Posted on April 27, 2017

KINDI Center for Computing Research at Qatar University College of Engineering (QU-CENG) recently held the Cyber Security Week.

The week featured numerous demo and poster sessions, 2-day cyber security series of sessions for students on “Digital forensics, data retrieval, and Wi-Fi security: best practices and tools” and “Hands-on introduction to cryptography and its applications”. 

The 3-day event, sponsored by Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) and Qatar Airways, brought together local and international researchers, educators and industry partners in the field of cyber security to exchange their ideas and expertise on cyber security and to find solutions to the current challenges in the field of cyber security. Attendees included QU VP for Academic Affairs Dr Hassan Alfadala, CENG Dean Dr Khalifa Al-Khalifa, KINDI Center for Computing Research Director Dr Noora Fetais, QNRF Executive Director Dr Abdul Sattar Al-Taie, and QNRF ICT Program Manager Dr Munir Tag, as well as QU and Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) faculty and staff.

The event included panel discussions on “Cyber Security in Qatar: Challenges and Opportunities”, “Cyber-security for Connected Healthcare”, “New Perspective in Addressing Recent Cyber Security Challenges”, “Cyber-security for Smart Cities”, “Towards the Empowerment of Youth in Cyber Security Industry” and “Cyber Security for Smart Grids”. The panelists were from different backgrounds, but they have an interest in working in cyber security. Besides CENG, QU colleges of Law (LAWC), Health Sciences (CHS), Sharia and Islamic Studies (CSIS), and Business and Economics (CBE) were represented at this event along with KINDI Center’s members and invitees. 

The event’s speakers were Nokia Bell Labs Global Head of Security Research Dr Roberto Di Pietro, Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) Research Director Dr Marc Dacier, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) Ambulance Service Health Care Coordination Executive Director Mr Thomas Allan Reimann, Polytechnic University of Bari Associate Professor Dr Gennaro Boggia, Northeastern University Computer Science Professor Dr Guevara Noubir, Vodafone Qatar Chief Technology Security Officer Mr Shaik AbdulKhader, Cybergreen Founder and Executive Director Ms Yurie Ito, IBERDROLA QSTP LLC Technical Director Mr Javier Hernandez, and RasGas Instrumentation and Control Engineering Specialist Mr Ashraf Tantawy.

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Commenting on the event, Dr Khalifa Al-Khalifa said: “This event highlights CENG’s position as a leading partner in tackling emerging issues related to our connectedness as a society and beyond. Cyber security is one of the important research areas at CENG. The College continues in its efforts to improve cyber security practices in coordination with local and international institutions and to promote research that provides efficient solutions in order to overcome the numerous challenges in the area of cyber security.”

Dr Noora Fetais said: “This week comes as a response to the demand of organizations and individuals to develop the tools of behavior towards cyber security in order to raise awareness on the importance of this field to all users and to reduce the number of victims in this area. Qatar is witnessing a wide process of development in all areas including infrastructure of information technology and communications, but like any other country, Qatar can’t be safe of cyber-attacks, and in response to that, all organizations should collaborate together to protect all users.”

Dr Munir Tag expressed his thanks and gratitude to KINDI Center and Qatar University for organizing this important and timely event on cyber security, which QNRF is sponsoring. He noted that cyber security is a real challenge to address in Qatar since we are in the age of the “Internet of Everything” where boundaries between citizens, governments, media, and societal organizations are becoming increasingly blurred as interconnected digital devices enabling the collection and exchange of huge amounts of information across the globe. He also noted that although these advances create great opportunities for business, trade, research, culture and education and potential for a “smart planet”, they open the door to new threats from attackers with malicious intention to exploit vulnerabilities in systems and cause deliberate or accidental harm.