The Bahrain British Business Forum’s (BBBF) legal special interest group hosted leading international legal practice Norton Rose Fulbright on Tuesday (June 10) for a special presentation on cyber risk in Bahrain and the region.
At the event, sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank, Dino Wilkinson, Norton Rose Fulbright technology and intellectual property partner, and Steven Brown, senior associate at ASAR – Al Ruwayeh & Partners, examined the legal and business implications of cyber attacks and considered some of the local, regional and international legislation in this area.
The topic is particularly pertinent as more and more data is handled electronically, causing governments and businesses to become increasingly concerned about the threat of cyber risks. The Middle East has recently seen many cyber attacks on major institutions and heightened levels of “cyber warfare” in Syria and Iran.
Mr. Wilkinson, commented, “Cybercrime laws exist to a varying degree in several GCC jurisdictions. In Bahrain, the Ministry of Interior operates a cyber crime unit and a draft law on such crimes is currently under consideration. Qatar also has a draft law under review in this area. The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman already have detailed cyber crimes legislation in place.”
“It is equally vital also for organisations to be aware of the legal and regulatory issues in this area, both from the perspective of potential sanctions and remedies against cyber attackers. It is a particularly hot topic today with the recent news of the US indictment of members of the Chinese military for cyber crimes and considerable publicity around the GameOver Zeus and Cryptolocker viruses.”
The BBBF’s special interest group events include a wide range of sectors and fields, including security, construction, ICT, legal, financial services, and orgnisational effectiveness.