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Eye of Riyadh
Technology & IT | Tuesday 17 September, 2019 3:00 am |
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HITB+CyberWeek: region’s largest cybersecurity forum to be held in Abu Dhabi starting 12 October

The United Arab Emirates will form the backdrop for solving the future’s cyber security problems as Hack In The Box (HITB), a cutting-edge platform for technical talks and trainings in cyber security knowledge, launches HITB+CyberWeek 2019 – the biggest global HITB event, which will run from 12-17 October 2019.

By bringing the world’s leading thinkers and cyber security experts together in Abu Dhabi for a week-long program of highly interactive and immersive competitions, presentations, trainings, and demonstrations, HITB+CyberWeek will lay the foundation for preparing the next generation of cyber warriors.

“In light of the recent address from the rulers of the UAE, the country is ‘one of the readiest countries for the future’ and ‘the most competitive country’ within the Middle East region. The UAE is the third-largest economy in the Middle East and wants to enhance economic security through a progressive digital agenda,” said Dhillon Kannabhiran, Founder and CEO of HITB.

“At the helm of this future, it presents a large pool of young and next generation talents that we believe holds the key to solving future challenges, especially in the cyber and digital spaces. With the launch of HITB+CyberWeek, our core focus is to enrich the UAE’s talent pipeline by equipping aspiring cyber security stars with the knowledge and skills to overcome challenges in our increasingly sophisticated cyber threat landscape.”

Rabih Dabboussi, Senior Vice President of Business Development, Sales and Marketing at DarkMatter Group – the local partner and a Platinum sponsor of the event – added that accelerating cyber defense education and training will deliver next generation ideas for next generation problems.

“The digital footprint of nations, companies, and individuals continue to expand at an unprecedented rate, we therefore see bigger need to build cyber talent and capacity to help defend our digital assets against cyber criminals,” said Dabboussi.

“As such, we at DarkMatter Group believe that an event like HITB+CyberWeek brings highly effective and valuable training and workshops to the UAE. We are proud to sponsor the landmark event and to play an active role throughout HITB+CyberWeek. The training classes, workshops, competitions and other programs during HITB+CyberWeek will leave behind lasting positive impact for participants, partners and our clients.”

“At ADDA, we believe innovative platforms that enrich lives and drive innovation are core pillars of our digital society, hence we are delighted to be Titanium sponsor of this milestone event for the UAE” said Mohammed Gheyath, Executive Director Information Security Operation Sector Abu Dhabi.

“We also acknowledge that the pervasive digital world of today harbors many emerging threats, which pose underlying risk to the secure futures our nation strives towards. With the running of HITB+CyberWeek, the future of safeguarding digital infrastructure, systems, and data bodes well, and we look forward to the excellence and innovation that will emerge to deliver citizens, enterprises, and government entities unparalleled value.”

Convergence of the Best and Brightest Minds

Featuring cyber professionals as well as students, teachers and families, HITB+CyberWeek will host 5000 visitors during the duration of the week-long event. With over 100 activities to choose from, attendees can enjoy presentations from the ‘best of the best’ speakers and gain knowledge through a series of training labs.

At the heart of the HITB+CyberWeek, a large drawcard will be the Cyber Battle of the Emirates (CBOE) - a training program and hacking competition for high school and university students based in the UAE. This competition will see the winners of Belgium and Germany’s Cyber Security Challenge battling it out against the UAE’s best and brightest.

“We aspire to change the way we teach students in partnership with the private, public and private sector - to be less formulaic and to use more hands-on creative problem solving through real world cyber security challenges. That’s why we’re bringing more than just our cutting edge talks and trainings for professionals to HITB+CyberWeek but also developing specific content and challenges such as Cyber Battle of the Emirates (CBOE) for the wider student population,” adds Kannabhiran.

Prize Pool of US$2 million to be won

The winners from the CBOE will win a trip to the  HITB Amsterdam in 2020 and will also be eligible to compete with the professional teams in the Pro Capture the Flag (PROCTF), the  hacking competition for professionals at HITB+CyberWeek, to be in the running to win US$100,000 in cash.

In total, there will be a US$2 million prize pool up for grabs across a range of competitions including Driven2Pwn, UAE’s first bug bounty event, and an AI Challenge, which calls upon participants to develop future cyber security tools using machine learning advancements.

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