The United Arab Emirates is gearing up to launch a cyber command within the General Headquarters (GHQ) of the UAE Armed Forces.
Sources with knowledge on the matter told Defenseworld.net that the command will cater for the military and run in parallel to the National Electronic Security Authority (NESA).
NESA is a federal authority responsible for developing, supervising and monitoring the implementation of UAE cybersecurity strategies, policies and standards. NESA seeks to safeguard the UAE online environment and contribute to the collective achievement of national goals.
Earlier in June, NESA announced a range of key strategies, policies and standards to align and direct national cybersecurity efforts in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The announcements were made during a briefing session in Abu Dhabi on June 25th, 2014 with senior officials representing federal and local entities from the entire spectrum of UAE Government as part of 'National Cyber Security Program'.
"Cybersecurity is one of the biggest economic and national security challenges countries face in the twenty-first century. The National Electronic Security Authority was established in line with this modern reality and as soon as the Authority was in place, we immediately initiated a thorough review of federal efforts to defend and protect the nation's ICT infrastructure. This announcement falls in line with the process we are currently engaged in which puts all necessary policies and standards in place to ensure a comprehensive approach to securing the nation's digital infrastructure," His Excellency Jassem Bu Ataba Al Zaabi, Director General was quoted as saying.
In June, NESA also distributed the first edition of 'The National Cyber Security Strategy (NCSS)', 'Critical Information Infrastructure Policy (CIIP)' and 'The UAE Information Assurance (IA) Standards' which collectively, work towards enhancing UAE national security by improving the protection of national information and communications infrastructure (ICT).
The National Cyber Security Strategy (NCSS) presented during the briefing sets out a clear course for the UAE Government's ongoing commitment to protecting its national cyberspace.
The CONOPS for the UAE cyber command will more or less be similar to the US Army’s newly launched Cyber Protection Brigade.
Under the brigade will rest 20 active-duty cyber protection teams focused on various aspects of defending the networks of the Army and its partners.
Additionally, the Army National Guard and Army Reserves eventually will stand up 10 teams each, bringing the total number across the entire force to 40. According to Col. Donald L. Bray, USA, commander, Cyber Protection Brigade, the teams will have various organizational alignments based on their customers and mission areas, which could include various groups such as commanders, the Defense Information Systems Agency or the operational network.