Ahead of UAE embracing ‘AI government,’ cyber-pandemic quickened digital transformation: Cybersecurity chief

Ahead of UAE embracing ‘AI government,’ cyber-pandemic quickened digital transformation: Cybersecurity chief

By Binsal Abdulkader

 

ABU DHABI, 27th September 20201 (WAM) – As the United Arab Emirates is embracing an ‘Artificial Intelligence Government’ and ‘AI economy,’ the country is fully equipped to meet the associated cybersecurity challenges, said a top official, adding that cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility as well.

In an exclusive interview with Emirates News Agency (WAM), Dr.

Mohamed Hamad Al Kuwaiti, Head of Cybersecurity for the UAE Government, said, “When we talk about the digital transformation, the UAE has really moved from a regular government to a smart government and now going towards an Artificial Intelligence Government [and AI economy] as envisioned by the leadership.

We are fully equipped to meet the associated challenges.

We are capable to detect and protect [from any cyberattacks],” he affirmed.

The UAE has attained high ranks in many global cybersecurity indexes, the official noted.

Ahead of the UAE’s transformation into an AI government and AI economy, a ‘cyber-pandemic’ has caused a quicker digital transformation in society as digital gadgets are used full time by children for e-learning and adults for work from home since the outbreak of COVID-19, Al Kuwaiti pointed out.

“People have directly moved to digital domains due to the pandemic.

We call it ‘cyber-pandemic’.

However, a culture of cybersecurity [adequate awareness] is still being developed,” he explained in the interview on the sidelines of the International Government Communication Forum (IGCF) in Sharjah.

“There is a gap in terms of cybersecurity and we would like to fix it by raising awareness through this forum, similar platforms and cybersecurity drills etc.

,” the official said.

Each digital device has to be used carefully to ensure cybersecurity and it is everyone’s responsibility, he stressed.

“It’s a collaborative effort of all relevant government entities, plus the social entities that are working with us in different communities,” Al Kuwaiti noted.

Technology is in everything we do.

It’s in our lifestyle.

Therefore, we have to be using that technology in a respectable manner as well as in a vigilant manner.

Moving into an AI government/ economy involves sector-wise perspectives.

“So the financial sector will definitely move into AI.

In that seamless process, AI will be used to ensure cybersecurity.

That huge traffic of data in the transformation is overwhelming but it will be sifted through using AI,” the cybersecurity chief explained.

While the government is using AI for defensive measures of cybersecurity, some other elements may use it for offensive measures, Al Kuwaiti pointed out while talking about the challenges associated with the AI government and economy.

He cited the examples of hackers using ransomware for cyberattacks.

“It is a cat and mouse dilemma.

We are fully equipped [in this expected battle of cybersecurity] and we will succeed with the support of our partners in government and private sector,” he reassured.

Al Kuwaiti will speak about cybersecurity at the International Government Communication Forum (IGCF) on Monday morning.

The 2021 edition of the Forum began on Sunday at Expo Centre Sharjah, under the patronage of H.

H.

Dr.

Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.

The milestone 10th edition of the prestigious two-day forum is hosting 79 communication experts from around the world to evaluate the historical experience of government communication, discuss innovative crisis management mechanisms and determine the future of public communication.

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