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ABTEC summit on e-banking next week
DHAHRAN, 7th Apr 2001

  “Over the next few years, a total of 560 Arab banks will upgrade their IT systems with online banking and e-security high on the agenda,” according to Dr. George Kardouche, chairman, Arab Bankers Association.
The ABA chairman was speaking in advance of ABTEC 2001, the First Arab E-Banking and E-Security Summit which will be held at the Emirates Towers Hotel in Dubai on April 8 and 9. The event is expected to draw 250 Islamic, Arab and international bankers. It will include an e-banking conference and a 600 square meter exhibition.
The exhibition will be one of the most advanced seen in the region. At its “Black Cave,” visitors will be able to learn about existing and potential viruses and also meet the “white hackers,” international hackers acknowledged for their expertise who have, however, never contravened the law. ABTEC’s Black Cave is aimed at putting the threat of malicious code into context by allowing the “white hackers” to give detailed explanations on Internet viruses and the damage they can cause. A study by the American Society for Industrial Security found that there are an estimated 50,000 viruses currently circulating in cyberspace. International studies suggest that worldwide, hacking could cost $1.6 trillion this year alone.
One of the main purposes of the summit is to gain a regional consensus in the approach to fighting cyber crime. Criminals targeting banking systems are a serious threat to the security of the region. Coordinated action and knowledgeable precautions could keep cyber crime to a minimum. ABTEC 2001 aims to help in this effort by allowing the participants to share vital preventative knowledge. The conference will also assist banks with the task of identifying white-collar fraud and create a platform for a discussion of the difficulties banks and businesses face in installing and maintaining complicated security systems.
According to Douglas Mellor of International Transmedia Limited, which is facilitating ABTEC on ABA’s behalf, the exhibition is an essential education forum, not just for bankers, but for their business clientele.
“IT security not only impacts the financial sector. It also impacts everyday business strategy, e-commerce and competitiveness,” said Mellor. “It is no longer an issue only for specialists. For example, in the UK, directors of publicly-quoted companies currently have a legal responsibility to act on computer security. We envisage similar rulings being enacted throughout the Middle East and ABTEC will lead the debate. With the rapid development of e-business, corporate exposure to criminal attack or unintentional information leak is greater than ever.”
ABTEC 2001, which is being organized by the ABA in partnership with www.sheikhmohammed.co.ae, the unique Internet site which promotes Dubai, Information Technology in the UAE and the role of Sheikh Mohammed ibn Rashid Al-Maktoum, UAE defense minister and crown prince of Dubai, in this arena, has won the backing of the Dubai Police. Dubai’s Police Chief, Maj. Gen. Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, said cyber crime is not confined to external attacks.
“Often there’s a great threat from within a company as disgruntled employees seek to damage business,” he warned.
Tamim added that international surveys revealed that up to 80 percent of employees have access to sensitive corporate information. So it is vital for companies to also seek protection against internal and external attacks, making IT security a top business priority.
According to the ABA, Middle East organizations and businesses could end up spending $100 million within the next two or three years to beef up their IT security systems.
ABTEC 2001 will bring together a host of expert speakers from the Middle East, Europe and the United States. The summit will also feature a series of technology seminars devoted to e-banking, e-trading and mobile banking. Visit ABTEC 2001 online at: www.abtec-summit.com.

Source: ArabNews©

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09 April 2001 04:12:10 PM

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