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Business & Money | Friday 5 January, 2024 1:55 am |
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UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar spearheading quantum computing development in the Middle East

The rapid advancement of quantum computing has ignited a fierce race for the next era of computing innovation globally and across the Middle East, according to new research from Frost & Sullivan. While the United States and China hold the top positions in quantum computing and cryptography development, the growing prominence of quantum computing in the Middle East region will be discussed in detail at Intersec 2024, which takes place from 16-18 January 2024 at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).

 

Quantum computing has the potential to revolutionise cybersecurity by improving secure communication with advanced encryption. Yet, it also challenges current encryption methods, so preparing for this quantum era is vital to protect data from new risks.

 

Although quantum computing is still in its early stages, it will likely impact fields like scientific research, cryptography, finance, supply chains, logistics, and drug discovery as it develops further.

 

Speaking ahead of the Cyber Security Conference at Intersec 2024, Rajarshi Dhar, Principal Consultant, Security, Frost & Sullivan, said: “Quantum computing represents a revolutionary leap in computational power, promising to transform industries. While still nascent, this technology holds immense potential for solving complex problems faster and more efficiently than classical computers. As we continue to advance our understanding and capabilities in quantum computing, it is clear that this field will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of science, technology, and society at large.”

 

Frost & Sullivan's analysis predicts a significant surge in the quantum cryptography market over the next five years, with more than half of the revenue expected to come from businesses, followed by the government and defence sectors. 

 

“This growth is propelled by the imminent threat posed by the commercialisation of quantum computers, making current security and cryptography outdated. Upgrading security systems is crucial, requiring future-proof cryptography capable of withstanding both quantum and sophisticated attacks,” Dhar added.

 

Although the United States holds the top position in quantum computing and cryptography development, China is following closely behind and is anticipated to impact technological advancement significantly in the future.

 

Meanwhile, the UAE has also been in a race for quantum computing and quantum cryptography development with its own Quantum Research Centre and UAE’s institutes working towards productisation. In September 2023, the Technology Innovation Institute developed cryptography estimators that evaluate the security of Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC) schemes. 

 

Similarly, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are making substantial steps in the quantum computing space with a US$ 10 million investment from the Qatari government towards the Qatar Centre for Quantum Computing. Saudi Arabia recognises the need to establish the Quantum Computing Council for Saudi Arabia.

 

The implications of quantum computing will be discussed in detail at the two-day Intersec 2024 Cyber Security Conference, which will gather experts, thought leaders, practitioners, and innovators as they collectively chart the course for cyber security excellence in the years to come. 

 

Other notable regional and international speakers include His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Al Kuwaiti, Head of Cyber Security, UAE Government; Fadhel Al Marri, Security Systems Officer, Dubai Electronic Security Center; Craig Jones, Director – Cybercrime, Interpol, Singapore; and Sergi Marcen, Secretary of Telecommunications & Digital Transformation,  Government of Catalonia, Spain.

 

Grant Tuchten, Portfolio Director at Intersec organiser Messe Frankfurt Middle East, said: "The Cyber Security Conference allows the industry to deepen its understanding of cyber security risks and enhance cooperation among stakeholders to counter these risks effectively. Intersec will also host world-leading cyber security exhibitors within the in{:cyber} Pavilion, including Fortinet, Moro Hub, Alpha Data, and ManageEngine."

 

The Intersec 2024 in{:cyber} Pavilion features the Hack Arena, a three-day challenge for Middle East cybersecurity experts hosted by Malcrove CTF.ae. Participants demonstrate skills in web exploitation, digital forensics, cryptography, exploit development, and reverse engineering. Also, the Intersec Innovators Arena (IIA), powered by Unipreneur Inc, offers startups a platform to showcase products to potential investors.

 

Workshops within the pavilion include the ITU-led Scenario Based Exercise, analysing attack scenarios, and the Table Top Exercise, simulating cyber-attacks on financial institutions.

 

Intersec's 25th edition, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, marks a quarter-century of innovation in security tech. With 1,000 exhibitors from 60 nations and 45,000 trade visitors, the event is a global hub for security, safety, and fire protection industries. 

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