Inaugural Arab International cybersecurity summit to spotlight Bahrain’s cyber infrastructure

The first Arab International Cybersecurity Summit (AICS) will take place from December 6-8 at Exhibition World Bahrain in Manama.

The inaugural three-day summit, jointly organised by Messe Frankfurt Middle East and Bahraini event specialists Faalyat WLL, will focus on Empowering Global Cooperation in Cybersecurity and include industry workshops, expert panel discussions, case studies, simulation games and table-top exercises accompanied with Capture the Flag, Hack Arena and much more.

Hosted by Bahrain’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and held under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander, and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, the sector’s newest conference and exhibition aims to bring together government and industry experts from across the globe.

Acting as a gateway into Bahrain for the international cybersecurity industry, the summit will highlight the growth, opportunities, and challenges faced within cybersecurity today. AICS will offer attendees a comprehensive, diverse, and carefully curated conference programme that includes virtual sessions from headline speakers Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, Marc Randolph, co-founder and former CEO of Netflix, and government representation from the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Estonia.

Cybersecurity is a fundamental pillar of the national ICT framework of the Kingdom of Bahrain, with the NCSC driving a well-defined agenda in protecting the country’s networks and infrastructures against cyber threats, cybercrime, and espionage. This framework provides a secured and trusted cyberspace for Bahrain, harnessing key industries such as banking, financial services, insurance, government, healthcare, information and communications technology, transport, energy, and critical industry.

“The Arab International Cybersecurity Summit comes at a perfect time for us as we are over halfway through the delivery of our National Cyber Security Strategy,” said Sheikh Salman bin Mohammed bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, CEO at NCSC at the launch event yesterday, which included a panel discussion on Bahrain’s growing cybersecurity market as well as insights from some of the country’s leading experts. “Siloed into five key pillars, this new platform will help us find international partners to better deliver our strategic goals of resilient cyber defences, effective cyber security governance, and standards, building a cyber-aware nation, collective defence through partnership and cooperation, and cyber workforce development.”

Also in attendance at the launch at the Four Seasons Hotel in Manama, Amal Almurbati, Managing Director and board member of Faalyat WLL, added: “We are proud to organise the first edition of the Arab International Cybersecurity Summit, an event that will be unique, innovative, and will undoubtedly benefit the Kingdom. Through this summit, we aim to become the largest gathering of cybersecurity professionals in Bahrain for government regulators, industry professionals, and solution providers to discuss and devise strategies to secure their cyber and IT infrastructure.”

“Bahrain is the first country in the GCC to adopt a nationwide ‘cloud-first’ policy and benefits from a strategic geographical location, availability of talent, cost competitiveness, ownership structure, and a well-defined industry organisation. As a result, the country has already attracted global IT businesses looking to expand their footprint across the Middle East”, Almurbati added.

Echoing this sentiment was Simon Mellor, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East. “The Kingdom of Bahrain sits at the very forefront of ICT developments across the region with digital transformation at the heart of all government mandates globally,” said Mellor. “With its Cloud First Policy, Bahrain is committed to accelerating the transition to the cloud. This transition presents a new set of opportunities for cybersecurity companies offering products that secure cloud-based software and infrastructure. The Arab International Cybersecurity Summit brings together key industry stakeholders, providing delegates and government representatives with an unrivalled opportunity to meet and interact with leading international experts in the field and gain valuable learnings about the latest technological developments driving and protecting businesses.

“Through multiple content delivery platforms and activations, the event promises to be Bahrain’s largest gathering of cybersecurity professionals and provides access at the highest level to local and international government.”

The Arab International Cybersecurity Summit has already gained support from numerous strategic partners, including the Ministry of Interior, Economic Development Board, Telecommunications and Regulatory Authority, the Central Bank of Bahrain, and the UAE Cyber Security Council.