Jointly hosted by Taiwan Center for Security Studies & American University in Dubai
Janurary 21st , 2021
As the world is preoccupied with the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, information technology and the digitalization of new frontiers in the cyber sphere continue to play a defining role in our lives. Economies from across the world are gradually learning to adapt to the New Normal. In light of all this, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates are examples of two nations that constantly face the growing specter of cybersecurity threats from foreign actors. Thus, addressing these issues in a collaborative environment between Taiwan and the UAE is necessary if we are to deal with the challenges of new age technology its security implications in a timely manner.
Last week, Taiwan Center for Security Studies (TCSS) and American University in Dubai (AUD) hosted a joint webinar on the topic of “5G, Internet of Things and the Safety of Web Conference”. Co-organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan, ROC, the event invited attendees from the private and public sectors hailing from both countries. Representing the technical industry, Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (工研院), Institute for Information Industry (資策會), Taiwan Association of Information and Communication Standards (台灣資通產業標準協會) as well as Ingram Micro and Fortinet Middle East from Dubai, UAE.
H.E. Dr. Mohamed Hamad Hareb Al Kuwaiti, Head of Cyber Security for the UAE government gave the opening remarks. Stressing the accelerated challenges that COVID-19 has brought in the field cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. Dr. Al Kuwaiti further looks forward to cooperating on multiple levels with Taiwan’s technical industry in addressing and overcoming these issues.
Mr. John Hsu from Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau’s Information and Communication Security Division concurred with Dr. Al Kuwaiti’s assessment. Stating that in recent days, social engineering has become a hacker’s favorite technique, highlighting the breakthroughs that Taiwan has witness. Emphasizing that to in terms of COVID-19 disinformation, the past week alone has reported roughly 440 cases, with over half of that coming from malign foreign actors.
The webinar further propelled discussion regarding the transition to a New Normal in terms of cybersecurity and the risks that it entails. To this, Mr. Kalle Bjorn, Director of Systems Engineering at Fortinet Middle East observed that: “the more we are connected, the more vulnerable we could be.” As the attack surface increases during times of remote work, and increased online networking, so would the potential risk factor.
Security standards and protocols in the IT industry also sparked intense dialogue amongst the speakers. Dr. Fu-Kuo Liu, Director of TCSS, expressed that governments must keep up with the evolution and advancement of tech and digitalization if regulations for information and data privacy have any real possibility of making a difference. Mr. Allen Cheng, Senior Market Analyst & Research Director at the Institute for Information Technology, explained that in Taiwan, the concept of Open 5G has been on the rise and strongly supported by both the private and public sectors. Hence, cooperation between suppliers, adopters and companies would require global strategic partners, which Taiwan is looking forward to working with.
During the concluding remarks, Dr. Wael Bazzi, Acting Dean of the School of Engineering at American University in Dubai, reiterated that this event is not the end, rather the beginning of our collaboration. On the Taiwan side, channels for cooperation and a dedicated task force have already been established internally. All parties have agreed to continue pushing the envelope forward in terms of exploring future grounds and possibilities to work together with like-minded partners and friends.