(MENAFN Editorial) At a press conference held today in Doha, the organizers of the GCC Digital Security Forum (GDSF 2014) announced the program as well as dignitaries who will be attending the forum on 4-5 February at St. Regis Hotel. The forum will be held under the patronage of the Minister of Information and Communications Technology in Qatar H.E. Dr. Hessa Al Jaber and is being organized by MEEZA in cooperation with Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal Group. Speaking at the press conference were Mr. Faleh Al Naemi, Assistant Secretary General Shared Services, Ministry of Information and Communications Technology, representing H.E. Dr. Hessa Al Jaber; Ms. Ghada El Rassi, CEO of MEEZA and Deputy CEO of Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal Group Mr. Faysal Abou Zaki.
The GCC Digital Security Forum will be attended by more than 350 delegates representing governmental institutions, private companies, regulatory bodies, as well as by other organizations from Qatar, gulf countries and other parts of the world. Topics covered at the forum will include discussions pertaining to issue of Digital Security, the realities today in the Gulf region in terms of legislations, policies and preemptive measures that governments are taking to protect their economies from Digital attacks and crimes. In addition, topics will include the major digital security threats and available solutions. In parallel the GCC Digital Security Forum, will discuss how organizations and companies are improving their understanding of digital security and developing strategies and plans to meet these challenges. Finally the Forum will evaluate how regulatory authorities and CERTs (Computer Emergency Response Teams) can help in enhancing digital security and deal with incidents and breaches on the national levels
The Forum will also focus its discussions on promoting stronger ties between governments and private sector to protect the Digital economy in the Gulf region, by creating policies, standards, norms and measures that help to reinforce a highly secure environment for networks and electronic transactions over these networks. These are especially essential for critical infrastructure such as energy, power, transportation, banking and financial markets as well as telecommunications.
More than 25 expert speakers will be take part in the forum, most prominently mentioned are Dr. Hessa AL Jaber, Minister of Information and Communications Technology in Qatar; Mr. Rashid Al-Naimi, Chairman of MEEZA and CEO of QF Investments; Dr. Hamadoun Tour, Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union; Other prominent speakers include: Mr. Khaled Al Hashmi, Cyber Security Executive Director Q-CERT; Ms. Ghada El Rassi, Chief Executive Officer of MEEZA, in addition to Mr. Troels Oerting, Head, European Cyber Crime Centre in Netherlands; Lieutenant Colonel Ret. Bill Hagestad, Cyber Threat Researcher & Technical Author at Red Dragon Rising Publishing, USA; Mr. Noboru Nakatani, Executive Director, INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation; Dr. Fadi Aloul, PhD, CISSP Professor, Cyber Security Advisor, Public Speaker, ANKABUT Advisory Board Member; Mr. Andy Archibald, Deputy Director, Cyber, National Crime Agency of the UK, Mr. Riemer Brouwer, Head IT Security, Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO)
Mr, Faleh Al Naemi, Asisstant Secretary General, Shared Services at the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology stated that our support for the GCC Digital Security Forum is in line with our mission to support the objectives of the Qatar 2030 vision which encompass fostering economic and social development through providing a conducive environment to the long term growth and development of all aspects of the information and communications technology sector in Qatar
He added" Our mission remains to develop policies, regulate the market and supervise the enforcement of rules and design the needed laws and regulations to provide the most conducive conditions necessary to the growth of the sector and its services and spread its benefits across all sectors of the economy and society. We all strive to help the development of the knowledge economy and faster innovation in Qatar.
He continues" We are confident that the GCC Digital Security Forum will make a contribution towards raising awareness and sharing ideas, experiences and solutions.
Chief Executive Officer of MEEZA, Ms. Ghada El Rassi stated that: "The perils facing Digital Security and the Digital attacks on companies and governmental institutions as well as individuals have become a source of great concern for governments and the private sector across the globe. As for the incurred losses due digital attacks and intrusions, it is estimated to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars and some reports go as far as saying that it has reached 1 trillion dollars per year. It is difficult to value the indirect losses that result from these attacks." She added, "The role of MEEZA is in not only providing the products and services to enhance digital security but also providing the knowledge and understanding and highly professional solutions to be able to effectively share the benefits of the digital economy. We do this through close cooperation with the government, our partners and customers. Through the GCC Digital Security Forum, MEEZA wants to raise GCC digital security discussions to higher levels, and with this in mind we decided to make this forum an annual event to bring together renowned regional and global experts and all stakeholders to share ideas and discuss digital security challenges and solutions."
El Rassi then explained, "The Forum will discuss basic issues pertaining to Digital Security, governmental policies and initiatives as well as the strategies being set by various organizations and companies to deal with these eveolving challenges. The forum will also discuss the strategies that some companies and institutions have been implementing to enhance their digital security to meet the ever changing threats in the digital realm. Finally the Forum will evaluate how regulatory authorities and CERTs (Computer Emergency Response Teams) are helping in enhancing digital security and the new methods being applied by digital hackers. At the forum we will focus on the potential of strengthening the cooperation between governments and private sector, as well as building inter-governmental cooperation in the sphere of Digital security."
Deputy CEO of Al-Iktissad Wal-Amaal Group Mr. Faysal Abou Zaki concluded that that: We are at a time when we can no longer dismiss or ignore the risks and damages that digital attacks and intrusions are imposing on our economies and societies. We cannot but describe them as dangerous crimes threatening not only companies, and government institutions but also the entire social and economic security of countries around the world. We commend the leadership initiative that MEEZA has taken in creating this forum and the efforts made to attract this line-up of distinguished speakers and to fully support the efforts to organize such a leading event."
The GCC Digital security Forum is being sponsored by regional and international companies which include CISCO as a strategic partner and Ooredoo as the Official Telecom partner. HP is a pearl sponsor. Blackberry, Al Khaliji Bank, and Vodafone Qatar and Orange Business Services are Oryx sponsors, while Mcafee-Intel, EMC, Paramount Computers, Cassidian Cyber Security and Websense are supporting companies.