The 11th edition of GISEC Global, taking place from 14-16 March 2023 at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), is set to host a record 500-plus cybersecurity brands, 300 leading InfoSec and cybersecurity speakers, and 1,000 of the world’s top ethical hackers to address opportunities in a global cybersecurity market valued at $2 trillion by McKinsey & Company.
Organised by DWTC and hosted by the UAE Cybersecurity Council, GISEC Global 2023 is set against the backdrop of a burgeoning global digital economy, estimated to be US$11.5 trillion in size, that faces an unprecedented level of cyber threats that are predicted to cost the world $10.5 trillion annually by 2025.
The Middle East’s largest and most impactful cybersecurity event is poised to be an unparalleled meeting point for the global cybersecurity community, uniting the industry’s leading brands and cybersecurity experts during three days of conference sessions, keynotes, product launches, partner seminars, interactive sessions, briefings, and more.
Tech titans Huawei, Microsoft, Cisco, Honeywell, and du will be out in full force at the annual three-day event, alongside headline ground-breaking infosec companies, including Spire Solutions, CPX, Crowdstrike, Mandiant, Pentera, Pvotal, Port53, Cloudfare, Edgio, Secureworks, Synack, Threatlocker, Votiro, Spidersilk, and Waterfall.
H.E. Dr. Mohamed Hamad Al-Kuwaiti, Head of the UAE Cybersecurity Council, stressed the importance of collaboration to upskill talent and elevate cyber culture in a post-pandemic world. “There’s a renewed sense of urgency for collaboration because cybersecurity rules have changed since the pandemic and the rapid rise of threats in new digital ecosystems like the metaverse and quantum computing,” said Dr. Al-Kuwaiti.
“To define the new cybersecurity paradigms, we are gathering an extraordinary league of cybersecurity leaders at GISEC Global. The UAE Cybersecurity Council fully supports GISEC’s initiative of creating an inner circle for InfoSec leaders to discuss critical challenges and help build the cyber resilience of businesses and enterprises in the UAE and the world.”
Dr. Aloysius Cheang, Chief Security Officer at Huawei Middle East & Central Asia, said the fluidness of the digital economy calls for vigilance: “As such, we take building insights into the cybersecurity industry and business environment very seriously, as these are critical inputs ensuring we are up-to-date in managing the cyber risk landscape,” said Dr. Cheang.
“GISEC Global is the platform of choice for us to issue a call for action, bringing all the stakeholders together in a unified and proactive approach to cybersecurity, while also demonstrating the value Huawei brings, helping not only to safeguard the journey of digital transformation, but to be a beacon of light that will spotlight our customers’ cybersecurity and privacy protection capabilities.”
Hack-O-Sphere features 1,000-plus ethical hackers facing off against real-world threats
GISEC Global 2023 will unveil for the first time the Hack-O-Sphere, a fully immersive arena featuring a series of thrilling live cyber competitions, free certified training sessions from SANS and EC Council, and an exclusive first-hand look at the UAE Cybersecurity Council’s cutting-edge National Security Operations Centre. More than 1,000 ethical hackers from across the globe and the local community are expected to attend, as they face off against, and find solutions to, real-world threats.
Headlining the main act is the inaugural CyTaka World Cyber Championship, delivered by Israeli-based CyTaka in partnership with the UAE Cybersecurity Council and CyberGate. Cyber heroes from across the globe will flex their digital muscles for the opportunity to win US$1 million in what will be the world’s most valuable Capture the Flag (CTF) cyber challenge.
CyTaka’s CEO and founder Doron Amir, said the anonymity of cyber-attacks means cross-border collaboration is critical: “The cyber enemy is anonymous and can attack anyone,” said Amir. “Cyber criminals don’t care where victims were born or what their nationality is.
“Initiatives such as the World Cyber Championship bring people together in competition, and share methodology of defence and attack, so we can understand the future, not the past, and prepare for a resilient and safer cyber future for all.”
Hack-O-Sphere will see the return of the Bug Bounty Challenge, already a Guinness World Record holder as the world’s largest live bug bounty event, with more than 200 ethical hackers and bounty hunters conducting live penetration testing in a search for security bugs in real-life products.
Other competitions include the Cyber Maze by Port53, inviting hackers to navigate their way through a series of locked doors in a maze before reaching an end point; the UAE Ministry of Interior’s Find the prize (FTP) competition for fresh graduates; the Cyberthon competition; and the Badge Hacking Zone by GISEC Global’s Strategic Partner, du.
World’s leading cyber minds unpack industry trends, build cyber resilience
GISEC 2023 will deep-dive into the most pressing cybersecurity challenges affecting enterprises and governments, as the show’s most comprehensive conference programme yet features 200-plus hours of immersive content with over 300 leading ethical hackers and InfoSec speakers headlining hacking sessions and panel discussions. The content will be spread across six halls and nine stages – Main Stage, Government Stage, The Global Cybersecurity Congress, Critical Infrastructure Dome, Dark Stage, Nation Stage, Cyber Stars, Xlabs, INSPIRE, Hack360, and the Academy.
GISEC Global will feature a premier line-up of top hackers and headline speakers, including H.E. Dr. Mohamed Al-Kuwaiti, Head of the UAE Cybersecurity Council; Joe ‘Kingpin’ Grand, a cyber security legend who hacked a US$2 million crypto wallet; Hieu Ngo, a reformed fraudster who single-handedly stole the personal data of 200 million U.S. citizens; Bryce Case Jr. aka ‘Ytcracker’, a US-based Hacker and Entrepreneur, who gained notoriety for defacing the website of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre; and Jayson E. Street, a US-based world-class hacker & author who notoriously robbed banks across five continents.
UnLock – unearthing the next cyber unicorn
GISEC Global 2023 will also introduce UnLock – the GISEC Cyber Stars Pitch Competition, where nearly 100 cybersecurity start-ups will reveal their innovative solutions shaping the future of cybersecurity, while connecting with government officials, investors, IT security and corporate buyers, mentors, prospects and influential disruptors.
The live pitch competition arrives as the investment in the cybersecurity sector continues to dominate the global start-up ecosystem, with US$79 billion of venture capital raised for cybersecurity start-ups across more than 4,200 deals since 2018, according to financial advisory firm, Momentum Cyber.
UnLock will comprise three categories: Best Global Start-up, Best Regional Start-up, and for academia, the Most Innovative Idea, with a prize pool of AED100,000 cash, helping the winners on their way to potentially becoming the next cyber unicorn.
Running under the theme ‘Connecting minds, boosting cyber resilience,’ GISEC Global 2023 will take place with the Dubai Electronic Security Center (DESC) as Official Government Cyber Security Partner, and the Ministry of Interior, the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA), and Dubai Police as Official Supporters. More than 35,000 visitors from 100-plus countries are expected to attend.
Trixie LohMirmand, Executive Vice President for Events Management at DWTC, said: “The cybersecurity challenge facing organisations is formidable. By bringing together the world’s leading cybersecurity experts and digital trailblazers, GISEC Global paves the way for regional organisations to demystify the complex cyber threat landscape and unearth real-world solutions from global experts to build cyber-resilient digital businesses.
“Our expanded presence and mandate demonstrate that we don’t believe cyberspace is lost to cybercriminals. We believe that working together within broad ecosystems, with the help of the advanced solutions displayed at GISEC Global, organisations and nations can turn the tide on cybercriminals and emerge stronger and more resilient.”