The former National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection and Counter-terrorism for the United States, Richard Clarke, delivered a powerful keynote at the closing session of the event today. He shared insights on the state of cybersecurity in the Middle East and what businesses and governments need to do, to prevent high-profile breaches. As an internationally recognized expert on the subject, he also touched upon the ‘rise of cyber-warfare’ and how cyber-terrorists and organized crime affiliates are all known to be participating in acts of cyber-warfare. He said that as a result, it’s no surprise that the number of attacks on commercial, government and military groups, continues to grow. His call to action was for increased international laws and agreements between countries on cybersecurity.
Another interesting session of the day was on ‘Modern Cryptography’ by Dr. Najwa Aaraj from Dark Matter. As someone who doesn’t delve into the technical aspects of cybersecurity, I find this subject of cryptography absolutely fascinating! She shared insights on how to augment and protect modern systems with cryptography, through a combination of design, software and hardware implementations. To think that the use of codes and ciphers to protect information, began thousands of years ago and today, has developed into a remarkable discipline - one that is the cornerstone of computer and communications security!
As cyber-attacks and techniques to combat these breaches dominated discussions at the event, Matt Alderman from Tenable Network Security, asked if today’s cybersecurity solutions are really working or have actually been deployed? It’s a great question especially in a time when companies are all talking about the issue of cybersecurity, but little is said around the effectiveness of the technologies. As security concerns continue to rise in the Middle East, organizations need assurance that previous and future security investments are effective. Alderman said that ‘Security Assurance’ is key to minimizing risks in the future.
So, as the curtains close on the first edition of RSA Conference 2015 Abu Dhabi, it’s been fantastic to see the high levels of interest from delegates, in what the event had to offer in terms of keynote speakers, exhibitors and sessions. All of this wouldn't have been possible without the dedication of the program committee and the involvement of our speakers.
I hope that it served as a platform to facilitate in-depth conversations about cybersecurity and that you found it engaging. We look forward to seeing you again at RSA Conference San Francisco next year from Feb 29-March 4.
Thank you all and safe travels home!