KUWAIT CITY, Dec 24: Participants of the Fifth Kuwait Conference on Combating Cybercrimes, which was held in Jumeirah Messilah Hotel, agreed that Kuwait is still lagging in confronting cyber crimes, which have increased by about three-fold in 2023 compared to last year. They called for including information security in the curricula of students of various educational levels, starting from kindergarten. In this regard, Head of the Kuwait Lawyers Society Sheryan Al-Sharyan said the world today faces the dangers of cybercrimes, especially because the world has become fully linked just like a small village. In his speech at the conference, Al-Sharyan said, “An individual who owns a smartphone now owns a Ministry of Information”, indicating that there are major international institutions that have been lured and fallen victim to fraud and swindling crimes. He said, “When advanced technology is used in a wrong way, it leads to the destruction of homes, blackmail and defamation of victims.”
Al-Sharyan expressed his disappointment about the fact that lagging in this aspect despite the active role played by the Ministry of Interior. He stressed the need to teach students of all educational stages about cybersecurity, adding, “One word may be more fatal than a bullet.” Meanwhile, Head of the committee assigned to organize the Fifth Conference on Combating Cybercrimes Mubarak Al-Abdulhadi said the conference comes at a very important time as the risks of cybercrime have increased significantly in recent years and have become a real threat to national and societal security in the State of Kuwait and the Gulf and Arab region. He indicated that this situation requires everyone to cooperate and unify efforts to confront these risks and threats with science and knowledge. Al-Abdulhadi explained that the previous four editions of this conference resulted in several recommendations, the most prominent of which is spreading awareness about the dangers of cybercrimes, educating individuals about the nature of information security and cybersecurity, its importance, and the different forms of cybercrime, and urging Kuwait University and private universities to introduce the specialization of information security and cybersecurity within the academic curricula, especially since the labor market is in dire need of it. He stated that the conferences contributed to encouraging all ministries to establish risk management and digital emergency centers.
Furthermore, Lieutenant Colonel Ammar Al-Saffar from the Anti-Cybercrime Department of the Ministry of Interior stressed the need to raise individuals’ awareness about cybercrimes and take all methods of counter-attack. He explained that the Anti-Cybercrime Department faced many cases of fraud in this aspect in 2023, and they were three times more than in 2022. The department discovered a large number of crimes in recent years. The number of reported crimes in 2023 was three times more than the number of cyber crimes reported in 2022. Electronic piracy is not limited to a specific category.
Kuwaiti society has been exposed to it at the level of individuals and social institutions, indicating that individual blackmail is one of these digital crimes. The Ministry of Interior formed teams, in collaboration with the Communications and Information Technology Regulatory Authority (CITRA), to fight cyber crimes. They discovered about 300 fake accounts and more than 1,000 phones that were used for committing cyber crimes. Lieutenant Colonel Al- Saffar stressed the need to update the laws to support the efforts aimed at dealing with cybercrimes. In addition, the strategic partner of the Mohammad Al-Jassem Advocates and Legal Strategies Group, Mohammed Al Jassem stated that cybercrimes have become a serious threat for most countries around the world. He highlighted their devastating effect on national security and individual security as well.
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