Information technology expert Mr. Yaqoob Al-Awadhi stated that Bahrain’s hosting of the “Arab International Cybersecurity Summit” under the patronage of HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, and Prime Minister, will enhance the security of the Kingdom of Bahrain in the field of IT.
Mr. Al-Awadhi called for the summit to consider the establishment of an internationally secure cyberspace to protect the national interests of countries, institutes, and individuals from cyber threats. The implementation of secure cyberspace will reduce risks and raise the level of response to cyber-attacks. He noted that there should be greater coordination between countries through the establishment of an “international cyber alliance” that would help to protect its members against attacks in cyberspace.
Mr. Al-Awadhi, the founder and CEO of NGN International, a leading IT systems integrator and managed cyber security service provider based in Bahrain, said that his company will be very active throughout the summit, showcasing the progress seen in the Kingdom of Bahrain when it comes to cybersecurity and the contribution of the private sector.
Mr. Al-Awadhi said; “Cybersecurity today has become one of the most vital sectors of the state and many of its institutions. Countries throughout the world can be victims of cyber-attacks which aim to destabilize security and stability while affecting the public and private economies. Any governmental work conducted digitally is a potential risk. This can include work on legislation, formal interaction with the media, the bank accounts of government employees as well as governmental social media accounts.”
The NGN International CEO reflected on the fact that people today are perennially linked to electronic transactions and the internet, and therefore this field needs the protection, control, and all-encompassing security provided by cyber-aware institutions and individuals. As humans become more dependent on digital technologies it is more important than ever to drive domestic and international efforts to work collaboratively. This will ensure that nations and communities are protected from cyberattacks, which present a danger comparable to conventional military weapons.
Mr Al-Awadhi went on to refer to the numerous cyberattacks launched against Bahrain on the eve of the parliamentary and municipal elections as well as the swift response by the state and its institutions, which led to the attacks being repelled. He noted that the Kingdom of Bahrain’s technological infrastructure was the deciding factor in this fierce cyberwar that took place in the crucial hours during the elections.
Summarising his position, the CEO stated, “The time has come to recognize the necessity of further upgrades to cyber security in order to safeguard the state and our society from these attacks. We should implement advanced defensive mechanisms, the subject of which will be discussed at the Arab International Cyber Security Summit in December. The summit will also focus on the most recent forms of protection and responses to these attacks and bring together a group of cybersecurity, information, and communication technology experts from around the world to Bahrain. The Kingdom continues to be a leader in this sector and work continues to make it a global center for cybersecurity.