By Courtney Trenwith
Committee will oversee the Gulf state's fight against cyber crime, research prevention strategies
Qatar has announced it will establish a national cyber security committee to oversee the country’s fight against cyber crime and prevention strategies.
The committee, which has been approved by the Cabinet, also would be involved in the protection of vital infrastructure and information, communication services and associated database technology.
It will be responsible for safeguarding the nation’s security, financial and economic interests and improve Qatar’s competitiveness capabilities, as well as advise companies, institutions and individuals.
The draft law also requires institutions to establish individual frameworks for dealing with cyber security and to allocate funding within their budgets.
Gulf states and businesses have increasingly paid attention to cyber security following several major breaches, including an attack on Aramco infrastructure in Saudi Arabia and the simultaneous theft of millions of dollars from several banks.
EMEA president of international intelligence company McAfee, Gert-Jan Schenk, said in September the Middle East had become a region with the greatest threat of cyber crime in the world, particularly because Dubai was one of the most critical Internet exchanges in the world and much of the global economy was linked to the region through trade, travel and oil and gas.
"Over the last year, it's one of the highest [regions for threat] we've seen in the world," Schenk said.
McAfee opened the first cyber defence centre in the Middle East last year.
"With all the geo-political events that clearly drives a lot of cyber crime and cyber warfare activities."