All industries are undergoing digital transformation - and technologies such as cloud computing, Big Data, 5G, IoT and AI are being applied extensively. Business ecosystems are more open; service rollout faster; and solutions more diversified and made available globally.
These innovations bring convenience, opportunities and benefits. However, they also create new challenges to cyber security and privacy protection.
Cybersecurity is a challenge that we all share. Stakeholders across different markets will not be able to fight cybercrime alone. Users, integrators, manufacturers, consultants, distributors, researchers and other players are part of the security cycle that require unified standards, independent verification, and a whole-of-society approach.
In 2020, many of us were not only fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, but also the impact it had on how businesses operate during such a trying time. The emergence of the pandemic quickly demonstrated the lack of digital strategies in global supply chains.
It forced companies to introduce business continuity measures that they were not prepared for. With employees working remotely and processes being digitized, the cracks in their security processes began to erupt.
Since then, there has been a renewed focus on cybersecurity. With recent remote working initiatives rolled out extensively across the public and private sectors, the need for proper security measures and deliverables have amplified.
Cyber at its core
To build a digital oasis of trust, an all-industry, full-society approach to collaboration is essential to enhancing systematic cybersecurity governance for everyone. The UAE Government is a key stakeholder in reaching a trusted digital ecosystem. Last year, the Cabinet proactively agreed to establish the UAE Cybersecurity Council with the aim of developing a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy and creating a safe and strong cyber infrastructure.
It also launched the Dubai Cyber Index, the first of its kind in the world, to drive the emirate’s digital transformation. This new initiative plays a role in enhancing the cybersecurity measures in place to safeguard government entities in the emirate.
At a business level, the UAE has a National Cybersecurity strategy in place that aims to create a safe and strong cyber infrastructure that enables citizens to fulfill their aspirations and empowers businesses to thrive.
The new strategy has a positive impact on all segments of society by enhancing citizens confidence to securely participate in the digital world, encouraging innovation in cybersecurity, fostering a culture of entrepreneurship in cybersecurity, enabling SMEs to safeguard themselves against cyber-attacks, protecting critical information infrastructure assets, and building a world-class cybersecurity workforce.
With access to such resources and to keep up with digitization, businesses need to refresh their cybersecurity polices and plans, as well as invest in their talent and leadership team to include cybersecurity experts to keep up with the ever-changing dynamics of ICT.
With this in mind, it is equally important to address the shortage of cybersecurity professionals around the world. The cybersecurity skills crisis continues to worsen for the fourth year in a row and has impacted 70 per cent of organizations, as revealed by the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) and Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG).
Get more of the skilled
As we continue to progress towards a digital ecosystem, we must be prepared to challenge the risks associated with the ICT sector by having the necessary skills and education in place. We firmly believe in the importance of all stakeholders from the public and private sectors working together to solidify the ICT ecosystem, including talent development.
We work with partners – from local governments to educational organizations - to create a lasting impact and leverage innovation and collaboration to address global challenges surrounding cybersecurity.
If the global ICT industry is unable to solve or confront the threats of cybersecurity, the digital world will inevitably collapse. Cybersecurity and privacy protection are the foundation of our shared future. They present challenges that governments, carriers, network equipment providers, and a wide range of third-parties need to work together to address and overcome these challenges.
Together we can take the necessary steps to build the UAE into a trusted digital oasis in the Middle East and for the world.
- Jiawei Liu is CEO of Huawei UAE