Cybersecurity in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is influenced by global and local factors and has a direct impact on national security. As countries launched its digitalization initiatives and focused on the digital connectivity for authorities and people, cybercrime has also evolved and became a primary threat for governments of different nations. According to the UAE’s National Cybersecurity Strategy, the average total cost of a data breach in 2017-2018 was 3.9 billion million dollars (TRA 2019). Furthermore, an increase in the number of reported data breaches globally accounted for 42% between 2015-2017 (TRA 2019).
The numbers suggest that cybercrime became prevalent across the world and made national authorities create strategies that would ensure national security and security of citizens that became victims of cyberterrorists. Despite establishing a national system to protect the state, UAE states have challenges in adopting the same initiatives and measures to create united coordination of cybersecurity policy because of different digitalization activities (Younies and Al-Tawil 2020). It can be assumed that the UAE might benefit from the synchronized national cybersecurity measures and joint digital initiatives to fight cybercrime.
This Capstone project will test the hypothesis that there is a link between digitalization and the UAE national security that imposes a security threat for the country. The impact of digitalization and cybersecurity on the UAE national security should be assessed further to find relevant policies that would help to mitigate the adverse effect of digitalization. This paper will present information on the UAE national cybersecurity and digital initiatives implementation and their influence on national security to find possible solutions to address state systems’ and projects’ safety.
To navigate through the matter, it is necessary to review all relevant published and unpublished policies and projects that different states in UAE utilize that are efficient and relevant to research academic papers and other secondary sources published on the issue. It is also necessary to contact experts and decision-makers to explain the problem and advise on the possible policies that would be useful to implement to protect national safety in the digital world.
The capstone’s methodology can include both the qualitative and quantitative analysis of the evidence mentioned above. However, due to the time constraints and a goal to present the in-depth research of digitalization and the UAE national security, it would be more efficient to focus on the thorough qualitative investigation of resources on the issue. Based on the assumption that proposed solutions might have positive results mitigating the impact of digital initiatives implementation, it is crucial to identify these qualitative solutions and ensure the state’s national security.
As the UAE aims to create e-government and smart cities by using the Internet of Things (IoT), Internet of Everything (IoE), and other digital technologies, the issue of cybersecurity is raised immediately among professionals because of the significant amount of threats that should be resolved (Ali et al. 2019). Heavy reliance on expatriates that administrate IT systems in UAE and the datacenters’ administration regulate by different entities present a challenge for UAE’s authorities that should unite systems and people that coordinate national security and digital projects (Deloitte 2017). An agency or a team from different spheres that would connect all the activities to provide digital systems for the state and their security could be established to implement effective policies on the matter and create common standards and frameworks for states and professionals.
UAE moves rapidly to the digitalization of major federal data flows and communication; therefore, it is crucial to ensure that citizens and national systems’ information would be protected. The essential fields that might be assessed include cyber-smart nation activities, innovative technologies, information protection, cybersecurity issues, cyber resilience methods, national and international collaboration in the cybersecurity sphere (Government of Dubai 2017).
The key sources that will likely serve as the basis of analysis are
Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). 2019. National Cybersecurity Strategy. Web.
Younies, H. and Al-Tawil, T.N. 2020. “Effect of Cybercrime Laws on Protecting Citizens and Businesses in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).” Journal of Financial Crime. Web.
Ali, I., Chandra, G. and Sharma, B. 2019. “UAE‘s Strategy Towards Most Cyber Resilient Nation.” International Journal of Innovative Technology and Exploring Engineering 8 (12). Web.
Deloitte. 2017. “National Transformation in the Middle East: A Digital Journey.” Web.
Government of Dubai. 2017. Dubai Cyber Security Strategy. Web.
UAE Government. “Vision 2021 and Emiratisation.” 2020. Web.
Efthymiopoulos, M. 2016. “Cyber-Security in Smart Cities: The Case of Dubai.” Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship 5 (11). Web.
Wade, Gordon. 2019. “UAE: Cybersecurity Regulations and Their Impacts.” OneTrust DataGuidance. Web.
UAE Government. “Cyber safety and digital security.” Web.
Teoh, C. and Mahmood, A. 2017. “National Cyber Security Strategies for Digital Economy.” Journal of Theoretical and Applied Information Technology 95, 6510-6522. Web.
Langendorf, Manuel. 2020. “Digital Stability: How Technology Can Empower Future Generations in The Middle East.” European Council on Foreign Relations. Web.
Sanad, Jamal. 2019. “How the UAE Faces its National Security Challenges.” Gulf News, Web.