and financial transactions, leaders like His Excellency are wise to consider ways to protect the industry and ensure a stable and healthy climate for business.” His Excellency spoke to a packed audience that included H.E. Christophe Payot, Ambassador, Belgian Embassy in Qatar, Fahad Al Khalifa, Group CEO, Al Khaliji Commercial Bank, and Dr. Ahmed Elmagarmid, Executive Director, Qatar Computing Research Institute, Hamad Bin Khalifa University

CMU-Q and Qatar Central Bank signed a Memorandum of Understanding in April 2016 to cooperate in the fields of education, scientific research and community development.