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UAE Cybersecurity Council paper urges global CISOs to ‘take the fight to cyber attackers’


 The UAE Cybersecurity Council and GISEC Global 2023, the Middle East’s largest and most impactful cybersecurity event, today released a special position paper for global CISOs and cybersecurity professionals titled “A GISEC-first Strategy: Attack is the best form of Defence”.

Co-authored by H.E. Dr. Mohamed Hamad Al-Kuwaiti, Head of Cyber Security, UAE Government, and Dr. Aloysius Cheang, Chief Security Officer, Huawei Middle East & Central Asia, the paper urges global CISOs to “take the fight to cyber attackers by following the age-old adage: attack is the best form of defence.”

The paper warns businesses that assuming they will not be at the receiving end of cyberattacks “is no longer a luxury we can afford,” especially as ransomware attacks are expected to remain prevalent this year. “The time is ripe for us to take a proactive approach to defend our assets rather than being reactive.”

It stated that cybercrime is highly rewarding financially for successful attacks, the primary driver for escalating cybercrime, while the Covid-19 pandemic, geopolitical instability, and rapid de-globalisation have fuelled global tensions, sparking off a “paradox of a global cyber pandemic amid rapid digital transformation and growth”.

The UAE was not spared of these changes, and the upheaval of the Covid-19 pandemic cultivated an urgent need to increase the pace of digital transformation, hence “paving the way for the UAE to establish itself as a trusted regional digital hub.”

The four-page position piece added that a GISEC-first strategy encourages CISOs to take a proactive approach because the traditional reactive model is simply ineffective. “Today, only 19 percent of global cyber leaders are confident that their organisations are cyber resilient,” it stated. “Further, the need for more effective cyber defence tactics is only becoming more urgent as digitisation takes hold. By 2025, digital transformation will inject $100 trillion into the world economy, according to the WEF.”

The editorial concludes that GISEC Global “is a treasure trove of tools, providing the necessary people-process-technology support that we can harness to realise our strategy and burn cybersecurity into the DNA of our organisations, keeping the enemies at bay and on the back foot, pushing them to be on a constant retreat from our line of defence and pushing it deep within enemies’ territories with no time to create havoc for us making it economically inviable.”

“These cyber adversaries will eventually collapse like a house of cards as we enter a new era where the CISOs finally enter the boardroom and be counted as equals among our peers. And that is where the CISO revolution starts, not ended as we usher in the new digital era and the CISOs as the guardians of this new digital era.”

GISEC CISO Circle a ‘community of action’ building a united cyber frontier

The UAE Cybersecurity Council’s paper arrives as top cyber executives prepare to unveil CISO’s 2023 strategy at GISEC Global to decode the uptick in cyberattacks and costs while navigating the evolving threat landscape. 

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