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The decree in a federal law issued recently by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President to establish the National E-Security Authority reflects the focus of the UAE on developing e-security. The authority aims to regulate the protection of the communications networks and information system in the UAE and to raise the efficiency of means of keeping and exchanging information at all entities either through information systems or any other electronic means.

Establishing the National E-Security Authority reflects the thorough awareness of the UAE of the importance of achieving and upgrading e-security. The list of duties that this authority will carry out will no doubt constitute a quality transition in this field by setting standards to provide e-security in the UAE and supervising their implementation or formulating a national plan to face any risks, threats or attacks on online security in coordination with certain entities. The authority will also ensure the effective operation of the communications networks protection systems and information systems at public and private entities operating in the UAE. Moreover, the authority will monitor the compliance of certain entities with implementing the e-security requirements issued by the authority and follow up on their application.

The existence of a national authority specialized in e-security of all aspects       is very important not only to ensure coordination of efforts among the concern entities to maintain the infrastructure and digital and information structure of the UAE but also to effectively address the phenomenon of online crimes that have recently become prevalent by computer pirates defrauding banks and stealing pin codes of clients’ accounts. The authority will also address the growing online sabotage and spying on institutions and banks by hackers. These crimes represent a grave challenge throughout the entire world and need to be countered effectively. The new authority will focus on combating computer, Internet and IT crimes of all types.

In addition, the establishment of this authority comes in accord with the tendency of the UAE to rely on e-transactions in the various ministries and institutions to keep pace with advancements worldwide which focus on how to make use of modern technology and improve digital culture which has become closely related to the knowledge society. This is one of the top tasks of the National E-Security Authority.

The UAE has achieved a great leap in the development of e-security systems thanks to the integrated strategy adopted in this regard relying on the latest technologies of e-applications and using the latest mechanisms and solutions of network security in its integrated bases. The UAE also seeks to improve the ability of society members to use e-services through the E-Citizen Program aiming to eliminate information illiteracy for all members of society.

The establishment of the National E-Security Authority will reinforce the efforts of the UAE and its position in the field of e-security protection. It is noteworthy that the UAE ranked first regionally and fourth internationally in the field of e-security according to the 2012 IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY) issued last July. The UAE bounced back than developed countries which reflects the effectiveness of the UAE’s efforts in the e-security field.

Akhbar Al Saah published by the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR)
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