Hanadi al Zaabi and Asma Aidrous, information security students from Zayed University, are the first Emirati women to be receive the certificate in ethical hacking from the International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants. Known as the EC Council, it was founded by Jay Bavisi and Haja Mohideen in the United States following the Sept. 11 attacks.
“Every day, people are becoming familiar with hacking, and hacking tools are becoming much easier to obtain,” al Zaabi told The National.
Aidrous added, “The systems here are not secure. It’s too easy to hack.”
Maurice Danaher, an assistant professor at Zayed University, said cyber crime is now recognized worldwide as a growing threat, second to the nuclear threat.
“We’re seeing a proliferation of crimes on the Internet now,” he told The National. “Hackers could bring the country to its knees through infrastructure like attacking the power or desalination plants or banks.”
Over the past three years, roughly 200 people have taken the ethical hacking qualification in the UAE, with many working for ministries, law enforcement, or bigger corporations.
Faisal al Shamari, the chief information security officer at Abu Dhabi Police, said the country needs many more experts, as the UAE ranks among the biggest consumers of technological devices.
Leon Jololian, the dean of the faculty of information technology at Zayed University, said despite lagging behind other countries, there is a future for those interested in cybersecurity and technology.
“We’re 10 to 20 years behind in this field here, but as it’s an emerging area, there are many opportunities for the students,” he told The National.