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As the digital frontier expands, the Dubai World Trade Centre hosts GISEC Global 2024 from April 23 to 25, a landmark event that not only brings together over 20,000 attendees from more than 130 countries but also features over 350 speakers and 300 sessions that chart the future of cybersecurity in the Middle East and Africa. This year's edition, supported by leading local and global experts, showcases the UAE's strategic importance in the global cybersecurity dialogue and its potential economic impact on the region's tech-driven markets.

Artificial intelligence (AI) remains the pivotal theme of GISEC Global 2024, significantly influencing discussions and shaping the future of technology and cybersecurity. The conference delves into AI's transformative impact, introducing new solutions and addressing emerging challenges. Experts are highlighting the latest advancements in AI-driven security measures and their potential to enhance cyber resilience.

Additionally, the event serves as a dynamic platform for global cybersecurity professionals, from across the globe including ethical hackers and industry leaders, to exchange ideas and explore technological breakthroughs. Attendees engaged with thought leaders, experience cutting-edge solutions, and participate in discussions that shape the future of cybersecurity, gaining unparalleled access to the latest strategies and technologies.

Microsoft’s AI Milestone

The unveiling of Microsoft's Security Co-Pilot at GISEC 2024 marks a significant advancement in AI-driven cybersecurity solutions, tailored for the UAE’s dynamic business environment. This tool, highlighted by Tarig Khalawani, Microsoft UAE's Enterprise Commercial Solutions Lead, processes over 65 trillion threat signals daily. Built on the GPT-4 model, Security Co-Pilot acts as a virtual assistant for cybersecurity professionals, providing actionable insights and enhancing threat management capabilities. Its introduction has attracted 10 early adopters in the UAE, demonstrating its effectiveness in navigating and securing against complex digital threats.

Leadership Insights from His Excellency Amer Sharaf

In his keynote at GISEC 2024, His Excellency Amer Sharaf, CEO of the Cyber Security Systems and Services Sector and Dubai Electronic Security Center (DESC), emphasized the strategic role of AI in bolstering the UAE's cyber resilience. He outlined the dual-use nature of AI, highlighting both its benefits and risks, and stressed the importance of upholding trust through rigorous verification processes. His insights underscored AI's critical impact on the digital economy and the necessity for collaborative approaches to ensure robust cybersecurity across organizations and governments in the region.

Global Collaboration at the GISEC CISO Circle:

During the GISEC CISO Circle session, a diverse panel of experts highlighted the importance of international collaboration in cybersecurity, focusing on protecting critical energy infrastructure and equipment. The panel included prominent figures like Cem Dusran, CISO at Enerjisa Enerji, Turkey, and Sara Al Kindi, Cyber Defense Head at Petroleum Development, Oman, among others. They discussed how the energy sector is increasingly leveraging AI, particularly in analytical tasks, and emphasized the importance of having robust infrastructure to protect key data from cyberattacks. Additionally, Hardeep Singh, Senior Security Architect at Pentera, UAE, demonstrated a live analysis of a cloud system attack, providing practical advice on maintaining strong security measures to prevent such breaches. This session showcased the global efforts and strategies required to secure crucial sectors against sophisticated cyber threats, underlining the necessity of international partnerships in advancing cybersecurity defenses.

Channel Next’s ‘Happy Reading’ Initiative:

One of the leading distributors of the region highlighted the importance of self-care along with cyber-care and protection. The VAD focusing on offering Management, Endpoint, Cloud, Application, and Network Security, made it a point to hand-over paperback physical books to its partners and clients during the event. The CEO, Belgin Abraham added, “I'm thrilled to share our 'Happy Reading' campaign's success at GISEC 2024. By distributing paperback books at the forefront of cyber defense, we emphasize the importance of self-care alongside cybersecurity vigilance. Our commitment extends beyond digital protection, fostering holistic well-being for our community and industry professionals.”

Pragnesh Menon, the Head of IT at Middlesex University in Dubai was happy to share his feedback, “As the IT Head of a leading university in Dubai, immersed in academia and surrounded by books daily, witnessing Channel Next's 'Happy Reading' initiative at GISEC was truly refreshing. I commend their efforts to emphasize the significance of reading in our everyday lives, intertwining it with cybersecurity awareness.”

Tenable’s Cloud Security Innovations:

Bernard Montel, Technical Director for EMEA at Tenable, presented the company’s latest advancements in cloud security technologies specifically designed for the Middle East. Highlighting the region's critical infrastructures and industries, Montel discussed the new Tenable Cloud Security product, recently launched to meet the unique demands of the Middle East market. This product addresses the expanded attack surface within cloud environments, offering solutions that cater to both on-premises and cloud systems, thereby supporting a comprehensive hybrid approach to cybersecurity.

The Dubai Cyber Index:

At GISEC Global 2024, the Dubai Cyber Index was prominently featured as a proactive initiative by Dubai to enhance cybersecurity across the region. This index serves as a comprehensive model for local businesses, enabling them to bolster their defenses against emerging threats effectively. Reflecting the findings of a recent Cisco study, which showed that 91% of UAE firms are integrating AI in their cybersecurity strategies, the Dubai Cyber Index provides a framework for incorporating advanced technologies in threat detection, response, and recovery. The index is particularly relevant in today's hyperconnected world, where the complexity of security postures and the variety of threats—from phishing and ransomware to more sophisticated cyberattacks—require robust and adaptive solutions.

GISEC Global 2024 remains a pivotal event for cybersecurity professionals, business leaders, and policymakers, marrying innovative solutions with real-world challenges to advance the security capabilities of the UAE and beyond.

For more details about the event and its impact on regional cybersecurity practices, please visit https://gisec.ae/