Interview with Ebrahim Hamdan Al Alkeem, Governance Security Lead at Abu Dhabi Systems & Information Centre (ADSIC)

Written by: Fleming. Team

In an exclusive leading up the the Cyber Resilience & InfoSec 2017, we asked Ebrahim Hamdan Al Alkeem about the concerns of cyber threats and the state of cyber security. Read his thoughts below:-

Which are the most concerning cyber threats for government organizations?

Online communication has become the norm, internet users and governments face increased risks of becoming the targets of cyber attacks. As cyber criminals continue to develop and advance their techniques, they are also shifting their targets — focusing less on theft of financial information and more on business espionage and accessing government information.

Cyber attacks have evolved in utilizing online weapons affecting government entities. a full-scale cyber attack on a country’s important infrastructure, such as military email systems, air traffic control systems, financial markets and utilities could have an unprecedented long-term effect. I believe that the world has already witnessed glimpses of cyber war, with cyber espionage hackers stealing important state information or crippling government offices.

One of the major challenges to preventing cyber crime is the prevalence of software piracy, as pirated software is more prone to attacks by viruses, malware and trojans. I believe that the rapid growth of consumer PC markets in emerging countries such as India, Brazil and China — has contributed largely to the rising piracy rates.

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What is the role of intelligence in fighting cyber crime?

As enterprises and government agencies increasingly adopt cloud, mobile, and social computing, information technology (IT) environments are becoming more difficult to defend. Increasingly, organizations need to accept that security breaches are inevitable. Security strategies need to go beyond defense to include detection, response, and recovery. All this gives rise to a need for new skills and approaches and specialized tools and services, including continuous monitoring and threat forensics powered by analytics.

How do you perceive the state of cyber security in the next 10 years? What should we prepare for?

Increased connectedness will elevate our vulnerability. A car that drives itself? That's ripe fruit for hackers. And no matter how thin your screen gets, there will always be a cybercriminal looking to wriggle in. By almost all accounts, we're on a path toward an unprecedented wave of cybercrime. Last year we had to worry about credit card hacks. In ten years, the list may grow.