Cyber Security

Global cybersecurity experts to convene in Bahrain

Global cybersecurity experts are set to visit Bahrain this week to attend Arab world’s pioneering cybersecurity event, the Arab International Cybersecurity Summit (AICS) – a first-of-its-kind event being held from December 6 to 8 at Exhibition World Bahrain.

Co-hosted by the National Cyber Security Centre and held under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander, and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, AICS represents the region’s highest level of engagement, bringing together experts from government, industry, and business verticals including BFSI, oil and gas, energy, utilities, IT and telecommunications, manufacturing, education, and more.

The Summit’s three-day Cyber Leaders Forum, which has attracted decision-makers from across Europe, the USA, the UK, Asia, the Baltics, and the Middle East, will look to reframe the region’s Cyber Security Leadership landscape with Dr Mohamed Al Kuwaiti, Managing Director of the National Data Centre under the UAE’s Supreme Council for National Security, expected to call for supercharged collaboration in his regional keynote address.

“With the cost of cybersecurity incidents in the Middle East reaching a new high of $6.93 million per data breach — significantly higher than the global average cost of $4.24 million per incident – it’s time to question whether we move the action dial from defence to offence,” Al Kuwaiti said.

The summit will look to reframe the region’s Cyber Security Leadership landscape

The summit will look to reframe the region’s Cyber Security Leadership landscape

“With co-operation at the heart of the ACIS theme, we need to explore the best practice and importance of working together as a regional team to develop strategies to quickly evolve our security space to address the pressing concerns of today and for years to come,” he added.

With the guidance and expertise of Dr Jassim Haji, President of the AI Society, delegates will also explore whether the increasing adoption of Artificial Intelligence is fuelling cybersecurity breaches.

“With almost all aspects of the industry now utilising the power of AI, there is a pressing need and demand for AI-driven tools to combat AI-driven attacks. This conference will help us better understand the aspects of AI and machine-learning, which could be hijacked for the cyber-attacks of the future,” he explained.

The Forum will also look to explore how to change industry attitudes towards cybersecurity. Roshdi Osman, Cybersecurity Strategist of Saudi Aramco and founder of, will help delegates scrutinise the rationale for establishing a business enabler risk-based cybersecurity programme.

“Nowadays, there are more devices than humans and hackers are getting more creative, making it difficult to implement efficient cybersecurity measures,” he said.

And as the Arab world increasingly regulates personal data use, the Forum will drill down into the role of regulations in safeguarding data, privacy, and security with the help of Karolina Mojzesowicz, Deputy Head of Unit Data Protection, European Commission.

“With all services moving to the cloud, it is the role of regulations to ensure that citizens’ data is safe and secure, and regulators must always be mindful while drafting laws that they need to focus on ensuring data processing is lawful, fair, and transparent to the data subject,” she said.

The dilemma of talent gaps in the cybersecurity sector will also come under the Forum’s microscope with Dr Viktor Polic, Chief Information Security Officer, International Labour Organisation, looking to guide leaders along the pathway to talent development and upskilling.

“The current cybersecurity skill and capability gaps constitute a systemic vulnerability in the world’s cyber resiliency. To solve this and create a robust digital economy system, it will be essential to create an inclusive cybersecurity workforce,” he said.

The Forum will also feature virtual sessions from headline speakers Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, and Marc Randolph, co-founder and former CEO of Netflix. Complemented by a Block Stage platform to probe technical aspects of specific topics, Room 42 will host specific executive and technical sessions through table-top exercises, simulation games and live demos, including the use of a Velociraptor, an advanced digital forensic and incident response tool that can perform targeted gathering of digital forensic evidence, to triage hosts on a network.

The Hack Arena activation zone will be running a ‘Capture the Flag’ team competition on ethical hacking and cyber awareness. Consisting of 125 multi-disciplinary cybersecurity challenges, the competition is designed to test the users’ capability across the entire spectrum of cybersecurity skills. The winners will receive prizes while all participants will be awarded a certificate of attendance and a personalised breakdown of their progress and achievements.

Trying to drive the importance of good internet habits, there will also be a cyber hackathon for university students, a cyber scavenger hunt for high school students.

The summit is set to host some of the industry’s leading industry players, such as Forcepoint, Kaspersky, Axonious, Veritas and more. AICS is jointly organised by Messe Frankfurt Middle East and Bahraini event specialists Faalyat WLL and enjoys the support of Bahrain’s Ministry of Interior, the Bahrain Economic Development Board, and the Central Bank of Bahrain. The event is sponsored by Benefit, Waterfall, NGN International and STC.

To find out more or register to attend, please visit: