Abu Dhabi: The International Institute for Management Development (IMD) report revealed that the UAE ranked first in the region and fourth worldwide in cybersecurity.

The Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) team continues to monitor information technology infrastructure in the UAE, providing alerts to members and giving directions on how to mitigate attacks.

The TRA said that these ranks had been achieved by a cybersecurity team through the UAE Computer Emergency Response Team (aeCERT), a TRA initiative, accredited by the UAE Ministerial Council for Services as the national CERT of the UAE.

Mohammad Bin Ahmad Al Qamzi, chairman of the TRA board of directors, said: “The TRA places great emphasis on cybersecurity making it one of the strategic goals in efforts to prepare a leading globally sustainable, secure and competitive digital environment in the country’s ICT sector.

“We are proud of this achievement in cybersecurity as the UAE was ranked first regionally and fourth globally. Considering the wide spectrum of countries covered by the report of the IMD, we shall find that the UAE ranking is a significant accomplishment. We at the TRA consider this achievement as a reward for the work we do and a catalyst to continue our endeavour to reach even higher rankings and positions in order to become known and recognised as a developed country by our international peers and other developed nations,” Al Qamzi added.

The report covers 59 developed countries including the US, UK, Germany, Switzerland, Singapore and Hong Kong, among others. The report, which has been published annually since 1989, is based on more than 300 indicators including efficiency of government and business, infrastructure, and economic performance.

“The TRA is committed to raising the efficiency of the aeCERT staff, ensuring aeCERT’s participation in all regional and international events, since such interactions increase the knowledge and expertise of the team members. We are proud that the team is managed by specialists with one hundred per cent of Emiritisation”, Al Qamzi said.

TRA said that aeCERT provides 30 precautionary and interactive services under four sections: monitoring cyber-attacks and response; research and analysis; security awareness; and information security quality services.

TRA added that aeCERT had made significant achievements in activating early alerts notifying members of vulnerabilities in the infrastructure, attacks, and malwares that might target its members.

TRA also focused on educating UAE society about cybersecurity through awareness campaigns that targeted all segments of society. It created the ‘Salem’ character that extends advice through all types of media including print, television, radio, and social media in addition to making appearances at specialised conferences and exhibitions. A free application for tablets, such as the iPad, was also designed for these awareness campaigns.