Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning , Cyberwarfare / Nation-State Attacks , Fraud Management & Cybercrime

UAE Forms Defense Firm to Help Tackle Cyberthreats

Government and Private Sector Collaborate on Initiative
UAE Forms Defense Firm to Help Tackle Cyberthreats

A new defense company has been formed in United Arab Emirates, combining three government-owned and 22 independent companies in an effort to develop technologies to help thwart cyberattacks and repel military drones.

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The new collaborative effort, known as Edge, will be headed by Faisal Ai Bannai, former managing director of Dark Matter, a UAE-based cybersecurity company, Reuters reports. Among the participants are the government's Emirates Defense Industries Company, Emirates Advanced Investments Group and Tawazun Holding.

The announcement was made by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, acting deputy supreme commander of the armed forces.

The news comes in the wake of a September attack in the region, when 25 drones and missiles were used in a pre-dawn attack on Saudi Aramco facilities that forced Saudi Arabia to shut down half of the country's oil production. Although Iran has been blamed for the attacks, the nation denies involvement, CNBC reports.

Edge's Mission

Al Bannai says Edge will attempt to develop non-lethal weapons, such as frequency jammers and electro-magnetic systems. Edge will invest extensively in research and development, working closely with front-line operators to design and deploy practical solutions that address real-world challenges, reports Armyrecognition.com.

New forms of warfare require a convergence of innovations from the commercial world and the military industry, Al Bannai says.

Established with a core mandate to disrupt an antiquated military industry stifled by red tape, Edge hopes to bring products to market faster and at more cost-effectively, the Armyrecognition.com's report says.

Edge will develop partnerships with manufacturers and defense contractors as academia, said Al Bannai.

The new organization will attempt to attracting experts from around the globe to help with product development over five core business clusters: platforms and systems; missiles and weapons; cyber defense; electronic warfare and Intelligence; and mission support, Arabianbusiness reports.

The report says, the company is set to implement advanced technologies such as autonomous capabilities, cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things, advanced propulsion systems, robotics and smart materials, with a focus on artificial intelligence across all its products and services.

Commenting on Edge, His Excellency Tareq Abdul Raheem Al Hosani, CEO of the Tawazun Economic Council ,the UAE's defense enabler, told Armyrecognition: "We are invested in managing the uncertainty that technology brings by adapting our focus and capabilities towards a sustainable defence and security industry. EDGE will help us transform our domestic capabilities while growing our engagements on defence and security exports."

Earlier, the UAE Banks Federation, with 49 member banks, launched a cyberthreat intelligence initiative. The effort created an information sharing platform in an attempt to better detect and respond to cyberattacks. (See: UAE Launches Threat Intelligence Sharing for Banks ).


About the Author

Geetha Nandikotkur

Geetha Nandikotkur

Managing Editor, Asia & the Middle East, ISMG

Nandikotkur is an award-winning journalist with over 20 years' experience in newspapers, audio-visual media, magazines and research. She has an understanding of technology and business journalism, and has moderated several roundtables and conferences, in addition to leading mentoring programs for the IT community. Prior to joining ISMG, Nandikotkur worked for 9.9 Media as a Group Editor for CIO & Leader, IT Next and CSO Forum.




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