Safeguarding Critical Infrastructure

Defense, preparedness and response to protect critical infrastructure

Intersec presented the industry’s most comprehensive showcase to date as it brought together regional and international government services, law enforcement, civil defense, emergency services, oil, gas, energy, transport, and telecommunications as they form key pillars of nations’ economic infrastructure.

This year’s launch of the Safeguarding Critical Infrastructure Conference ensured that stakeholders have a place to discuss keeping infrastructure assets safe and protected against physical harm and cyber-attacks. This year’s theme is perfectly placed to compass “Defending, preparing, responding and building resilience”.

The conference  addressed topics such as: smart cities security, how we might protect critical infrastructure assets and systems against cyber-attacks, ICSs, climate risks issues, global supply chains and the future of 5G networks.  In addition, we addressed national emergency preparedness, physical security of infrastructure and sector specific opportunities to help industry prepare, defend, and respond to disruption. 

Past Agenda

10:15-10:55 Registration and Networking 
10:55-11:00 Session chair welcome
Sharief Fahmy, Executive Director, Kaman Corporation
11:00-11:40 Panel Discussion
Building safety mechanisms into critical infrastructure
- Anticipating threats and hazards
- A shared responsibility between stakeholders to maintain and improve security and resilience of infrastructure
- Promoting engagement at all levels of government and industry to foster mutual understanding, information sharing and practical exchanges that enable the success of national preparedness efforts

Moderator: John Cowling, Specialist in Security across Critical Infrastructure and Transport sectors

Tonu Tammer, Executive Director CERT-EE, Estonian Information Systems Authority
Gina Osborn,
FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge (Retired) & President, Gina L. Osborn & Associates
Professor Paul Poteete,
PhD, Associate Professor, Computer Science and Cybersecurity, Geneva College
11:40-12:00 Mitigating possible disruption of economic and social activities by building resilience in critical infrastructure assets 
- Addressing higher dependencies on digital technologies what the world looks like now and in the future
- Case study: Demonstrating a large-scale crisis 

Speaker - Alessandro Bassano, Principal Digital Security Scientist, Technology Innovation Institute Abu Dhabi
12:00-12:45  Chair of the session: Sharief Fahmy, Executive Director, Kaman Corporation

Smart Cities panel discussion:
The power, the risks, the response
- Securing the smart city and its critical infrastructure 
- What have been the expanding risks in smart cities and how do we defend against threats?
- What is the current threat landscape?
- What successes have we seen in highly urbanized cities?

Moderator: Dr. Fouad Abou Chacra, Senior Specialist - Special Projects and Innovation, Dubai Electricity & Water Authority, DEWA

Dr. Marwan Alzarouni, Director of Information Services, Dubai Electronic Security Center
Dr. Humaid Alshamsi,
Director Artificial Intelligence Application, Abu Dhabi Police
Jan Fox,
Executive Director, REACH Council for Safe Communities
12:45-13:15 Networking Lunch 
13:15-13:45 International speaker: 
Digital security of critical infrastructure and essential services
- The effects of growing digital transformation on the resilience of critical infrastructures and essential services
- Addresses key issues surrounding digital security of critical infrastructure and how to navigate them

Tonu Tammer, Executive Director CERT-EE, Estonian Information Systems Authority
13:45-14:30 Chair of the session: Sharief Fahmy, Executive Director, Kaman Corporation

Panel discussion 
Global threats trends and analysis: cross boarder and cross-sector interdependencies
- Examining the evolving threat landscape: Preparing for the challenges of tomorrow
- Coordinate, share, monitor, collect, analyse and forecast, national level threats to critical
- How can stakeholders take into account globally distributed digital infrastructures (e.g. Cloud computing) as well as potential systemic risk from widespread vulnerabilities (e.g. Meltdown and Spectre)?

Moderator: Sharief Fahmy, Executive Director, Kaman Corporation

William Brown, Director, Crisis and Resilience Consulting, Middle East, Control Risks
Virtual: Richard Flint MSyl,
Technical and Commercial Lead - Physical Security, Building Research Establishment (BRE) UK
Virtual: Simon Whitehouse, 
Managing Director, SGW
14:30-15:00 Zero-trust approaches to defend against cyber threats in critical Infrastructure 
- Zero-trust: a more comprehensive approach to protecting IT and OT networks
- A zero-trust mindset at the highest level, along with zero-trust gateways at the nexus of IT and OT
- The necessary steps explained
Speaker - Simone Vernacchia, Partner, Digital, Cyber security, Resilience and Infrastructure, PwC Middle 
15:00-15:30 Virtual: Evolution of security strategy in transformational times: asking the right questions
- What security, whose security and what is national security? 
- How to identify and prioritize security threats and opportunities and divide new skills among security institutions and agencies? 
- What is the rationale for national security strategies? 
- What are the desirable methodology, processes and elements of national security strategy development?
- How to link national security strategy formulation with strategic leadership, national vision and ownership, resources management, civilian oversight, interagency coordination, and external partnership?
- What national security strategy development and implementation lessons could countries consider?

Speaker - Dr. Sandro Gaycken, Director, Digital Society Institute, Germany
15:30-16:00 Cybersecurity of Industrial Control Systems
- Overview and evolution of industrial control systems (ICS)
- ICS cybersecurity risks and impact on critical infrastructure
-Mitigation strategies and role of ISA/IEC-62443 standards and product certification in safeguarding critical infrastructure

Speaker - Khalid Ansari, Principal Cybersecurity Engineer, FM Approvals
16:00-16:30 The ICS challenge
-  Examines what industrial control systems (ICS) and critical infrastructure are
-  ICS cybersecurity risks and impact
-  ICS cyber attacks through the ages

Moderator - Eng. Ali Alamadi, CEO & Co-Founder, CyberArrow

Muhammad Ali Azeem, Senior Infrastructure & Cyber Security Consulting Engineer, Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA)
Khalid Ansari,
Principal Cybersecurity Engineer, FM Approvals
Malek Abu Tayah,
IT/OT Manager, SUEZ Middle East & Central Asia
 Hani Bani Amer, Technical Director iMETA, AttackIQ
Closing remarks and end of day 1
10:00-10:55  Registration &  Networking
11:55-12:00  Chair’s welcome
Sharief Fahmy, Executive Director, Kaman Corporation
12:00-12:45 Panel Discussion:
Defending utilities and other critical assets against climate change
- Safeguarding against extreme weather conditions and challenge for stable energy supply
- Is global critical infrastructure ready for climate change as we move towards greater cross boarder dependencies?  
- Preparing capabilities necessary to mitigate and recover from disruptions when they occur 

Moderator: Eng. Sameh Hablas, Chief Executive Officer, Al Danah Information Systems

Ali Abdulla Al Sadadi, Head of IT, Ministry of Oil, Bahrain
Shahab Siddiqui, 
Global Head of Cyber Security, Petrofac
Taha Hussain,
Senior Security Engineer, Dubai Electricity & Water Authority - DEWA
12:45-13:15 Networking Lunch
13:15-13:40 Virtual: Worth the risk? Cultivating risk-based security strategies
- Find out how risk-based strategies can be applied to vital OT systems
- Spend more wisely, and get the most security for your money
- Limit the damage cyber criminals can do to your systems when prevention doesn’t work
Speaker - Dr. Patrick Noack, Executive Director - Future, Foresight and Imagination, Dubai Future Foundation
13:40:14:10 Keynote:
UAE's Cybersecurity update

Speaker - H.E. Dr. Mohamed Al-Kuwaiti, Head of Security, United Arab Emirates Government
14:10-15:00 Panel discussion:
Contingency planning as a key to crisis preparedness and response
This session will discuss the policies and structures in place that provide a backbone for contingency planning:
- Protecting critical infrastructure and vulnerable targets against attacks: how stakeholders stay prepared?
- What does a critical facilities protection plan look like? Considerations for large-scale events and pandemic-like disasters
- How might we establish an on-going program to implement recommended actions taken from lessons learned?
- Case study focusing on resilience improvement and better understanding systemic emergency management risks in order to plan accordingly

Moderator: Glen Thomas, Technology & Cyber Practice Partner, Grant Thornton

Dr. Eldar Saljic, Program Director, College of Security and Global Studies, American university in the Emirates
Virtual: Dr. Hussain Aldawood, Director of Engineering & Cyber Security, GNS
Virtual: Yosi Shavit,
Head of ICS Cyber Security Department, Israel Ministry of Environmental Protection
15:00-15:30  Securing 5G networks and infrastructure from cybersecurity risks
- Addressing threats to progressing policy and standards a foundation for securing 5Gs future communications standards 
- Addressing supply chain risks tied to ICT threats and why we should slow down the pace of deployment to protect the integrity of 5G networks
- Securing 5G Systems architecture by keeping an eye on new weaknesses presented by ICT components  

Speaker - Lt. Col. Dr. Hamad Khalifa Al Nueimi, Head of Telecommunications Section Information Technology Center, Abu Dhabi Police General Head Quarter             
15:30-16:10 Panel discussion: 
Developing robust, secure, and resilient transport, logistics and supply chains
-  Ensuring capital cities and the population can access critical products in critical emergencies – the case for supply chain shortages 
-  How can we modernize legacy systems in the transport and logistics sector?
-  Where does all the data go? How do we safeguard it against digital security attacks?
-  Building a resilient ICT supply chain by strengthening: a view of how goods and services flow through countries and various interdependencies 

Moderator - Smith Gonsalves, Director & Principal Consultant, CyberSmithSECURE

Biju Hameed, Head - Technology Infrastructure Operations Practice, Dubai Airports
Tarik Abdulaal, Vice President MEA, Former Gulf Supply Chain Director, Slimstock, Proctor & Gamble
Irina Albanese, Head of Innovation Middle East & Africa, DHL
16:10-16:30 Virtual: Planning for disruptions in the IT managed service industry
- Trends reshaping the managed services industry
- Why Managed Services Should Be Part of Your Business Continuity Plan
- Restoring IT systems and infrastructure after a catastrophic event.

Speaker - Dr. Hussain Aldawood, Director of Engineering & Cyber Security, GNS
16:30-17:10 Panel Session:
Digital security risks in the financial sectors 
- The convergence of regtech to help curb major security gaps
- Staying protected while meeting the needs of users and balancing need for high security standards to maintain the integrity of financial systems
- What regulation, information-sharing or financial incentives exist?
- Challenges in managing cross-board infrastructure, payments, and forex settlement systems

Moderator - Simon Bell, Senior Vice President, MENA, Marsh Middle East and Africa

Sultan Altukhaim, Chief Information Security and Risk Officer, The Saudi Investment Bank
Charanjeet Singh,
Senior Vice President & Head - Fraud Risk & Investigation, First Abu Dhabi Bank
Amit Mehta, Cybersecurity Advisory Practice Lead, Mastercard
17:10-17:40 Panel discussion: 
What is the role of the individual within organisations?
- The changing customer, supplier and individual – how do we secured our systems from human and malicious errors
-  Driving a culture of integrity and trust in organisations – what does this look like for highly secured infrastructure? 

Moderator - Gregory D. Evans, Director, National Cyber Security Ventures

Kris Voorspels, Regional Technical Manager, Owl Cyber Defense
Sultan Altukhaim,
Chief Information Security and Risk Officer, The Saudi Investment Bank
17:40 Closing remarks and end of day 2
10:00-10:45 Registration and recap 
10:55-11:00 Chairman's welcome: Khalil Ramadi, Director of the Laboratory for Advanced, Neuroengineering and Translational Medicine, New York University (NYU)
11:00-11:45 Opening keynote panel discussion:
Physical security opportunities for securing critical infrastructure
- Current and evolving threat landscape from a counter-intelligence perspective
- Emphasizing the holistic nature of threats through the integration of economic and behavioral analysis

Moderator - Nayaz Mohammed, Partner, PWC

Prof. Dusko Tomic, Program Director - Master of Arts in Security and Strategic Studies, College of Security and Global Studies, American university in the Emirates
Adil Abdel Hadi,
Security Management Industry Expert, Aman Security Training

Panel discussion: 
Case studies: best practices established during COVID-19 response 
- Lessons learned in managing various stakeholders 
- Preparing for future threats, managing risks, and coordinating effective responses
- How can companies continue to create safe workplaces as businesses reopen?

Moderator - Dr. Khalil Ramadi, Director of the Laboratory for Advanced, Neuroengineering and Translational Medicine, New York University (NYU)

Dr. Spateeka Prakash Kalkunte, Head Medical Affairs & Quality, Aster DM Healthcare
Dr. Haitham Alhakmani, Director, Emergency Management, Ministry of Health Oman
Ali Juma AlAjme, Director of Digital Health Department, Ministry of Health and Prevention – UAE

Exploring new techniques to improve the security-critical control systems in the face of emerging threats
Speaker - Dr. Hossam Elshenraki, Associate Professor, Dubai Police HQ


How to adjust your post-covid cyber strategy

Speaker - Prof. Ernesto Damiani, Director, The Center for Cyber Physical Systems (C2ps), Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Khalifa University - Information Security Research Center (ISRC)
Networking Break
14:00-14:30 Session Chair - Dr. Yegor Aushev, Co-founder, Cyber Unit Technologies, Cyber School

Critical Infrastructure trends in 2022: assessing the role of human factor

Speaker - Dr. Yegor Aushev, Co-founder, Cyber Unit Technologies, Cyber School
14:30-15:45 Protecting against Critical Infrastructure Hackers

Speaker - Gregory D. Evans, Director, National Cyber Security Ventures
Closing remarks by session and end of conference

Past Speakers

Yegor Aushev

Yegor Aushev

Advisory Board Members:

Defence Preparedness Response
  • Surveillance Systems – How do we manage multiple systems?
  • Human Assets – Selection, training, motivation
  • Defending national treasures–Oil and gas refineries, LNG, ports, power stations
  • Critical Communications and control
  • International and National Agency Co-operation
  • Planning for Disaster – Risk management and resilience (including pandemics)
  • Ariel Assets – What’s the future? – Fixed wing, rotor craft, UAV’s, satellites
  • Perimeter Security – Do long perimeters mean weak security?
  • Security and Resilience in Design
  • Standardisation for Improving CIP Solutions
  • CNI Threat and Vulnerability Analysis
  • Identity Management & Access Control
  • Information exchange and interoperability
  • Working with private sector in a more collaborative way
  • Emerging and Future threats, identification and management
  • The Human Factor – Operator Protection
  • Energy Infrastructure Security
  • Transport Infrastructure Security
  • Telecomms Infrastructure Security
  • Emergency Preparedness and Response Coordination
  • Government: Ministries, Departments and related agencies           
  • Global/Group CEO’s
  • General Managers
  • Head of IT
  • CIOs
  • CTOs
  • Chief Innovation Officers
  • Chief Digital Officer
  • SVPs/VPs of IT
  • Heads of Cyber Security
  • Senior Directors of IT 
  • Cyber security of complex and distributed critical infrastructures across sectors
  • Situational Awareness towards oil, gas and energy Incidents
  • Prevention, resilience and preparedness and lessons learned across sectors
  • Safety-security interactions and collaborative approaches in the financial sector
  • Protection of industrial control systems, the emerging threats
  • Performance evaluation of security methods and tools in control systems
  • Vulnerability and risk assessment methodologies for government services and transportation
  • Detection and response mechanisms across law enforcement
  • Supply chain vulnerabilities and protections