Describing universities as ‘the good guys’ in the struggle for online security, Edward Guiliano, Ph.D., President, New York Institute of Technology (NYIT), delivered opening remarks at the university’s first Global Cyber Security Conference in Abu Dhabi.
The audience of approximately 200 also heard from His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, the UAE’s Minister of Youth, Culture, and Community Development, who inaugurated the conference.
NYIT’s conference welcomed cyber defence professionals and others in the field from the US, the UAE, and throughout the MENA region, as well as faculty and students from universities across the country. Cyber-attacks cost the world upwards of $113bn each year, according to a recent estimate, and their 378 million victims exceed the entire population of the Middle East. Moreover, the UAE plans to nearly double its security spending in coming years, with most of the increase going toward tightening cyber security.
President Guiliano’s speech underscored the conference theme: National and Corporate Threats, Protection, and Education. Noting that Internet dependence has made enterprises and individuals alike more vulnerable to cyber-attacks, President Guiliano emphasised that cyber defence is a major global issue, and that education is key to solving this and others of society’s biggest challenges. Noting that NYIT is a leader in cyber security education around the world, President Guiliano stated that universities must ‘ensure that organisations have the talent to manage risk, and a workforce that can spot the potential for risk’.
Ultimately, he said, “Government bodies and private industry will have to join universities in encouraging ‘idea flow’ in order to “spread insights and develop smart approaches to global problems”. Universities, by leading a dialogue between ‘human-centred design’ and ‘community-engaged design’, will stimulate the innovations needed in the field of cyber security, and in other areas in need of world-class thinking.”
NYIT’s Abu Dhabi campus was established in 2005 as the first licensed and accredited American university in the U.A.E. capital. Nearly 600 NYIT graduates now play their part in the UAE’s growing economy, working in private and public organizations across the country.
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