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U.S.-Gulf cyber working group formed at Dubai forum

September 9, 2016 (Photo Credit: Subhash - SKY Media)
A U.S.-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Cyber Working Group launched Sept. 7 as part of a U.S. Chamber of Commerce Cybersecurity Forum held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  

The event — organized with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the American Business Council of Dubai and the Northern Emirates and Dubai Internet City — focused on encouraging collaboration on and investment in reinforcing network security.

“Today, 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, in an event press release.  

“We are excited to launch the U.S.-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.”

Sixty-eight percent of organizations in the Middle East don’t have sufficient capabilities to combat sophisticated cyberattacks, according to a study from Symantec and Deloitte. The U.S. Chamber-hosted forum addressed how a breach could lead to significant financial loss and brand damage, a scenario that increased preparedness between both governments and business communities can help mitigate.

The resulting working group brings together American cybersecurity companies (including Honeywell, Cisco and GE) with UAE, Saudi Arabian and other Arabian Gulf governments and industry to discuss the benefits of sustained dialogue on private- and public-sector trends and informed policy processes to maintain economic and national security.

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