Peering into IT's dark side

Threats posed by cybercrime will be discussed at a global security conference in Abu Dhabi from tomorrow.

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ABU DHABI // The "dark side" of information technology will be discussed at a global security conference in the capital from tomorrow. The second International Security National Resilience Exhibition & Conference will see delegates broach security and defence challenges faced by governments and companies, such as terrorism and the protection of nuclear facilities.

Around 45 security experts will present case studies, research papers and recommendations on how to combat evolving threats, over the three-day conference at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. The final day of the conference will be devoted exclusively to discussing the potential misuses of IT, including the use of social networks in crime. Saif bin Ghelaita, the director of technologies and standards at the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), said a study by the authority indicated that the country's IT sector was the target of 51 major attacks in 2008 and 2009.

He said it was important to focus on information security as the majority of threats could be avoided through awareness. "Currently, institutions and companies tend to wait until the last moments of their projects to consult information security experts," Mr bin Ghelaita said. The conference, which will be opened by Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, will broadly focus on security challenges facing governments and the private sector, including information security, border security, counter-terrorism, road safety, environment and the protection of critical infrastructure.

Sheikh Saif said with technological advancements and increased sophistication of criminals, the world faced major challenges in improving security. For the country to avoid penetration by new criminal trends, such as cybercrime and transnational organised crime, it required continuous co-operation and exchange of information with other countries, said Sheikh Saif. "The Ministry of Interior is developing its manpower and providing the best and latest technology in order to address these challenges," he said.

Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan Tamim, the chief of Dubai Police, will discuss the UAE's experience in the use of feedback in the fight against crime. New approaches in dealing with crises related to nuclear energy security will be discussed by Christian Sommade, the executive director of the French high committee for civil defence. Other topics include influencing driver behaviour, new trends in aviation security, maritime security, vulnerable-target protection and the applications of aerospace technology for homeland security.

In line with the conference, companies from Germany, Switzerland, Taiwan, Britain and the United States will showcase the latest security products.