Cyber attacks are inevitable these days and companies have no option but to prepare themselves to respond to them appropriately, an international cybersecurity expert has said.
Security firm Cybersecurity Ventures predicts global annual cybercrime costs will grow from $3 trillion in 2015 to $6trn annually by 2021, which includes damage and destruction of data, stolen money, lost productivity, theft of intellectual property, theft of personal and financial data, embezzlement, fraud, post-attack disruption to the normal course of business, forensic investigation, restoration and deletion of hacked data and systems, and reputational harm.
Cyber attacks have become a serious concern for organisations worldwide. The recent Wannacry malware, which affected 150 countries and infected more than 200,000 computers, is believed to have caused an estimated $4 billion in losses, according to cyber-risk modelling firm Cyence.
Each employee must be trained
Muhammad Shahmeer, Founder of Veiliux and an international cybersecurity expert, said cyber-attacks pose a massive threat to not only businesses but to safety and existence of people.
Shahmeer said: “Cybersecurity is the need of the era. Everything nowadays is online, which also means we are highly vulnerable to cyber-attacks. These could disrupt not only businesses but also affect our safety and existence.”
He said each security incident could cause an estimated loss of $86,1000. “Companies must train every employee and adopt a mindset of security in an organisation, conduct cyber workshops. Security, if not adopted as a culture, could cost an organisation everything,” Shameer added.
Abdulqader Obaid Ali, CEO at digital smart services provider Smartworld, said: “The world will have more than 50 billion inter-connected devices by 2020 and the UAE is a frontrunner in terms of adopting the latest technologies. This transformation also brings with it the responsibility and challenge of ensuring safety from cyber-attacks.”
Ali said that Among the key challenges that smart cities of the future will face are insecure products and insufficient testing, huge and complex attack surface, shifting mindsets and budgets and lack of oversight and organisation. He added that these challenges must be addressed at the earliest.
Sheikh Mohammed launches Dubai Cybersecurity Strategy
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, accompanied by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, launched the ‘Dubai Cybersecurity Strategy’ on May 31. It aims to strengthen Dubai’s position as a world leader in innovation, safety and security.
On the launch of the Strategy, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid highlighted the UAE’s high ranking at both regional and international levels in providing security for individuals and organisations in the country, a result of the efforts of both federal and local governments in the UAE to build a safe and secure environment, which ensures the success of development goals.
His Highness said that cybersecurity has become an essential requirement in the digital era, as the world has become more connected with the spread of smart technologies while stressing the importance of developing strategies that enable the UAE to maximise the benefits of technology and ensure the nation’s readiness to face any challenges it may bring.
He added: “We have set ourselves firmly on a path of excellence and creativity in the UAE and, today, with the launch of the Dubai Cybersecurity Strategy, we are adding a new achievement to the list of the government’s many accomplishments. This proves to the world that the more challenges we face, the more determined we are to achieve the highest excellence.”
HH Sheikh Mohammed called for uniting the efforts of the government and private sector to ensure a secure cyberspace that makes Dubai digitally the safest city in the world. “We want to harness technology to create a new reality in Dubai and a different life, a new model of development,” he said.
The launch of the Dubai Cybersecurity Strategy is in line with the technological progress witnessed by the world, the smart transformation witnessed by the emirate of Dubai and the accompanying challenges and risks that require mobilisation of energies to achieve the objectives of the plan.
The Dubai Cybersecurity Strategy aims to provide integrated protection against the dangers of cyberspace, support for innovation in cyberspace and the growth of the emirate and its economic prosperity.
Dubai Plan 2021
HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s vision for Dubai was the inspiration for the Dubai Plan 2021, a plan that maps out the targets for the next five years in the emirate.
Two of the core components of the plan are to make Dubai the most secure place to live, while also creating a smart, integrated and connected city. In this regard, the strategic plan of the Dubai Electronic Security Centre contributes to the accomplishment of these two objectives, but also to deal with electronic security threats, cyber attacks and all forms of cybercrime.
The plan addresses the aspirations of the wise leadership and ensures the electronic security of information and data systems in the emirate, and covers all government and private agencies, and individuals to enjoy the safe use of technology.
Dubai Electronic Security Center cooperates with all government agencies in the Emirate to ensure that the level of electronic security is upgraded and that precautionary measures are taken to ensure that information security systems are in line with international standards.
The Dubai Cybersecurity Strategy involves the implementation of five main domains, including a cyber smart nation, innovation, cybersecurity, cyber resilience, and national and international collaboration.