Information and communications technology expert Mr. Yaqoob Al Awadhi stressed the importance of devoting more attention to developing a comprehensive national strategy for cybersecurity, to attract more investments in this vital field, and providing quality job opportunities for Bahraini youth, in addition to fortifying vital establishments, infrastructure and individuals from the dangers of cyberattacks that often ends in blackmail, data theft, or even damage and vandalism.

He noted that amid Corona pandemic crisis, cybersecurity is no longer a technical luxury as much as it has become an urgent need, especially in light of the increased reliance on digital services, electronic payment platforms, electronic wallets, mobile applications, and others, especially as pirates are taking advantage of the social distancing period to escalate their attacks.

"Based on the prevailing conviction that the world today is living the 4th industrial revolution, modern technology has become an integral part of our daily life. Technology is implemented currently in all fields, and we need to encourage Bahraini youth to study cybersecurity where cybersecurity experts are among the most required professions in the world today according to the latest statistics, where job vacancies available around the world are estimated at 1.8 million jobs by 2022." Mr. Al Awadhi said.

Mr. Al Awadhi, CEO of "NGN International" a full-fledged systems integrator and IT consultant headquartered in Bahrain, and the "NGN" Training Center, stressed his keenness to provide qualitative training and high-level specialized courses in this field, such as information security, networks, artificial intelligence, and information governance, among others. This training will promote career development for employees in their current jobs in the public and private sectors or enable job seekers to find related jobs or launch projects that meet their ambitions.

"NGN had been aware from the beginning of the importance and sensitivity of the field of cybersecurity, so I was keen to contribute effectively in developing this vital field in Bahrain and the region, through partnerships with many international companies specializing in cybersecurity, and providing advanced solutions that can monitor cyberattacks even before they happen." Mr. Al Awadhi added.

He stressed the importance of moving forward in developing an encouraging environment for digital investments, because international companies look to the necessary legislation and infrastructure in case they want to invest in any country, and these standards must be secured to attract investments in this sector and open job opportunities for Bahraini youth.

Al Awadhi noted that the Kingdom of Bahrain has achieved "Mature Stage" of cybersecurity readiness as per the assessment of the International Telecommunications Union's (ITU), noting that Bahrain is distinguished by the existence of a transparent system for cybersecurity governance or electronic security. And he praised the efforts established by the Information and eGovernment authority's Corporate in this field and The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority and the qualitative initiatives in this field, such as the Zajil project for e-communications, Thiqa Program, Information Security Hawks initiative, and others.

"Cybersecurity has become one of the most essential tools of hidden warfare, or the “soft power” that states use to achieve several goals, and whoever possesses the power to manage cybersecurity resources and artificial intelligence will have a leading position in the new world order." Mr. Al Awadhi explained.

"Cyberattacks are usually launched by three groups, amateurs, self-organized groups, and organizations created or sponsored by governments. These attacks usually target the information infrastructure of the military, government, and economic sectors in addition to the energy, health, education, and other sectors. The more developed countries depend on the Internet and electronic services in their institutions, the greater their fears of cyberattacks, and with the continuous escalation and development of software tools and modern technology, the risk increases of spreading fast cyberattack stronger and more harmful." Mr. Al Awadhi said, concluding his statement.