UAE Security Forum Focuses on Cybersecurity Talent Gap

23.02.2016 Security
UAE Security Forum Focuses on Cybersecurity Talent Gap

UAE Security Forum Focuses on Cybersecurity Talent Gap

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More than 100 leaders from across government, academia and the private sector gathered for the Raytheon-sponsored UAE Security Forum on Sunday 21 February at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi.

The forum brought focus to a key topic of global and national security: bridging the cybersecurity talent gap.

Raytheon, a global technology and cybersecurity expert, sponsored the forum as part of its global efforts to help develop professionals to meet the challenges of this dynamic domain.

The event was organized and hosted by the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington (AGSIW) to help focus on the current state of cybersecurity in the Emirates and the need to broaden the cyber workforce.

“The success of the UAE Security Forum provides the perfect launching point for Raytheon’s week of cyber educational engagement in the Emirates. This diverse and talented group of people came together to focus on cybersecurity and the development of expertise to meet the global security challenges in this crucial domain,” said Dave Wajsgras, President of Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services.

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Marcelle M. Wahba, President of AGSIW, said the forum allowed for “an incredible amount of important subject matter to be discussed in just one day… Serious cybersecurity measures are vital to national and global security in the 21stCentury. We have taken some very productive steps today through the UAE Security Forum, and the Institute looks forward to continuing this work with Raytheon and its partners.”

One of the forum’s highlights was the session called “Creating a 21st Century Cyber Workforce.” Moderated by Dr. Lydia Kostopoulos, Assistant Professor at Khalifa University’s Institute of International and Civil Society, the session drew on a diverse panel of participants. Experts from government, the private sector and academia explored how the UAE can leverage its resources and partnerships and build a sustainable talent pool of cybersecurity specialists.

Forum attendees also heard from John C. Inglis, former Deputy Director of the U.S. National Security Agency, as he delivered an insightful keynote speech. As a leading expert with more than three decades of experience in the technical and cybersecurity fields, Inglis helped forum attendees better understand the current cyber threat matrix and emerging measures to counter them.

The security forum’s final session drew on the assembled expertise of attendees to develop an action plan for development of cybersecurity professionals in the UAE.

“Raytheon’s longstanding partnership with the UAE covers a wide range of security issues. The intent is to use our deep expertise in cybersecurity to help the Emirates meet its Vision 2030 objectives,” said Chris Davis, Raytheon’s business executive in the UAE.

Raytheon will launch its global Cyber Academy initiative with a four-day workshop at Khalifa University, beginning Feb. 22. The workshop will give students instruction from cyber experts from the University of Texas – San Antonio’s Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security. The CIAS was recently named the top cyber education program in the United States. The workshop will end with a cyber competition, in which the students will test their new skills.



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