As part of the UAE’s Ministry of the Interior’s 2030 Strategy goals, the Digital Forensics & Analysis GCC Summit was established to lead the Future Foresight Series of conferences in order to provide a platform for key decision makers across the GCC to develop forward-looking strategies and plans to shape the future. I was brought on to provide a keynote presentation on the topic of the Roles & Implications for Future Foresight in Digital Analysis, as well as sit on a panel and co-lead a workshop on Digital Analysis in an IoT era.
The UAE and GCC region is highly focused on using technology to stay ahead of the curve in every aspect of societal infrastructure. They are making significant headway in exploring the use of IoT, smart buildings, and other disruptive technologies to improve digital forensics and security. The Digital Forensics & Analysis Summit was created as part of their Future Foresight series to ensure the continuing evolution of police forces so they can meet and exceed the needs imposed by ever-changing security threats both now and in the future.
The event was attended by heads of strategy departments, future developments, e-services and digital forensics from all government authorities and ministries in the UAE who came together to listen and share best practices and real-life case studies on how technology is used in their forensic departments to extract evidence that is able to stand up in trial.
I led the day’s talks with a keynote presentation regarding the Roles & Implications of digital technologies and the data arising from them, and discussed the global systemic implications that both existing and emerging technologies are having on analytics requirements.
The GCC and the Middle East, in general, are quickly becoming more digitized as an increasingly large portion of our lives moves to cyberspace whether it is banking, entertainment, communications or eGovernance. This has given the opportunity to both malicious persons and those who keep us safe: police and those responsible for national security.
I called on the audience to look for directionality in the information they analyze rather than seeking isolated answers, and to use the same thought process in their exploration and integration of AI, IoT, and other disruptive technologies. I addressed the massive talent vacuum causing analytical debt across industries, as well as the startling lack of governance and organizational respect for security guidelines when new digital infrastructure is imposed in organizations, exemplified by the prevalence of hacks such as Equifax and Shamoon.
I sat on a panel alongside some of the day’s other speakers to discuss some of the looming challenges and risks associated with data management, governance, and security. We opined about ways to address public trust and information ownership, and delved into the need for companies and nations to work together to develop, attract, and retain analytical talent as well as develop leadership trained to manage this talent.
closed door workshop
I co-facilitated a private workshop for members of government, legal & judicial, and police departments in the UAE on behalf of the General Secretariat Office of the Minister, Strategic Management & Support Department in the UAE’s Ministry of Interior.
The workshop was centered around Digital Forensics in an IoT era, with several talking points discussed throughout the 2-hour session, including:
• Identifying relevant scenarios in an interconnected world to improve future forensics investigations
• Smart buildings – Developing capability and policies for collecting the data from smart buildings
• Identifying the real criminal’s identity and how to avoid misleading digital evidence
• Creating legal framework to facilitate gathering and utilization of digital evidence
• Developing competent capabilities and closing the gap between future digital forensics requirement and current skills
I was also lucky to meet and shake hands with His Excellency Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan (son of Sheikh bin Zayed, who is known as the “the principal driving force behind the formation of the modern United Arab Emirates”), who sat in on the beginning of the session.
“Thank you very much for participating, it was a great pleasure to meet you and to have you as a speaker!”
Asmae Hamidi – Divisional Director, Event Production @ Advanced Conferences & Meetings FZ-LLC