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Cyber-security issues addressed at AUS
Although businesses in the Middle East are becoming aware of the increasing risks of cyber-attacks and taking the necessary measures to protect themselves, a high percentage of smartphone and computer users do not realize the importance of taking similar precautions. With the increase in smartphones, social media and technology, users need to be mindful of ways to protect themselves from being hacked. To increase this awareness, American University of Sharjah, (AUS) held its 5th Cyber Security Boot Camp recently, intended for general computer users, to increase the knowledge of cyber-crime in the external community.
The three-day camp included students and professionals, looking to expand their knowledge in computer and network security, and was conducted by Dr. Fadi Ahmed Aloul, the camp organizer and Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the AUS College of Engineering.
The idea behind the camp was to enable computer users to expand their awareness in computer and network security and attendees at the camp learned about the latest cyber security threats and attacks they could face at home or the office, methods to protect themselves from being hacked and ways of dealing with being hacked. The boot camp included lectures, live demonstrations, real-world examples and interactive hands-on exercises.
"Individuals are using their smart phone constantly, and they download apps all the time. Yet, very few have taken security measures to prevent their accounts from being hacked," said Dr. Aloul. "This course is for non-IT people, the average computer users, because many of these attacks are increasingly targeting individuals as opposed to companies. Users are the weakest link so they need to be aware of threats out there to avoid being tricked."
Topics addressed in the boot camp included hacker types, goals, motivations, and targets; challenges of securing information; password security and encryption; network security and viruses, worms and trojans; wireless and mobile security; social engineering and identity theft; web security and phishing attacks; physical security; email security and spam; social media security, and how to use the internet safely.
Participating professionals included students from AUS and University of Sharjah as well as representatives from Honeywell Middle East and Starcom MediaVest Group."I found the camp very informative and practical. It enlightened me about the potential cyber threats and means of protection. I will apply this learning in everyday practice and would definitely recommend it to other people," said Mohammed Saleh, working at Honeywell Middle East.
According to Sara Sakr from Starcom MediaVest Group, "The camp covered a broad range of informative news about the cyber world, along with a simplified yet comprehensive explanation of some key technical aspects of the day to day threats we face just by being online. It's highly engaging even for those who don't have a relevant background and I recommend it to fellow media professionals."
Participating in the AUS Cyber Security Boot Camp is encouraged for all users dealing with technology on a daily basis. The next boot camp will be held in Fall 2014.