Cisco together with Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Centre (ADSIC) held a security workshop at the Ritz Carlton in Abu Dhabi to showcase the latest security innovations, global smart deployments and use cases to Abu Dhabi’s government departments and entities. The high-level workshop brought together information security and technology leaders from the government and public sector who shared their experiences and discussed the latest developments in the field of cybersecurity.
Speaking on the importance of the cybersecurity workshop, H.E. Rashed Lahej Al Mansoori, Director General of Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Centre (ADSIC) said, “Cybersecurity has become a critical issue for governments and organizations across all sectors, from transport and healthcare to critical infrastructure and utilities. With fast-paced changes impacting how government organizations engage with citizens, businesses, and each other, public-private partnerships are able to advance the cybersecurity agenda by facilitating information sharing and elevating security operations, standards and processes. This workshop is part of our long-standing relationship with Cisco aimed at leveraging best practices and building digital capabilities and trust.”
Dynamic changes in the technology landscape, led by digitization, are creating opportunities for cybercriminals. According to Cisco’s 2017 Annual Cybersecurity Report, more than 50 percent of organizations faced public scrutiny after a security breach, with operations and finance systems most affected. The report finds that just 56 percent of security alerts are investigated and less than half of legitimate alerts remediated, as defenders battle complexity and manpower challenges, leaving gaps of time and space for attackers to utilize to their advantage. Underscoring the seriousness of recent cyberattacks, a common effort is emerging to address the need for greater collaboration among business and government stakeholders to minimize the impact of cyberattacks and strengthen national security.
“We are extremely proud of our association with ADSIC and support their efforts to highlight the importance of security, and the most effective strategies to prevent, detect, and mitigate threats,” said Shukri Eid, Managing Director – East Region, Cisco Middle East. “Cloud, mobility, Internet of Things (IoT) and social media technologies, combined with growing digital business practices, have helped countless organizations transform how they operate, but they have also increased the attack surface. As ICT systems are extended and merged, there is growing fear that sensitive data that is collected and held by public entities will be vulnerable to criminal hackers or other types of unauthorized disclosure. Public sector organizations and service providers are especially vulnerable because their operations are tied so closely to the public’s trust. Security must be integrated into the very fabric of an organisation, and it takes a security-conscious approach to ensure that every level of cyber protection is met.”
The workshop is part of ongoing collaboration between Cisco and ADSIC to address growing demand for technology and networking skills and develop digital capabilities across government entities. Cisco and ADSIC have also been working to expand the Cisco Networking Academy Program throughout the Abu Dhabi Educational system. Cisco’s Networking Academy Program enables UAE graduates to pursue successful ICT careers in a wide range of industries and also enables others to harness the entrepreneurial spirit and knowledge they acquired in Networking Academy to start their own businesses and create new jobs.
The initiative has helped ADSIC achieve its goal of developing ICT education opportunities throughout Abu Dhabi, in line with the UAE National Career Development Plan, wherein the government is committed to investing in educational programs that will provide career development, access to world-class facilities and training for citizens throughout the Emirate.
Security is rapidly becoming an integral part of any sort of deployment, and this awareness is coming in earlier in the process, though often, not early enough. In order to enable organizations to tackle security challenges, they are facing challenges posed by the skills gap. Previous Cisco studies reveal there is currently a deficit of 1 million security practitioners, increasing to 1.5 million by 2019. Globally, 26% of organisations are facing staffing shortages, and 35% are facing expertise shortages with security jobs growing at 12 times the rate of the overall job market.
At the workshop, Cisco presented compelling security industry insights, including the latest threats, trends and best practices. Cisco’s security experts also shared their experience on how best to achieve a holistic approach to security that integrates tools, processes and policies, in addition to showcasing Cisco’s latest products from its integrated security portfolio.