UAE reaffirms its commitment to strengthen cybersecurity

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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The UAE emphasized its commitment to enhancing its cybersecurity capabilities by building the required infrastructure and mechanisms, both to protect it from cyber threats and to better collaborate with others to address common concerns.

“Serious incidents affecting the telecommunications, banking, and public sectors have occurred in the UAE in recent years. Oil and natural gas facilities have also been targeted, resulting in millions of damages. Such aggressive cyber action on the region’s essential infrastructure has the potential to trigger an already tense situation and threaten international peace and security,” the UAE said in a statement to the UN Security Council’s open debate on cybersecurity.

The UAE Cybersecurity Council has been working on a comprehensive national cybersecurity strategy and a national cyber incident response plan. The UAE emphasized that it organizes the world’s largest cybersecurity and digital transformation conferences, such as GITEX, GISEC, and Cybertech, and that it has developed a platform for public-private partnerships.

The UAE suggested that the UN Member States provide training and capacity at the bilateral, regional, and international levels, including through training programs and the establishment of guidelines for responsible state behavior, in its statement. In this regard, the UAE stated that such acts can serve as confidence-building measures in the face of cyberspace mistrust and misunderstandings.

During the harsh effects of the pandemic in 2020, the UAE alone saw a 183 percent spike in attacks, according to Help AG, the cybersecurity arm of Etisalat. Digitalization has made a surge in cyberattacks cyber vulnerabilities. Last year UAE had witnessed an exponential surge in phishing and ransomware with 1.1 million phishing attacks.

Related: UAE makes enormous strides on 2020 Global Cybersecurity Index