Dubai Electronic Security Centre launches new 'TIRS' cybersecurity platform at GISEC 2021


New platform will scan Dubai Government websites for threats and increase cybersecurity competitiveness between entities

Dubai’s ‘agility’ to evolve policy will enhance cyber safety
Digital14 launches UAE Cyber Resilience Report
Dubai, UAE: The Dubai Electronic Security Centre (DESC) has launched a new cybersecurity platform, known as ‘TIRS’, which translates to ‘Shield’ in English, at GISEC 2021, the 9th edition of the Middle East and Africa’s most influential and connected cybersecurity event, where they are exhibiting until tomorrow (2nd June) at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).

Speaking at the Government Stage, Ghaith Alsuwaidi, Deputy Director, Security Systems for DESC, unveiled the new platform which, designed entirely by a team of UAE nationals, scans Dubai government websites to detect vulnerabilities within departments, delivers top line data and issues a safety score out of five.

The platform also creates a threat report to inform participating entities on critical weaknesses, enabling them to take appropriate action to resolve any security gaps. Once the threat is identified and dealt with, DESC will confirm the action taken within the TIRS system.

“TIRS is one of the key pillars monitoring Dubai’s cyberspace, through the Dubai Cyber Index Platform. We continuously scan government websites and based on the security of the government entities we give them a score out of five. It ensures the security of government websites and introduces competitiveness in terms of website security, all the time making Dubai’s cyberspace safer,” said Alsuwaidi, adding that the TIRS scoring will be a parameter on the Dubai Cyber Index by the end of this year.

Meanwhile, Dr. Marwan Al-Zarouni, Director, Information Security Services, Dubai Electronic Security Centre (DESC), stressed that Dubai’s agility, emphasised by the launch of the TIRS platform, will enable Dubai to remain ahead of the curve in protecting its cyberspace.

“In Dubai we are not isolated from the world when it comes to regulation, and we participate in global programmes and contribute to policy making. We are one of the first cities to mandate that all cloud providers to any government bodies need to be compliant to our security standards,” said Al-Zarouni. “Being agile enough to change and create policy quickly to match new threats and trends is a key strength for us.


UAE-based cybersecurity advisor, Digital14, launched its Cyber Resilience Report: The UAE Threat Landscape 2021, during GISEC.

Cyber defence experts evaluated and analysed multiple digital assets in the UAE to give an in-depth understanding of the country’s threat landscape.

Digital14’s research revealed an exponential surge in phishing and ransomware with 1.1 million phishing attacks in 2020. F

Joshua Knight, EVP Cyber Defence, Digital14, said, “Traditional cyber security approaches are no longer enough. Traditional perimeter-based network defence, for example, is obsolete. Not only does the perimeter no longer exist in our newly connected environments, but organisations must also recognise that their networks have most likely already been breached.”

Key findings of the report include:

In 2020, 249,955 vulnerabilities were found in 800,315 unique instances
Significant numbers of old vulnerabilities, some dating back to 2000, have yet to be remediated within UAE organisations’ networks. These can easily provide an entry point for devastating cyberattacks
Ransomware increased with a 33% rise in the number of new ransomware families compared with 2019

Day two of GISEC also witnessed the launch of an online competition for cybersecurity experts to build CERT capability and cyber resilience.

The Hunt 2021 Socathon will see 130 participants in 30 teams spanning 12 countries battle it out in a 24-hour contest. The challenge, enabled by Cyber Unit Technologies Training and Exercise Range (CUTTER®) will see teams target cyber competencies in a real-world attack scenario on Security Operation Centres (SOC).