World cybersecurity summit showcases women in technology from Oman

MUSCAT, AUG 29 – The MENA edition of the World Cybersecurity Summit was held virtually recently with the focus on ‘Cybersecurity for a Post-Pandemic Age’ featuring MENA’s leading government authorities and cybersecurity experts.  In attendance, virtually, were over 500 participants including, government leaders, CISOs and cybersecurity experts from across the globe to discuss the latest strategies and trends in the post-COVID-19 era.

Representing Oman were two well-known personalities Laila Abdullah al Hadhrami as panellist and Alena Dique as SDG partner and moderator. Laila al Hadhrami is a Digital Transformation & Change Management Expert in the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology, who is also Director of the Oman Smart City Platform in the Sultanate. Alena Dique is the founding director and coordinator of the UNCTAD Youth Action Hub Oman.

“The more we are becoming smarter in our data, the more we need cybersecurity to protect our data from being hacked,” emphasised Laila al Hadhrami. “Cyber-security is one of the main elements and components in Smart Cities and we have to keep educating the society through the sustainable initiatives in awareness which is the most powerful weapon. We have also cybersecurity experts from Smart City Ambassadors which is one of the main successful initiatives managed by the Smart City Platform through the different ambassadors who keep delivering knowledge and awareness in different sectors of Smart Cities and emerging technologies. Recently, we have launched a professional community of practice for Smart City ambassadors where they can propose innovative ideas and take it to an advance level to be executed and implemented.”

Alena Dique

“COVID-19 has created both a health and economic crisis. As we move from the response to recovery phase to the reimagine phase, we need to ensure that no one is left behind. Every job will now require digital skills. In the next five years, Microsoft has predicted the creation of 149 million new tech jobs in the field of software development, cybersecurity and Machine Learning. With this comes the increase in cyber threats, hacking and cyber-attacks for individuals and nations alike. We must act now in terms of creating awareness, implementing training and upgrading skills,” said Alena Dique, UNCTAD Youth coordinator, Youth Action Hub Oman.

Youth Action Hub Oman, the first UNCTAD Youth Hub in the GCC, was the Youth Partner for the Trescon World Cyber Security Summit and aligned the event with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This event was aligned with Goal number 9 on Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure. The objective is to promote sustainable development in the MENA region, to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and to foster innovation in the field on cybersecurity.

The cohesive agenda of the summit covered topics such as ‘Cybersecurity for Smart Cities and citizens’ safety; ‘Disaster prevention and recovery planning for cyber attacks’; ‘Cybersecurity and data protection for Banking and Financial Institutions’; and ‘The MENA Government Cybersecurity Strategy’; to name a few.

The summit included unique interactive online environments featuring keynotes, technology use cases, panel discussions, product showcases and leading solution architects in the cybersecurity realm who presented the latest innovations to tackle cyber threats. The attendees also had the opportunity to discuss their challenges in secure, private one-to-one consultation rooms and networking rooms.