The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) has signed a preliminary agreement with the UAE Cyber Security Council for the development of new strategies and policies to enhance cyber security in the energy sector.
The two entities will exchange information and expertise on cyber security-related matters, with Enec providing experts for the establishment of a national-level security operations centre, according to a statement from Enec on Sunday.
“Cyber security is a critical focus for Enec as we work to ensure we are well-equipped to mitigate any potential cyber challenges,” said Mohamed Al Hammadi, managing director and chief executive of Enec.
“By working closely with the UAE Cyber Security Council, we are committed to sharing best practices and ensuring the UAE strengthens its position as a world leader in innovation with the most advanced cyber systems.”
The new agreement comes as cyber risks continue to rise across the globe, posing risks to critical infrastructure and other sectors of the economy.
Online criminal activity cost the world about $6 trillion last year, according to a study by research company Cybersecurity Ventures. By 2025, such crimes will be expected to cost the world about $10.5tn, up 250 per cent from $3tn in 2015, it said.
Nearly $22tn in collective rated debt associated with more than 70 global rating sectors has high or very high exposure to cyber risks in 2022, with critical infrastructure experiencing the highest risk, Moody's Investors Service said in a recent report.
The agreement with Enec “aims to unite efforts and capabilities in order to develop and disseminate modern technologies that enhance and contribute to the establishment of protected infrastructure”, said Mohamed Al Kuwaiti, head of cyber security with the UAE government.
The UAE Cyber Security Council and Enec will also collaborate to develop and conduct exercises for the energy sector to respond to any cyber incidents, the statement said.
The two entities are also set to host the CyberEnergy Leadership Forum in 2023, a national-level forum for sharing information on key issues related to cyber security strategy and implementation after the success of the first CyberEnergy Leadership Forum held last month, it said.
Enec, which is part of Abu Dhabi's holding company, ADQ is developing the Barakah nuclear power plant to boost the clean energy capacity of the UAE. The third unit of the 5,600 megawatts power plant recently started operations and was connected to the grid.