The Dubai Cyber Index has been launched as part of the state government’s push to make its local cyber space safer and more resilient.

The initiative was unveiled by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai.

Dubai Electronic Security Centre (DESC) developed the index, and will support stakeholders through the establishment of specialised operations centres. DESC will also promote the use of artificial intelligence-based technology and big data-led analyses to anticipate potential cyber threats.

It is also hoped that the index will drive “healthy competition” among government entities in terms of cyber security standards.

The index is the latest in a string of decisions by the Dubai government to grow the local cybersecurity sector. The Dubai Cyber Security Strategy was launched in 2017 to raise risk-management preparedness in the emirate.

The five-point plan involves raising public awareness on the importance of cybersecurity; increasing research and innovation in the sector; establishing data protection controls; maintaining the flexibility and continuity of cyber space and IT systems; and establishing local and global partnerships to drive collaboration.

Cabinet reshuffle to focus efforts in reducing cyber risks

Federal government efforts are being made to reduce cyber risks in the UAE. Technology and digitisation were key fixtures of a cabinet reshuffle programme announced earlier this week.

The Ministry of Industry & Advanced Technology, to be led by Adnoc CEO Sultan al-Jaber, will be created as part of the restructuring, and Omar al-Olama will take on the newly created post of minister of state for digital economy, artificial intelligence and applications for teleworking.

Hamad al-Mansoori was named head of the UAE digital government, and Mohammed Hamad al-Kuwaiti was confirmed as the head of cybersecurity in the government.