News Column

Call for database on cybercrime

May 21, 2014

Caline Malek



Homeland Security Summit told electronic terrorism 'can cross any country or border' and an international centre should be created

ABU DHABI // Countries must share their intelligence with the United Nations to tackle the growing threat from cybercrime, experts say.

"The whole world suffers from terrorism," said Dr Hassan Al Shehri, former commander of the Saudi Border Guard and dean of the Information Technology Centre at the Naif Arab University for Security Sciences in Saudi Arabia.

"We must create an international centre to combat terrorism and to build an international database."

Electronic terrorism "can cross any country or border", he said on the second day of the Homeland Security Summit in Abu Dhabi.

"We have to prepare for it because it is a major problem."

He urged the UN to establish a database of information on terrorists collected by its members.

"Every country has its own database but they don't share the names," said Dr Al Shehri.

"Terrorism affects everyone, so we need those names to be in the UN centre. We don't want to start from scratch."

Maj Gen Mohammed bin Haider Almarashda, an officer at Sharjah Police and a PhD researcher in homeland and information security at Bournemouth University in the UK, said the culture of information sharing must be changed.

"Sharing information about terrorism with the UN is a great idea.

"What's important is not just the information itself but being able to secure an information-sharing environment is also a key pillar of homeland security."

The UAE is playing its part by investing US$11 billion (Dh40.40bn) to develop its infrastructure to safeguard the country's security.

"There's a huge [amount] being invested in the electronic networks across the UAE," said Gen Almarashda.

"Securing the sharing of information between homeland security agencies is a core issue."

Gen Almarashda said information sharing should be based on policies and technology.

"We need an entity to control the sharing of information, like a top level authority that receives all the information from different sources," he said.

"We need to set a certain frame to define policies and, once they are implemented and proven efficient, then we will support the spread of this idea across GCC countries."

Furqan Hashmi, the IT operations leader at the Emirates Investment Authority, said organisations needed an information security system in place.

"Things will be more structured that way," he said.

"The correlation and collaboration of data as well as its analysis will be made easier."

cmalek@thenational.ae


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Source: National, The (United Arab Emirates)