GCC Digital Security Forum (Feb 4 & 5) – Qatar

GCC Digital Security Forum (Feb 4 & 5) – QatarDoha is getting ready to host the GCC Digital Security Forum on the 4th and 5th of February 2014 under the patronage of the Qatari Minister of Information and Communications Technology Dr. Hessa Al Jaber. The Forum is being organized by MEEZA in cooperation with Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal Group.
The Forum aims  to confirm that digital crimes continue to be a growing global concern, as it  is estimated that as much as USD1 trillion was lost globally last year as a result of cybercrimes (ITU Report). The total global direct cost of cybercrime reached USD113 billion up from USD110 billion and the average cost per victim of cybercrime increased this year to USD298 up from USD197 in 2012 (Norton Cybercrime Report 2013. These numbers do not reflect the true damage done to brands, organizations, and entire markets, especially in the Middle East, a region that lacks accurate estimation of losses resulting from digital crimes.
This forum also comes at a time when digital defense strategies have reached the forefront of priorities of governments, and public and private institutions. Specialized government agencies have been established to protect economies and societies from digital attacks and intrusions estimated to cost hundreds of billions of dollars annually. In the light of all these, the GCC countries have decided to collaborate in order to build a safer digital space to protect economies and societies.
The Forum features prominent speakers, including ministers, top professionals and experts from international organizations and regulatory entities and unions, leaders from the public and private sectors and digital security officials from vital sectors such as the infrastructure, telecommunications, and banking and financial markets, in addition to solutions and services providers in the field of digital security. Overall, it is expected to attract more than 400 participants from 15 countries.
The Forum focuses on digital security and its impact on various economic sectors and the role of governments in the development of digital security systems within institutions and companies, in addition to laws and enforcements needed to prevent and fight digital crimes, new trends and solutions for digital threats, and prospects of cooperation between countries in the region and between governments and the private sector  to enhance the protection of vital sectors and institutions, and provide a safe environment to promote the Internet Economy, e-commerce and e-services in the Gulf region.
On this occasion, Dr. Hessa Al-Jaber said: “Organizing such forums highlights the importance of the issue of digital security and its associated technological expansions, as the technological development of information systems and networks are accompanied by some negative phenomena, depicted in cyber crimes, which began to take multiple forms and shapes, and involve significant threats against individuals and institutions; We need to spread constant awareness of all that’s happening within the field of digital security and constantly explore means of defense and protection; and further develop digital security systems within institutions and companies, as well as legislation and related laws”
Dr. Al-Jaber added: “It is our pleasure to work with MEEZA on the organization of this key event in the Gulf region in view of the important and efficient role carried out by this company in the field of information security and protection, and its broad expertise in this area. We are confident that the Forum will provide a positive contribution towards raising awareness and the exchange of experience and solution-finding in the field of digital security, especially since it brings together all the stakeholders at the state level and the Gulf countries at large”.

MEEZA’s Chairman Rashid Al Naimi in turn said: ” I would like to extend our gratitude to HE Dr. Al Jaber for supporting this regional event with the hope that it would become an event of reference in this field and to contribute effectively in raising awareness and promoting protection culture in our institutions, and provide a safe environment for the digital economy in Qatar and the Gulf countries.”

Al Naimi then added: “MEEZA enjoys a leading position at the level of digital security at an exceptional phase in the region and the world. The company has all the necessary capabilities to lead the maturing process in the area of digital security, not only on the technology front, but also from the perspective of future decisive policies and strategies to determine our ability to protect our economic sectors and make them stronger and more resilient”.

Al Naimi went on to say: “The Forum is an opportunity for every ICT user within companies, institutions and local, regional and international organizations. It goes along with the “Qatar National Vision 2030″, which focuses on raising economic and social development to new levels and the unique competitive capacities that we must achieve in order to reinforce and develop our role, and to have a prominent place at the Gulf and international levels. Such a vision does not focus on the economic aspect only, but also includes the human dimension, as it considers the citizen as the main development target around which all policies are centered”.
For her part, MEEZA’s CEO Ghada El Rassi indicated that the Forum comes at a time when stakeholders from public institutions and companies are working to develop strategies not only aimed at protecting themselves against digital attacks, but with the objective of thwarting piracy acts, detecting their sources and taking appropriate actions to prevent them. According to El Rasssi, all economic sectors in the Gulf countries and other countries in the region and the world are nowadays connected to networks, and thus they have become exposed to different types of digital intrusions. She stressed that based on all that the Forum is an opportunity to review in the presence of leaders from the public and private sectors at both the GCC and international levels, as well major international institutions, companies, organizations and experts, major topics of the hour in its field, and to come out with conclusions that can be translated within a short time frame into policies and action plans whose implementation will be followed up and discussed at future editions of the Forum.
Al Rassi continued: “The Forum will discuss topics such as: the reality of digital security in the region and necessary policies and legislation for the regulation and protection of the digital sector. It will also address, with the participation of the most prominent international figures in this field, the reality and future prospects of digital protection strategies available, and the situation of economic sectors against the reality of digital threats, as well as the role of planning and security monitoring centers and the security aspect of data centers and cloud computing”.
Faysal Abou Zaki, Deputy CEO of Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal Group, said: “The GCC Digital Security Forum comes at a time when there is a massive increase in the importance of the internet and digital services in all aspects of daily life, as well as in the various facets of economic activities, where ICT plays a key role. Thus, the protection of these systems, networks and associated databases is a top priority among governments and institutions in the region and the world.”
Mr. Abu Zaki added that “there is no doubt that the support of the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology in Qatar, led by H.E. Dr. Hessa Al-Jaber, and the key role of MEEZA Qatar, in addition to the vital topics that will be raised in the forum by world renowned experts, and the high level of participation that the forum will attract, will mark the GCC Digital Security Forum as a point of reference for the digital security industry.”

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