By Faten Omar

KUWAIT: The US Embassy kicked off the opening session of cybersecurity lectures on Sunday in cooperation with Saad Al-Abdullah Police Academy at Abdullatif Al-Thuwaini Building. "We are in continuous collaboration with the US Embassy in diversifying cultural and educational cooperation for Saad Al-Abdullah Academy. Previously, the academy sent three students to the United States to learn more about the US constitution, and it was a good experience. Three other students will be sent in the field of cybersecurity this year," said Brig Gen Ali Al-Wuhaib, Assistant Director-General of Saad Al-Abdullah Academy for Security Sciences for Academic Affairs.

"To face the dangers and prepare for cyberattacks, there are specialists from the Criminal Investigation Department and State Security Bureau. In the field of education, we are preparing to include cybersecurity in the curriculum. We are studying this decision with security authorities and hopefully it will be included by next year," Wuhaib added.

James Holtsnider, the Charge d'Affaires of the US Embassy in Kuwait, said: "The importance of cybersecurity and information security to ensure a resilient, open, secure and reliable Internet, as well as stability in cyberspace, cannot be overstated. Every day, cybersecurity becomes more essential to our economies and our critical infrastructure like financial institutions, personal data and even our elections."

Holtsnider added this kind of threat requires investment in a more inclusive, robust and skilled workforce to protect our shared interests, noting that bilateral exchange of expertise provides a foundation for a wider range of collaboration to counter increasingly sophisticated and persistent cyberthreats and bolster efforts to defend against current and future cyberthreats.

"In 2023, cyberthreats continue to increase and it is incredibly important to develop the capacity of our teams on the American and Kuwaiti sides to share information, knowledge and close cooperation by bringing experts to Kuwait," Holtsnider pointed out. He affirmed the US-Kuwaiti partnership and collaboration on cybersecurity - as with many issues - is something the embassy will continue to work on, as it is a part of its regular and annual strategic dialogue with the Kuwaiti government all year long.

Cybersecurity expert Guillermo Christensen

Cybersecurity expert Guillermo Christensen has provided expertise to senior officials and 320 police cadets. He has extensive expertise and experience in national defense and critical infrastructure. Christensen said that the premise behind his lecture titled 'Cyber threats' history as a guide to the future' is that cybersecurity has historically been an area for military and espionage operations to understand today's threats, noting that today's nation-state capabilities equal to tomorrow's cyberthreats, adding the lesson is to make people know the limitations of technology, because if they do not do so, it will bring them down.

Christensen explained the characteristics of nation-state attacks, saying hackers will employ specialists and have teamwork and logistics, while exhibiting patience and long-term presence to reach their purpose to access zero-day and hardware exploits by using hackers or human intelligence such as spies. At the end of the event, Wuhaib presented a plaque to Holtsnider. The three-day event will cover the history of cybersecurity and other topics including ransomware.