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Jordan can take the lead in cyber security

Dec 18,2017 - Last updated at Dec 18,2017

The Great Wall of China was built thousands of years ago to prevent China’s enemies from entering. Well, they did as mentioned in historical references three or four times. The enemies bribed the guards to open a gate under darkness for the stealthy armoured enemy soldiers to sneak in.

Walls were built around chateaus, citadels and castles to control the entry to and exit from these supposedly formidable places. Well, those were often surrounded by invading armies who also prevented people inside from going out until the besieged inhabitants starved to near death or were hit by the black death caused by marauding rats.

The virtual world, which we humans have created, is becoming our Frankenstein monster. It is getting bigger, more inhabited, faster and wider than our physical world. The second-by-second contacts between the two worlds have become baffling and sometimes beyond control.

We need to protect this vast virtual universe so it would not be penetrated by culprits who seek to invade our assets, or steal our personal data or use us to spite others.

The issue of cyber security was the subject of the “Cyber Security Conference: Secure the Future with Cyber Protection” held under the patronage of HRH Prince Feisal by the Jordan chapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA). It was sponsored by leading telecommunications and IT companies in Jordan as well as the King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau (KADDB).

The three-day conference, December 11-13, discussed at least 30 papers and was attended by a large number of European chapters and representatives from Arab countries. Jordan, so far, is the only Arab country with an AFCEA chapter.

Since I chair the newly established Military Centre of Excellence, which is supported by both TAG and Zain, I was invited to give a small speech in the opening session.

I am now completely engrossed in the issue of cyber security as an economist. Using their superiority in this field, some countries could inflict great economic harm on countries with fewer capabilities. Cyber wars can be very effective in causing maximum damage at the least cost. Thus, for a country with a large pool of talent in IT, Jordan can actually develop the means to defend itself against such a possibility.

The other security dimension relates to terrorism and organised crime. Both use the cyber space to recruit new enlistees, send their covert messages, launder their illicitly earned funds and effect their payments. 

Few days ago, the EU took a decision to monitor closely bitcoin operations lest they were used for money laundering. Moreover, they want to subject them to monetary regulations. Cryptic money has gained popularity because of the notion that they are secure and widely spread over money sites. However when the bitcoin price goes beyond $17k mark, piracy becomes profitable even at small amounts.


Jordan can take the lead in cyber security. The Jordan chapter deserves congratulations for taking the initiative. The event is planned to be annual, and that in its self is a welcome event.

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