UAE plans cybersecurity vision for next 50 years

Artificial intelligence will dominate human life, says head of UAE Cybersecurity Council

Dr Mohamed Al Kuwaiti, head of the UAE Cybersecurity Council, says challenges need to be addressed to ensure public safety. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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The UAE is developing a cyber security vision that will strengthen action against digital crime for the next 50 years, a senior official has said.

The move will give the country “the highest level of resilience”, boosting its ability to “address growing digital challenges”, Dr Mohammed Al Kuwaiti, head of the UAE Cybersecurity Council, the Emirates’ online security task force, said on Wednesday.

“As the UAE looks forward to its centennial in 2071, we had an opportunity to pause, examine how the world might evolve, and how we can use technology to optimise outcomes for humanity,” he said.

Dr Al Kuwaiti was speaking during an event hosted by the UAE Cybersecurity Council and KPMG Lower Gulf.

The Cybersecurity Council was established by the Cabinet in November 2020 amid a surge in
threats and attacks on computers and the internet around the world.

The council is responsible for legislation to strengthen cybersecurity, subject to Cabinet approval.

The UAE recorded a 77 per cent increase in the number of emails that contained phishing threats in the second quarter of this year, a report released in August by security company Kaspersky found.

Tactics are becoming more sophisticated, it said.

Developments in immersive virtual reality "will blur real life and fiction, with businesses thriving in the virtual world and data becoming the new money", according to a report to be released by the Cybersecurity Council and KPMG.

“Robots will seamlessly integrate into our lives, from personal care to military systems, while artificial intelligence will be able to predict and shape the future,” The Cyber Next 50 report said.

Machines may also develop the capability to read human thoughts and manipulate DNA, it said.

Cyber risks in the AI age: Business Extra

Cyber risks in the AI age: Business Extra

By 2071, quality of life and happiness will be increasingly determined by a safe and secure hybrid physical and digital world.

The UAE will therefore need to tailor its cybersecurity legislation to prepare for the next 50 years, according to the report.

By 2050, the global population is expected to reach 9.7 billion.

Climate change is already affecting food security and causing population displacement as well as the degradation of ecosystems, the report said.

With global energy consumption expected to rise by 50 per cent by 2050, the importance of renewable and efficient energy is also increasing.

Dr Al Kuwaiti said these challenges require “diligent work to confront and mitigate their effects”.

Despite these risks, technology provides hope for a better future, he said.

Technological innovations include AI, hyper connectivity, bioengineering, quantum computing, space technology, robotics, smart manufacturing, augmented reality and nuclear fusion, he said.

Updated: September 20, 2023, 11:56 AM