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

Dec
12
Wed
2018
Seminar on SDGs Implementation: The Collaboration among Universities
Dec 12 all-day

[ Event Flyer ]

The Inter-University Consortium for the Promotion of Social-Sciences (IUCPSS), the largest alliance of more than 45 private and public universities, is launching its latest initiative entitled the ‘International Student Convention & Expo 2019: Securing Our Future’, an expo that runs from 10-13 December, 2018 at the Pak-China Friendship Center, in Islamabad, Pakistan. The event would provide an opportunity to Pakistani youth by providing a platform for interaction, networking and a range of diverse learning activities spread across the three days.

The event comprises of participation from 100+ Universities and Vice-Chancellors, 30+ countries, and 300+ international students to align youth efforts with global challenges and demands to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In order to channelize the youth to attain the SDGs, IUCPSS in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) and the Commission of Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) is holding a Seminar entitled ‘SDGs Implementation: The Collaboration among Universities’, on 12th December, 2018.

The Seminar would be an open forum to formulate clusters for the realization of the SDGs amongst the participating Universities, comprising of interactive brainstorming among the participants with an exclusive focus on the 17 SDGs. The session would initiate a process where the participants would voluntarily align their respective institutions with one or more than one SDGs and show commitment in formulating a plan with other participating Universities in the same areas of interest. Universities’ involvement in this event at the highest level will provide roadmap to the educational institutions in Pakistan towards achieving these goals. The seminar would be marked with the presence of leading figures, experts, and policy and decision makers to share their ideas on the realization of the SDGs.

CONTACT PERSONS

Mr. M. Bilal Chouhan
Director (A&E)
COMSATS Secretariat, Islamabad
Tel: (051) 9214515-7
Email: bilal@comsats.org

Ms. Rida Bokhari
Sr. Programme Officer
COMSATS Secretariat, Islamabad
Tel: (051) 9214515-7 Ext. 216
Email: rida.bokhari@comsats.org

Dec
17
Mon
2018
11th National Training Workshop on Repair and Maintenance of Scientific Instruments/ Equipment in Universities, Research Institutions, and Small Scale Industries, Gebze, Turkey
Dec 17 – Dec 21 all-day

[ Flyer ]

INTRODUCTION

Scientific Research and Development activities are the most effective and sustainable tools in achieving long term national economic growth for the developing countries. A large proportion of this research is customarily conducted in the educational and industrial organizations, both in public and private sectors. The pace of research largely depends on the skills of the scientists and technicians, and the availability of well-maintained scientific instruments. In developing countries, lack of planning, in purchase and management of inventories and severe shortage of technical expertise related to repair and maintenance of the same greatly hampers smooth progress of research programmes. In this context, the teaching and research institutions suffer more from delayed research output and the industrial units face production losses.

Unfortunately, the concerned management in most of the developing countries, including Islamic Countries, do not pay enough attention to establish maintenance facilities, resulting in discarding a large number of very expensive instruments and equipment. These losses can be averted by spending a fraction of money on the effective and preventive repair and maintenance processes as compared to the costs incurred due to time losses and procurement of the new instruments and by providing relevant training to the operators, concerned engineers and technicians of such instruments, equipment, etc. There is a great need to develop an indigenous capacity to repair and maintain the scientific equipment in the developing countries, since inviting foreign experts for this purpose is time-consuming and economically unviable. Manpower adept in repairing and maintaining scientific equipments of all sorts used in the teaching and research institutions and industries can ensure uninterrupted research work, and thus lead to an overall socioeconomic development of a country.

To enable Islamic countries to achieve technological self – reliance in setting up of repair and maintenance facilities and to reduce technological dependence on foreign experts, national training workshop is being organized by the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS); in cooperation with Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO); and TUBITAK, Republic of Turkey. The national workshop entitled “Repair and Maintenance of Scientific Instruments/ Equipment in Universities, Research Institutions and Small Scale Industries” will take place in Republic of Turkey, from December 17-21, 2018. The Workshop is intended to highlight the issues/problems related to the maintenance of scientific engineering equipments used in universities, research institutions and small scale industries. Two experts from Pakistan would provide hands-on training to the participants of the workshop for upgrading their skills and enhancing their capacities in repairing, maintaining and troubleshooting important scientific engineering equipments in their organizations. The workshop encompassing interactive lectures and practical training is a part of the COMSATS-ISESCO series, under which similar events were held in Kazakhstan (2017), Nigeria (2016), Ghana (2013 & 2015), Oman (2015), Iran (2014), Sudan (2013, 2005 & 2004),Tunisia (2012), Egypt (2011), Senegal (2010) and Syria (2005). These workshops have benefited over 420 scientists, engineers and technicians by building their expertise and capacity to indigenously repair and maintain scientific instruments used in the labs of R&D institutions as well as small-scale industries in their respective countries.

OBJECTIVES

The workshop has the following objectives:

  • To demonstrate the process of repairing the defective instruments by the experts;
  • To provide hands-on training to the participants for improving their skills for independently maintaining and repairing the scientific instruments;
  • To update the participants’ knowledge on the latest techniques involved in the operation of scientific instruments;
  • To acquaint the participants with the functioning of scientific instruments through need-based training, as well as documentation of the repair and maintenance activities;
  • To update the trainees’ knowledge on changing and new technologies in scientific equipments;
  • To facilitate information-exchange among scientists, researchers, technicians, service engineers, and industrialists for enhancing the existing scientific capacity.

LANGUAGE

The working language for the Workshop will be English.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND?

Professional technicians, scientists, researchers and service engineers from academic and research institutions, hospitals and industries of Republic of Turkey are encouraged to register for the national workshop.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

Mme EL ALAMI Wafaa
Supervisor of ISESCO Centre for Promotion of
Scientific Research
ISESCO
Avenue des F.A.R. – Hay Ryad
B.P. 2275 – C.P.10104
Rabat – Kingdom of Morocco
Tel : +212 (0) 537 56 60 52/53
Fax: +212 (0) 537 56 60 12/13
E-mail: icpsr@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

Mr. Nisar Ahmad
Deputy Director (Systems)
COMSATS Headquarters
Shahrah-e-Jamhuriat, G-5/2 Islamabad – Pakistan.
Tel: (+92-51) 9214515-17 Fax: (+ 92-51) 9216539
Email: nisar@comsats.org

Dr. A. Ömer ALTAN
Head of Department
International Relations Dept.
TÜBITAK Ulusal Metroloji Enstitüsü
Baris Mah., Dr. Zeki Acar Cad. No.1
41470 Gebze Kocaeli
Ph +90 262 679 5000 x 2901; Fax +90 262 679 5001
Email: omer.altan@tubitak.gov.tr

Dec
23
Sun
2018
8th COMSATS‐ISESCO-INIT International Workshop on “Internet Security: Enhancing Information Exchange Safeguards”, State of Qatar
Dec 23 – Dec 27 all-day

[ Flyer in PDF format ]

BACKGROUND

Information Technology is now considered a necessity for the general public and organizations in various sectors. However, it presents various risks in the form of cyber-attacks and has, therefore, evoked many privacy and security concerns. The frequency of cyber-attacks is considerably increasing every year, and the nature of security risks is constantly evolving. Therefore, effective surveillance networks are needed to ensure that the information and networks are protected from attacks, damage and unauthorized access, through the use of appropriate technologies, processes and practices.

In view of the above, the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS); the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO); and the Inter Islamic Network on Information Technology (INIT) took the initiative of spreading awareness on this important field in the developing countries, particularly in their Member States, by means of organizing a series of training workshops. The earlier events of this series were held in Syria (2011), Jordan (2012), Tunisia (2013), Tanzania (2014), Turkey (2015), Morocco (2016) and Kazakhstan (2017).

INTRODUCTION

The eighth five-day International Workshop on ‘Internet Security: Enhancing Information Exchange Safeguards’ is being jointly organized by ISESCO; COMSATS; INIT, on 23-27 December 2018, in Qatar.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

The workshop aims to provide a forum to the young scientists/professionals from the developing countries to learn about the latest advancements in the field of Internet security; promote the use of state-of-the-art technologies for protection of network and network-accessible resources from different types of malicious attacks; and identify effective Internet/information security solutions for general public, governmental organizations and commercial ventures through rigorous risk-analyses and security management approaches.

FORMAT

The workshop includes technical presentations, tutorials and hands-on training sessions by a group of renowned subject experts. It will cover major aspects of Internet/information security, ranging from theoretical understanding of cryptographic algorithms to practical subtleties of the network systems, and will also address the related managerial and technical issues. Moreover, a handful of network security tools will be demonstrated to provide opportunities to the participants to update their knowledge-base and interact with experts for further collaborative undertakings.

KEY AREAS

Following are the key topics of the workshop:

  • Information Security Risk Assessment/Management
  • Network Security: Modern Attacks, Evasion Techniques and Defenses
  • Malicious Code Analysis and Detection
  • Measuring Security
  • Ethical Issues of ICT Security
  • Organizational Security Standards, Policies and Guidelines
  • Cryptographic Techniques for Network Security
  • Web Security
  • Social Network Security
  • Cloud Computing Security
  • Digital Forensics Procedures and Tools

TARGETED INDIVIDUALS

Young researchers, practitioners, academicians, executives, system administrators, system programmers, and students working in the field of Internet/information security and cryptography are invited to participate in the workshop.

EXPECTED OUTCOMES

The workshop is expected to enable the participants to:

  • Understand Organizational Security Structure and their particular security requirements;
  • Analyzing and mitigating the Information security risks;
  • Understand network protocols, models, topologies and related security threats;
  • Understand major modern-day cryptographic algorithms and protocols;
  • Understand how to send secure emails;
  • Use Full Disk Encryption (FDE) tools, including TrueCrypt;
  • Understand the anti-virus, anti-spyware tools and firewalls;
  • Understand the working of major web-security applications;
  • Understand the working of contemporary biometrics systems;
  • Understand organizational security measures, risk assessment tools and techniques and implement appropriate policies and procedures for a given organization;
  • Understand different aspects of cyber security; and
  • Understand and use various types of ethical hacking tools to secure the networks, including: network sniffing, spoofing and poisoning; port scanning and vulnerability analysis; offline and online password attacks; buffer overflow; and root-kits and trojans.

FINANCIAL SUPPORT

Partial or full financial support will be provided to selected foreign participants from Member States of COMSATS, ISESCO and INIT.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

ISESCO:
Dr. Muhammad Nabeel Anwar
Director (Science and Technology)
Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO)
Avenue des F.A.R, P.O. Box 2275, PC Code 10104
Hay Ryad-Rabat, Morocco.
Tel: +212-537-566052/53; Fax: +212-537-566012/13
Email: sciences@isesco.org.ma,

Dr. Aicha Bammoun
Science Directorate
Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO)
Avenue des F.A.R, P.O. Box 2275, PC Code 10104,
Hay Ryad-Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco.
Tel: +212- 5-37566052-53; Fax: +212- 5-37566012-13
Email: aicha_bammoun@yahoo.fr; abammoun@isesco.org.ma

INIT:
Mr. Tahir Naeem
Executive Director
Inter Islamic Network on InformationTechnology (INIT)
COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI)
Park Road, Chak Shehzad, Islamabad, Pakistan.
Tel: +92-51-90495169; Fax: +92-51-9247006
Email: tnaeem@comsats.edu.pk

Mr. M. Atiq ur Rehman
Sr. Program Officer
Inter Islamic Network on Information Technology (INIT)
COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI)
Park Road, Chak Shehzad, Islamabad, Pakistan.
Tel: +92-51-90495024; Fax: +92-51-9247006
Email: muhammad_atiq@comsats.edu.pk

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

Mr. Farhan Ansari
Sr. Assistant Director (Programmes)
COMSATS Headquarters,
Shahrah-e-Jamhuriat, G-5/2, Islamabad, Pakistan.
Tel: +92 51 9214515-7; Fax: +92 51 9216539
Email: farhan@comsats.org

Mar
11
Mon
2019
Workshop on Water Resources: Expected Crises and Strategies of Predomination, at National Research Centre, Egypt
Mar 11 – Mar 12 all-day

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