The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has launched the “UAE National Cybersecurity Strategy.”
The new strategy aims to create safe and resilient cyber infrastructure in the UAE that enables citizens to fulfill their aspirations and empowers businesses to thrive.
Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, TRA Director-General, highlighted the need for a national cybersecurity strategy as the UAE is rapidly advance its artificial intelligence, big data, and fourth industrial revolution tracks, driven by the strong momentum generated by a history of leadership and major achievements.
“If we want to draw a future perception of the UAE, years from now, we would see the features of the smart city where millions of devices and platforms are connected, producing massive amounts of data, many of which will be at risk of piracy or privacy violation,” the TRA Director-General said.
He added that the cybersecurity strategy is based on a well-known reality, that cyberspace provides vast horizons and endless opportunities for well-being, happiness and sustainable development. “It also provides a gateway for hackers and phishers. It is obvious that the battle between the two sides is a battle of knowledge and technology, a battle of intelligence, perseverance and patience. Yet, in essence, it is a manifestation of the eternal conflict between good and evil.”
The development of the UAE National Cybersecurity Strategy is in line with current developments in the field, which are witnessing an increased number of cybersecurity incidents globally, causing significant losses in global economy. Last year, the number of reported data security breaches increased by 42 percent, while the annual cost of cybercrime reached $608 billion globally between 2014 and 2017.
Mohammad Al Zarooni, Director of Policies and Programs Department, TRA, presented the five key pillars that the strategy will be focusing on. These pillars include enhancing cybersecurity laws and regulations to address all types of cybercrimes; securing existing and emerging technologies; supporting the protection of SMEs by developing essential cybersecurity standard for SMEs; mandating cybersecurity implementation certification for government suppliers and building one-stop portal for SMEs to enable SMEs to implement the standard.
Moreover, the strategy will enable the ecosystem to capture the huge cybersecurity opportunity and tap into the AED 1.8 billion UAE cybersecurity market as well as effectively contributing to the AED 18 billion MENA cybersecurity market. It will also work on developing capabilities of over 40,000 cybersecurity professionals, by encouraging professionals and students to pursue a career in cybersecurity, developing necessary cybersecurity capabilities to meet aspirations of the country, and fostering a vibrant ecosystem of cybersecurity training providers.
The strategy will also reward excellence in cybersecurity through a national awards programme, by allocating six awards for entities and same for individuals. These rewards aim to encourage organisations to drive cybersecurity programmes, inspire entrepreneurs to innovate in cybersecurity, support cutting-edge research undertaken by academic institutions and motivate students to pursue cybersecurity careers.
The TRA launched the UAE National Cybersecurity Strategy as the country is entering the fifth-generation era. The Authority is developing the UAE’s fifth generation strategy 2020-2025, making the UAE the first in the region to embark on this initiative.