As the main regulator and facilitator of cybersecurity in the city of Dubai, Dubai Electronic Security Centre (DESC) partners with Thales Group, an international leader in cybersecurity, to build a facility that is dedicated to cybersecurity training, testing and experimentation. Through this partnership, a new innovation center for cyber learning will be established regionally – introducing the Cyber Node.
Through this collaboration of experts, a brand-new facility will provide support in the advancement of Dubai’s mission to be the safest city in cyberspace. The DCIPark, will provide access to bespoke cyber security courses, tailored to different industry needs. In parallel, the Cyber Node laboratory will be available for training practice and experimentation activities.
The Dubai Electronic Security Center (DESC) is the official government department entrusted to make Dubai the safest city in cyber space. The center was established under decree number 11 of 2014 by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of UAE and the Ruler of Dubai.
The center’s objectives include safeguarding information, communications network and governmental information systems in the Emirate of Dubai in addition to enhancing, adjusting and implementing the necessary methods in the realm of cyber security and raising efficiency by which information is maintained and circulated among the governmental entities in the Emirate. Additionally, the center is also responsible to develop the strategic plans to confront any risks or threats to the government information in coordination with all concerned government authorities.
Director General - Dubai Electronic Security Center
His Excellency Yousuf Hamad Al Shaibani is currently the Director General of the Dubai Electronic Security Center (DESC), an organization part of Digital Dubai. H.E. is also the Director General of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center.
With over 18 years of experience serving in the government sector, Al Shaibani has been associated with DESC since its establishment. He has held several senior positions there including being a member of the organization’s Board of Directors. Recognized as one of the founding members of DESC, Al Shaibani has made valuable contributions towards the growth and development of the Center.
Al Shaibani graduated from the Etisalat University College (now known as Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research – KUSTAR), Sharjah in 1995, then he went to receive his Master’s Degree in Microelectronics Systems Design from Central England University (now known as Birmingham City University) in the UK in 1997.
Deputy Director of Information Services Department
Dr. Bushra AlBlooshi, Head of Research and Innovation in Dubai Electronic Security Center (DESC), the first Arab member in the world economic forum global future council and the chair of digital skills committee in Dubai digital authority. Bushra leads many strategic initiatives in the city of Dubai such Dubai cybersecurity strategy, Dubai cybersecurity R&D agenda and Dubai cybersecurity policies. Bushra has more than 17 years of experience in digital transformation, cybersecurity and strategy management. She held different positions in different industries and organizations. AlBlooshi published and participated in many national and international conferences. Dr. Bushra is currently a member of several advisory boards and committees nationally and internationally.
AlBlooshi has a PhD in Electronics Engineering, master in Information Security from KUSTAR and another master in Public Administration from Mohammed Bin Rashed College in collaboration with Harvard University. Dr. Bushra’s research interests include cloud computing, cyber security, forensics and cryptography.
Dr. Bushra is the inventor of two patents in memory management and cloud security. She was recently awarded as the best executive in cybersecurity in Middle East by women in cyber security Middle East. She was also the lead author of a report published recently by the world economic forum in collaboration with international experts around the world.
Director of Security Systems Department
Hassan Abdulla is the Director of Security Systems at Dubai Electronic Security Center, holding a degree in Avionics Engineering, over 18 years’ experience in law enforcements, information security and special security systems.
His passion on development to all scales was his specialty and he was honoured to be one of the steering committee members selected to establish and operate DCIP.
Director of Compliance Support & Alliances
Amer Sharaf is the Director of Compliance Support and Alliances at the Dubai Electronic Security Center based in the Emirates of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Amer has accumulated a diverse set of skills in his career in the Information Technology field successfully delivering key applications and infrastructure related projects.
His experience also extends to deploying resilient and highly available data centers catering to key critical systems. Amer has considerable experience on city level systems and adopting several disruptive technologies and ensuring that key security principles and technologies are adopted.
Director of Information Services Department
Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) is a global leader in advanced technologies, investing in digital and “deep tech” innovations – connectivity, big data, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and quantum computing – to build a confident future crucial for the development of our societies. The Group provides its customers – businesses, organisations and governments – in the defense, aeronautics, space, transport, and digital identity and security domains with solutions, services and products that help them fulfil their critical role, consideration for the individual being the driving force behind all decisions. Thales has 81,000 employees in 68 countries. In 2021 the Group generated sales of €16,2 billion.
VP International Development and Operations, CIC
Christian Rivierre is the VP for International Development and Operations for the Critical Information Systems and Cyber Security. He started his career as Command-and-Control System engineer at Thomson CSF. During his first years, he actively contributed to the creation of heavily R&D- solutions centered software. Since 2015, he has been VP Operations and International Development for Cybersecurity and Critical Information Systems at Thales.
International Bid and Business Development Director, Cyber Defense Solutions
Pascal has been working in the communications and information systems industry for Defense and Civil customers. He started his career as a Software Engineer and held several positions in the military radio communication domain and led the Software Defined Radio activity. Then he moved to the Air Traffic Management Domain where he was managing the European programs portfolio and the OneSky Australia Program. He is now leading the International Cyber Defense Solutions Business.
Head of Cyber Defense Solutions
Dr. Waël Kanoun is of Executive Director of Cyber Defense Solutions business line in Thales in the Middle East, and International Lead of the Cybersecurity for Ground Transportation vertical at Thales. Previously, Waël held the position of Head of R&D Cyber Security, while working at Nokia Bell Labs. His experience spans various OT and IT systems for critical infrastructures such as telecom, ground transportation, defense, utilities (electricity & water), public safety, etc. His work is extensively published (+20) in peer-reviewed international conferences and journals and led to +10 patent applications. He has served on review committees of several international conferences and journals and has given cybersecurity lectures in French Universities and Graduate Schools. He holds a PhD and master’s degree in information and Cyber security from Telecom Bretagne, France.
The lab environment within the DCIPark was established, to provide high quality hands-on cyber security training to public and private sector clients, along with providing a technology facility that academic organizations can utilize, in pursuit of their research and innovation goals. A list of conferences, trainings, scenario-based courses and more, can all be found within the Cyber Node course catalogue.
The Cyber Node facility will consist of two labs – one for general projects dedicated for open use and one lab for special projects. The space will assist with the development of the cyber security workforce in the region. The Cyber Node will be open to government employees, researchers, university students and all cyber security professionals in Dubai and UAE. The labs themselves are focused on tailoring of complex network topologies called “digital twins” based on a portfolio of components (workstation, routers, firewall, IDS, application servers, database servers, email servers, switches, routers and PLCs, etc), including real components when a technology cannot be virtualized. In order to animate these topologies, a traffic generator allows you to inject network flows and attacks.
The Cyber Node game field hosts virtualized information systems that simulates typical network environments. Additionally, hardware devices linked to a complex virtual environment, which offers a rich and complete simulation experience for training, research and architecture prototyping. This allows users to practice and develop their cybersecurity skills through realistic scenarios and challenging situations. By designing and shaping these environments, users can easily conduct tests, proof-of-concepts and create digital twins of their own systems. Network flows can be launched, to generate legitimate traffic and/or malicious attacks. The generated flow can simulate systems’ real-life behaviours and reproduce realistic threat patterns contained in a Cyber Range.
The Cyber Node environment will integrate into the cyber security ecosystem a drive to develop a cyber workforce that can defend the city from attacks, targeting its Critical Information Infrastructure.
• It will take center stage in the city’s cyber infrastructure and support research and innovation in Dubai.
• It will provide a safe environment to simulate networks and test their cyber resilience capabilities.
• It will encourage, facilitate and support collaboration between DESC, government entities, private sector, SME’s and academia.
• The activities within the lab will focus on the following pillars; the transfer of knowledge, exploration and organization, content topologies and training modules and finally, the cyber lab platform and technology.
• It will be accessible to universities, help them research cyber topics and develop students’ cyber skills.
All the lab facilities will be available to the trainees and visitors of the center.