Muscat: The Oman Information Security Gathering (ISeG Oman 2016), organised by the Free and Open Source Software Society (FO3S) at Sultan Qaboos University, opened at the university under the patronage of Dr Rehma Al Mahrooqi, SQU Deputy Vice Chancellor for Postgraduate Studies and Research.
The gathering includes presentations, panel discussions and practical sessions about information technology. FO3S, functioning under the supervision of the Communication and Information Research Centre (CIRC) at SQU, organised this event as part of efforts to spread awareness about security for information systems in today’s high technology environment.
Speaking at the gathering, Prof. Hadj Bourdoucen, Director of CIRC, underscored the need to ensure security for information systems, as organisations are becoming more dependent upon those systems.
“The public is increasingly concerned about the proper use of information, particularly personal data. The threats to information systems from criminals are increasing. For organisations, information is an area of operation that needs to be protected as part of their system of internal controls. As individuals, we usually hold sensitive personal information on our home computers and typically perform online functions, such as banking, shopping and social networking,thus sharing our sensitive information with others over the internet. As more and more of this information is stored and processed electronically and transmitted across company networks or the internet, the risk of unauthorised access increases and we are presented with growing challenges of how best to protect it,” Bourdoucensaid.
FO3S is organising this event in association with national organisations, including ITA, TRA, and telecom companies Omantel and Ooredoo. Prof. Bourdoucen said that the event reflects CIRC’s commitment to society by providing awareness on information security through joining with public and private sector organisations that share their views on the challenges in ensuring information security and overcoming threats to cyber security.
Dr Mohammed Sarrab, Supervisor of FO3S, spoke about the activities of the student organisation in spreading awareness about free and open source software in Oman by organizing various activities and events. This was followed by a talk on information security by Dr Bader Al Manthari, Director General of the Information Security Division of ITA.
Also, Khalsa Khalfan Al Hanidi from Omantel spoke about security for telecom systems.
Additionally, Abdulrahim Al Abri, Senior System Engineer, Centre for Information Systems at SQU, in his talk about antivirus technologies, elaborated on ransomware viruses, malvertising viruses and the link between them and Rootkits. The antivirus software are today being challenged by more sophisticated viruses that exploit the basic characteristics of IT systems.
Further, Hadeel Al Sayed, Head of FO3S, delivered a talk on “protecting your data at rest”, while Abdul Mogeeb Al Humaid from MTE, Saudi Arabia, spoke about the advantages of using free and open source software,which provide increased freedom and security.
Today's activities at the forum concluded with a symposium on information security in academic and technical curriculums. Also, Nasser Khamis Al Sawai from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions spoke about the legal aspects of information security threats and internet fraud.