UAE to host first conference on protecting mass gatherings from cyber attack

UAE to host first conference on protecting mass gatherings from cyber attack

Protecting places of mass gathering with specific reference to cyber security will be the focus of the inaugural CYMASS Security Conference to be held in Dubai at the end of February 2017.

Presented by Austability and Emirates Group Security, the event will bring together industry experts from around the world to discuss strategies to secure and protect places of mass gatherings with the assistance of cyber security and to also protect such locations from the threat of malicious cyber-attacks.

“While we think of mass gathering, and the joy or excitement associated with attendance of games, concerts, conferences or social gatherings, those in the criminal justice field clearly recognize the potential of these events to have an opposite effect by attracting criminals. Places of mass gathering are potential targets for cyber-attack that can lead to major disruption, would it be at the airport, concerts or exhibitions. The opportunities for cyber-crime are endless, the targets are often unaware of the risk, and in most of the cases have little or no effective defence. It is time to be proactive before becoming reactive in a world where technology and internet communication are changing dramatically and our dependency is at the utmost,” said Dr. Abdullah Al Hashimi, Divisional Senior Vice President of Emirates Group Security.


“In recent years, places of mass gathering have come under increased scrutiny regarding the ability to protect and secure visitors or daily traffic, whether from malicious threats or natural disaster,” said David Khandan, Executive Director: Strategy and Relationships of Austability. “A surge in the worldwide reliance on technology has often endeavoured to support ease of flow and safety in these places, but manipulation of the cyber sphere can lead to disaster when left unchecked. CYMASS is the first platform of its kind to address the relationship between these two topics – cyber security and securing places of mass gathering – and will present an impressive level of expertise on the subject to industry representatives committed to developing their operational effectiveness within this scope.”

The conference is aimed at a number of industries including those related to safety, security, crisis management and operational risk, but also sectors catering to places of mass gatherings – an element that CYMASS organisers feel with bring a unique, interesting and invaluable perspective to the industry at large.

“CYMASS 2017 will also offer powerful appeal to representatives of leisure or tourism-related organisations, such as tourism hotspots, sporting venues and religious sites for mass gatherings, and of course, travel-related organisations such as airports or mass transport systems. These areas are often overlooked in terms of the influence that cyber threats, trends and developments can have on them, thus offering much content for conversation and debate,” added Khandan.

While access to the conference will be limited to a select number senior industry representatives, Khandan urged organisations seeking expert guidance on securing places of mass gathering via integrating effective cyber security frameworks to apply for conference access early on.

“Attendance will be on an invitation-only basis, but we will be opening the conference to public ticket-applications for a limited period of time,” added Khandan. “Due to the nature of the information that will be discussed at the conference, which can be quite sensitive in nature from a security point of view, it is important that we ensure all attendees are pre-approved.”

Applications for conference attendance will open via the CYMASS 2017 Security Conference website in October 2016 for a limited period of time. Visit the CYMASS.