UAE government foils 50,000 daily cyberattacks amid rising global threats

The UAE's public sector is grappling with an escalating cybersecurity challenge, facing an average of 50,000 attacks daily, according to Dr. Mohammed Al Kuwaiti, Head of Cyber Security, UAE Government. This surge is attributed to global geopolitical tensions affecting the region.

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The spectrum of threats spans scanning activities, phishing emails, distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, and ransomware, impacting the entire network of government entities. The UAE has implemented stringent measures against cyber threats, including financial penalties and imprisonment.

The private sector, in comparison, is potentially confronting even more significant threats, with Dr. Al Kuwaiti indicating that the number of cybersecurity attacks could double or triple compared to the public sector. A recent study by Kaspersky revealed that 15% of private sector companies in the UAE experienced cyber incidents due to insufficient cybersecurity investment in the last two years. The financial sector is particularly susceptible, and ongoing collaborations with entities like the UAE Banks Federation (UBF) are focused on enhancing cybersecurity training.

Collaborations are also underway to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) in cybersecurity efforts. Dr. Al Kuwaiti emphasized the crucial role of AI in not only defending against cyber threats but also in developing technologies across various sectors. As the UAE strives to become the "AI nation" by 2071, AI integration is envisioned across diverse fields, ranging from transportation to healthcare.

The country's cybersecurity sector is estimated to be valued at Dh1.5 billion, highlighting the significant investment and importance attached to securing digital infrastructure. The government's cybersecurity unit is actively engaged in collaborations with public sector entities to ensure that designs, coding, and security layers are robust and effective.

The overarching Vision 2071 aims to position the UAE as a leader in AI adoption and innovation, envisioning its application across multiple facets of national development. The governance of AI is considered critical, acknowledging both its potential risks and benefits. In the broader landscape, the role of AI in cybersecurity is underscored, with efforts directed towards effective governance and management to ensure the secure and responsible deployment of this transformative technology.

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