At a cybersecurity forum in Dubai, greater collaboration between the US and Gulf states was encouraged by the US Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and industry, American Business Council of Dubai & the Northern Emirates and Dubai Internet City have launched a US – Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Cyber Working Group.
According to an announcement, the working group will focus on facilitating a sustained and constructive dialogue between American companies and the public and private sectors in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Arabian Gulf.
“Businesses across the globe face multiple, simultaneous cybersecurity challenges from nation state actors, as well as militants, criminal groups, and hacktivists,” said Ann Beauchesne, senior vice president for National Security and Emergency Preparedness at the U.S. Chamber. “We are excited to launch the US – GCC Cyber Working Group because we believe that through greater public-private collaboration and communication regarding cybersecurity threats and best practices, we can better ensure the economic security of all countries involved.”
The US Chamber’s National Security and Emergency Preparedness Department was “established in 2003 to develop and implement the Chamber’s homeland and national security policies,” The Chamber said. “The department works through the National Security Task Force, a policy committee composed of roughly 200 Chamber members representing a broad spectrum of the nation’s economy. The task force’s Cybersecurity Working Group identifies current and emerging issues, crafts policies and positions, and provides analysis and direct advocacy to government and business leaders."
The need to address increasingly sophisticated threats against American and global businesses has gone from an IT issue to a top priority for the C-suite and the boardroom. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue said, “In an interconnected world, economic security and national security are linked. To maintain a strong and resilient economy, we must protect against the threat of cyberattacks.”
“However,” many hurdles stand in the way of meaningful change,” the Chamber said, including:
•Appropriate roles of government entities in private-public partnerships.
•Lack of information sharing regarding threats between government and industry.
•Cyberattacks against US businesses owing to a lack of credible deterrence.
•Misalignment of international cyber regimes.
•Demand for cybersecurity personnel outstripping supply.
“The US Chamber is here in Dubai because the UAE is one of the most wired countries in the world,” said Khush Choksy, senior vice president for Middle East Affairs at the US Chamber. “It is critically important that the US and UAE work together on issues such as cybersecurity, because hackers and bad actors know no international borders. Through events such as this forum and the new working group, we look forward to a sustained and constructive dialogue between American companies and the private and public sectors across GCC countries and the learning opportunities this will present.”
The forum brought together American companies and cybersecurity experts with leaders from the UAE’s government and industry to discuss cybersecurity trends, private and public sector efforts aimed underway in both countries to improve network security and to explore the benefits of US – UAE collaboration in this sector.
You can learn more about the forum and find a full list of participants here, and can learn more about the Chamber’s cybersecurity efforts and campaign at www.cybersecurityadvocacy.com.