The UAE, represented by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), concluded its participation in the first International Information Security Forum, which started yesterday in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, under the generous patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz.
The forum aimed at exploring and finding new horizons for international cooperation in cybersecurity, through which international initiatives are formulated. It also aims to exchange expertise and experience among countries in this extremely important domain, with the participation of a select group of senior officials in government and private sectors within and outside the Kingdom, in addition to a number of prominent academics, decision makers, investors and leaders of various international organizations.
H.E. Hamid Obaid Al Mansouri, TRA Director General, delivered an opening speech on the first day of the Forum, in which he spoke about how telecom regulators and organizations address cybersecurity challenges, and what the cybersecurity sector needs to develop to support innovation in digital transformation. H.E. also addresses in his speech the importance of strengthening global cybersecurity capabilities to mitigate risks faced by the cybersecurity sector, and the importance of global cooperation in enhancing cybersecurity practices and risk management, and encouraging efforts of information exchange between governments and organizations worldwide.
Commenting on this important global event, H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri, TRA Director General, said: “The importance of this Forum is evident from the fact that it comes at a defining moment, as the world is witnessing rapid transformations and developments in all areas, powered by ICT. A key transformation is the mass exodus to the virtual world, where the number of Internet users exceeds 4 billion, and almost the same number access social networking websites, while the number of smart phone users is approaching 3 billion. All that means a massive influx of data in every aspect most of which was, until recently, private property that is prohibited to access under the prevailing laws and customs.”
His Excellency stressed that the unprecedented nature of cyber risks, and their ever-increasing ambiguity, put governments and organizations before decisive options far from regression and closed-door policy, adding: “The unprecedented nature of cyber risks puts us, as governments and organizations, in the face of necessary choices. The most important weapon in our hands to confront cyber risks is cooperation at all levels, regionally and globally, while ensuring rapid response and information flow. We in the UAE, and based on the future vision of our rational leadership, believe that a full-fledged smart city is just a stone's throw away. I can proudly confirm that we have accomplished a lot of our preparations for that phase, both in terms of plans and strategies adopted by our government in areas of artificial intelligence, intelligent transportation systems, 3D printing, advanced technology etc., or in terms of current applications.”
More than 1,200 experts, representing 63 countries and major global cybersecurity companies, participated in the two-day Forum, during which 50 sessions were held across 5 key areas, including cybersecurity, international cooperation, cyber communities, modern technologies, cyber threats and ways of confronting them. The forum also highlights innovation and investment topics in this regard, as well as a number of social topics such as awareness, women's empowerment. and child protection.
The TRA is keen to participate in all local, regional and global cybersecurity-related events, in its belief of the importance of this vital sector, and in order to strengthen the Arab cooperation in the sector in the interests of Arab countries, thereby spreading security, happiness and well-being in its communities.