Global cybersecurity experts to convene at Bahrain for Arab world's pioneering cybersecurity event – ZAWYA

Cyber Leaders Forum to hear from key industry players at upcoming Arab International Cybersecurity Summit
Manama, Bahrain: Industry-wide collaboration is high on the agenda of the Arab International Cybersecurity Summit (AICS) – a first-of-its-kind event being held from December 6-8 at Exhibition World Bahrain.
Co-hosted by the National Cyber Security Centre and held under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander, and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, AICS represents the region’s highest level of engagement, bringing together experts from government, industry, and business verticals including BFSI, oil and gas, energy, utilities, IT and telecommunications, manufacturing, education, and more.
The Summit’s three-day Cyber Leaders Forum, which has attracted decision-makers from across Europe, the USA, the UK, Asia, the Baltics, and the Middle East, will look to reframe the region’s Cyber Security Leadership landscape with His Excellency Dr Mohamed Al Kuwaiti, Managing Director of the National Data Centre under the UAE’s Supreme Council for National Security, expected to call for supercharged collaboration in his regional keynote address.
“With the cost of cybersecurity incidents in the Middle East reaching a new high of $6.93 million per data breach — significantly higher than the global average cost of $4.24m per incident – it’s time to question whether we move the action dial from defence to offence,” he said.  “With co-operation at the heart of the ACIS theme, we need to explore the best practice and importance of working together as a regional team to develop strategies to quickly evolve our security space to address the pressing concerns of today and for years to come.”
With the guidance and expertise of Dr Jassim Haji, President of the AI Society, delegates will also explore whether the increasing adoption of Artificial Intelligence is fuelling cybersecurity breaches.
“With almost all aspects of the industry now utilising the power of AI, there is a pressing need and demand for AI-driven tools to combat AI-driven attacks. This conference will help us better understand the aspects of AI and machine-learning, which could be hijacked for the cyber-attacks of the future,” he explained.
The Forum will also look to explore how to change industry attitudes towards cybersecurity. Roshdi Osman, Cybersecurity Strategist of Saudi Aramco, will help delegates scrutinise the rationale for establishing a business enabler risk-based cybersecurity programme.
“Nowadays, there are more devices than humans and hackers are getting more creative, making it difficult to implement efficient cybersecurity measures,” he said.
And as the Arab World increasingly regulates personal data use, the Forum will drill down into the role of regulations in safeguarding data, privacy, and security with the help of Karolina Mojzesowicz, Deputy Head of Unit Data Protection, European Commission.
“With all services moving to the cloud, it is the role of regulations to ensure that citizens’ data is safe and secure, and regulators must always be mindful while drafting laws that they need to focus on ensuring data processing is lawful, fair, and transparent to the data subject,” she said.
The dilemma of talent gaps in the cybersecurity sector will also come under the Forum’s microscope with Dr.Viktor Polic, Chief Information Security Officer, International Labour Organisation, looking to guide leaders along the pathway to talent development and upskilling.
“The current cybersecurity skill and capability gaps constitute a systemic vulnerability in the world's cyber resiliency. To solve this and create a robust digital economy system, it will be essential to create an inclusive cybersecurity workforce,” he said.
The Forum will also feature virtual sessions from headline speakers Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, and Marc Randolph, co-founder and former CEO of Netflix. Complemented by a Block Stage platform to probe technical aspects of specific topics, Room 42 will host specific executive and technical sessions through table-top exercises, simulation games and live demos, including the use  of a Velociraptor, an advanced digital forensic and incident response tool that can perform targeted gathering of digital forensic evidence, to triage hosts on a network.
The Hack Arena activation zone will be running  a ‘Capture the Flag’ team competition on ethical hacking and cyber awareness. Consisting of 125 multi-disciplinary cybersecurity challenges, the competition is designed to test the users’ capability across the entire spectrum of cybersecurity skills. There will be a prize for the winning team, and all participants will be awarded a certificate of attendance and a personalised breakdown of their progress and achievements.
Trying to drive the importance of good internet habits, there will also be a cyber hackathon for university students, a cyber scavenger hunt for high school students.
The summit is set to host some of the industry’s leading industry players, such as  Forcepoint, Kaspersky, Axonious, Veritas, CISCO ACME, Beyon Cyber, stc, ReSecurity, Waterfall, NGN International, Interpol, Micro Focus, and more. AICS is jointly organised by Messe Frankfurt Middle East and Bahraini event specialists Faalyat WLL and enjoys the support of Bahrain’s Ministry of Interior, the Bahrain Economic Development Board, and the Central Bank of Bahrain. The event is sponsored by Benefit, Waterfall, NGN International and STC,
To find out more or register to attend, please visit:
About Messe Frankfurt
The Messe Frankfurt Group is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. The Group employs approximately 2,300* people at its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main and in 30 subsidiaries around the world. In 2021, the company had to contend with the challenges posed by the pandemic for the second consecutive year. Annual sales will be approximately €140* million after having been as high as €736 million in 2019 before the pandemic. Even in difficult times caused by the coronavirus pandemic, we are globally networked with our industry sectors. We serve our customers’ business interests efficiently within the framework of our Fairs & Events, Locations and Services business fields. One of the Group’s key USPs is its closely-knit global sales network, which extends throughout the world. Our comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. We are expanding our digital expertise with new business models. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services. With its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).
For more information, please visit our website at:
* Preliminary figures for 2021
About Messe Frankfurt Middle East
Messe Frankfurt Middle East’s portfolio of 16 exhibitions includes Automechanika Dubai, Automechanika Riyadh, Beautyworld Middle East, Beautyworld Saudi Arabia, Hardware + Tools Middle East, Hypermotion Dubai, Intersec, Intersec Saudi Arabia, Gifts & Lifestyle Middle East, Light Middle East, Materials Handling Middle East, Materials Handling Saudi Arabia, Middle East Cleaning Technology Week, Paperworld Middle East, Prolight + Sound Middle East, and SPS Automation Middle East.  The subsidiary also organises a series of conferences and seminars including Digital Next, Think Light, and the International Conference on Future Mobility.  For more information, please visit our website at
About Faalyat W.L.L
Faalyat specialises in insightful and creative events with meticulous attention to detail and precision ranging from red carpet VVIP events, corporate events, sports events, musical events, conferences, exhibitions and concerts, to brand experiences and a wealth of other integrated services, including marketing, public relations, sponsorship and innovative design.

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