Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS)

6th International Workshop on ‘Internet Security: Enhancing Information Exchange Safeguards’ successfully held in Rabat, Morocco

Home   /   6th International Workshop on ‘Internet Security: Enhancing Information Exchange Safeguards’ successfully held in Rabat, Morocco

The 6th International Workshop on ‘Internet Security: Enhancing Information Exchange Safeguards’ was held from 19th to 23rd December 2016, in Rabat, Morocco. The event was jointly organized by COMSATS; the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO); and the Inter Islamic Network on Information Technology (INIT). The workshop was inaugurated by Dr. Tariq Mahmood, Director (Science and Technology), ISESCO, on the morning of 19th December 2016, at ISESCO’s Headquarters in Rabat. The inaugural ceremony was attended by a number of IT professionals, researchers and students, belonging to universities, R&D organizations and government departments of Morocco.

During his address, Dr. Tariq Mahmood welcomed and thanked the subject experts/resource persons as well as foreign and local participants for their participation in the event. He stated that the rate of evolution of Internet is very high, as the world-wide demand of connectivity is increasing, which requires IT experts and cyber security professionals to continuously update their knowledge and skills. He informed that ISESCO is striving to create a critical mass of IT experts in the Islamic countries, in order to protect information available online. In this regard, he admired the five resource persons of the workshop for traveling long distances in order to train the participating IT professionals and update their skill-sets so that they in turn effectively perform their duties, and possibly contribute as master trainers in their respective organizations/countries in the future. He hoped that the event, which is the last capacity building activity of ISESCO for the year 2016, will be able to achieve the desired results, and thanked COMSATS and INIT for collaboration in this regard.

Earlier, Mr. Fazal Abbas Maken, Executive Director COMSATS, in his message read out on the occasion by Mr. Tajammul Hussain, Advisor (Programmes) COMSATS, extended gratitude to ISESCO and INIT for joining hands with COMSATS in order to organize the workshop. He noted that the general public and organizations/companies rely heavily on computers, laptops and smart phones connected to the Internet for performing various day-to-day activities. He stated that the cloud-based operations require the information/personal documents to be stored on remote servers, which render organizations, particularly businesses and financial institutions, at a higher risk as the stolen internal documents can cause a tremendous amount of financial losses. He, therefore, stressed the need of capacity-building of cyber security professionals and IT experts in order to ensure that the identities, documents and passwords of individuals, organizations and businesses are not compromised. He acknowledged the consistent support of ISESCO and INIT towards COMSATS’ programmes and activities in the common Member States, and looked forward to more fruitful collaboration in future.

Mr. Tahir Naeem, Executive Director INIT, stated that Internet is continuously evolving, and has been successful in reducing the cost of, and increasing the convenience in, many daily life activities. However, he noted that the online environment is infinite and much less governed, due to which the cyber crimes and misuse of information available on Internet is a critical issue having tremendous financial consequences. He, therefore, called for greater efforts and collaboration in order to safeguard the online environment. He also shared the mission and ongoing activities of his organization in the field of Information Technology.

The technical sessions of the five-day workshop were attended by 40 young researchers, academicians, system administrators and cyber security professionals, belonging to Palestine, Uzbekistan, Iran, Sudan, The Gambia, Ivory Coast, and Morocco. The event provided a forum to the participating researchers and professionals to learn about the latest advancements in the field of Internet security; use of state-of-the-art technologies for protection of network and network accessible resources from different types of software attacks; and working out effective Internet/information security solutions for general public, governmental organizations and commercial enterprises through rigorous risk analyses and security management approaches.

During the first technical session, Dr. Haider Abbas, Research Fellow/Assistant Professor, Center of Excellence in Information Assurance, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia, imparted training on ‘Organizational Security’. During the session, he covered the following topics: Certification of Organizations; Practical Approaches to Organizational Information Security Management; ISO 27001: Information Security Management System; Risk Assessment; Risk Calculation Methods and Treatment Strategies; Gap Analysis; Information Security Policy/Procedures Writing; and Information Assets Identifications & Valuation. He also conducted practical exercises on: Gap Analysis; Risk Assessment & Treatment; Statement of Applicability; Internal/External Auditing; and Organization’s Certification Process.

The second technical session was conducted by Mr. Zafar Iqbal Mir, Deputy Head, Information Security Risk, MENA – HSBC, UAE. He covered topics related to dissecting a cyber-attack, including Reconnaissance (Recon), Scanning, Gaining Access, Maintaining Access, and Covering and Hiding Tracks. He also touched upon topics related to various types of attacks, including Anatomy of a Sample Distributed DoS (DDoS) Attacks, Evolution of Botnet Configurations and DDoS Attacks, the concept of Kill Chain, Mitigation Techniques and Layered Security Approach.

The third session was conducted by Mr. Syed Mustafa Raza, Director – Solutions & Consulting (Info Sec), IXTEL Dubai, and Consultant (Pre-sales Solutions), Gulf Bridge International, Qatar Foundation Group, UAE. He imparted training on the following aspects of cyber security: Defining Vulnerability, Exploit, Threat and Risk; Creating a Vulnerability Report; Conducting an Initial Scan; Common Vulnerabilities and Exposure (CVE) List; Vulnerability Detection Methods; Types of Scanners; Port Scanning and OS Fingerprinting; Enumerating Targets to Test Information Leakage; Types of Exploits: Worm, Spyware, Backdoor, Rootkits, and Denial of Service (DoS); Deploying Exploit Frameworks; Implementing Scanner Operations and Configuration; Choosing Credentials, Ports and Dangerous Tests; Creating Custom Vulnerability Tests; Customizing Nessus Scans; Filtering and Customizing Reports; Interpreting Complex Reports; and Contrasting the Results of different scanners.

During the fourth session, Mr. Asad Raza, Professional Technical Faculty Member, Information Security Engineering Department, Institute of Applied Technology, UAE, imparted training on: Steps in Incident Handling; Information Gathering and Reconnaissance; Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows; Metasploit Framework; Exploits and Payloads; Auxiliary Modules; Security Issues in Wireless Networks; Social Engineering Toolkit and Prevention Methods.

The final session of the workshop was conducted by Mr. Muhammad Faheem Qureshi, Lecturer, Abu Dhabi Polytechnic, Institute of Applied Technology, UAE, during which he covered the following aspects of Digital Forensics: Evidence Handling; Roles and Responsibilities; Phases of a Digital Forensic Process; Memory Forensics; Storage Forensics; and Microsoft Windows Forensics. All the technical sessions were highly interactive.

Speaking at the Concluding Ceremony held on 23rd December 2016, Dr. Tariq Mahmood thanked the subject experts/resource persons of the workshop for sharing knowledge and expertise with participants. He called for greater collaboration among the developing countries in this important field. Dr. Mahmood thanked the Organizing Committee members from ISESCO, INIT and COMSATS for working hard to make this event a success. He also thanked the local and foreign participants for their active participation during the workshop. He hoped that the connections made during the workshop will be maintained for future collaborations and learning.

The ceremony concluded with the distribution of certificates by the representatives of ISESCO, COMSATS and INIT among the resource persons, local and foreign participants, and Organizing Committee members.

Upcoming Events

Sep
25
Tue
2018
4th International Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Biotechnology, Rabat, Morocco
Sep 25 – Sep 26 all-day

[ Brochure ] [ Registration Form ]

Climate-related natural disasters, emerging diseases, rapid growth of World population, and political and social conflicts poses growing threat to food security. These havocs have incapacitated the food availability chain ensuing hunger, poverty and malnutrition around the globe. It is a debilitating fact that globally 815 million people, accounting 11% of the world population, were undernourished in 2016 (FAO 2017) wherein the third-world is bearing the brunt. This scenario, calls for more proactive, innovative yet sustainable approach for attaining and sustaining food self-sufficiency. Besides, the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” is a call for action ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture.

The rapidly pacing scientific advancements in the field of biotechnology can offer promising tools, techniques, methods and practices for enhancing agricultural productivity while conserving the natural resources in their best form for the future generations. Agriculture biotechnology – one of the arms of biotechnology – is the key to sustainable food systems, value-added crop production, improved nutrition and green economy.

Keeping in view the importance of above-mentioned issue, the Islamic Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) and the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) are jointly organizing 4th International Conference on ‘Agriculture, Food Security and Biotechnology’, from 25th – 26th September 2018 in Rabat, Morocco. The Conference aims to provide an interactive platform to academicians, scientists and researchers to deliberate upon the burning issue of food insecurity while underpinning the significance of Agriculture, Food Security and Biotechnology.

Academicians, researchers, scientists, policy makers and implementers, and government officials working in the field of Agriculture, Food Security and Biotechnology in the developing countries are encouraged to participate in this international Conference.

OBJECTIVES

The key objectives of this international Conference are to:

  • Provide a forum to scientists, researchers, technologists and faculty members to update their knowledge and share know-how on the recent developments in the field of agriculture and biotechnology;
  • Build and strengthen linkages among R&D/S&T organizations working in the field of agriculture, biotechnology and food security for effective South-South cooperation;
  • Make recommendations to the policy-makers for developing policies and strategies in order to support biotechnology for food security in the common Member States of COMSATS and ISESCO.

HOW TO REGISTER

Applications for participation are required to be submitted through duly filled-in prescribed form to COMSATS and ISESCO, at the contact addresses given at the end of this announcement on or before Thursday, 16th August 2018.

Moroccan applicants may, however, send their applications till 10th September 2018 directly to ISESCO Headquarters, Rabat.

FINANCIAL SUPPORT

Travel grants and boarding and lodging will be provided by COMSATS and ISESCO to a limited number of individuals from the member countries of ISESCO and COMSATS, selected by the International Conference Scientific Committee.

THEMES

Agriculture

  • Crop breeding, improvement, protection and management
  • Agriculture and sustainable development
  • Agricultural innovation and technology
  • Agriculture Engineering and Agronomy

Food Security

  • Trends and challenges to food security
  • Food Nutrition Security: new concepts and strategies
  • Food safety regulation and standards
  • Food sovereignty, heritage & industry
  • Non-timper forest products and food security
  • Ecosystem based adaptation for food security

Biotechnology

  • Genetic improvement of crops using plant biotechnology
  • Functional genomics using genome editing technology
  • Industrial biotechnology
  • Food and bioprocess technology
  • Patent, biosafety, biosecurity, plant breeders rights

For further information, please contact:

Dr. Ismaïla DIALLO
Science Directorate
Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization (ISESCO)
Tel: + 212 (0) 5 37 56 60 52
Fax: + 212 (0) 5 37 56 60 12-13
Email: idiallo@isesco.org.ma

Mr. Tajammul Hussain
Advisor (Programmes)
COMSATS Headquarters
Shahrah-e-Jamhuriat, G-5/2
Islamabad – Pakistan
Phone: (+92-51) 9204892, 9214515-7
Fax: (+92-51) 9216539
Email: tajammul@comsats.org

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