UAE to Host First Ever Conference on Protecting Places of Mass Gathering in the Cyber Age

Protecting places of mass gathering with specific reference to cyber security will be the focus of the inaugural CYMASS Security Conference, to be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, early in 2017.

Presented by Austability and Emirates Group Security, the event will gather senior industry representatives and subject matter experts from around the world to discuss strategies to secure and protect places of mass gatherings with the assistance of cyber security and to also protect such locations from the threat of malicious cyber-attacks.

“While we think of mass gathering, and the joy or excitement associated with attendance of games, concerts, conferences or social gatherings, those in the criminal justice field clearly recognize the potential of these events to have an opposite effect by attracting criminals," said Dr. Abdullah Al Hashimi, Divisional Senior Vice President of Emirates Group Security. 

"Places of mass gathering are potential targets for cyber-attack that can lead to major disruption, would it be at the airport, concerts or exhibitions".

"The opportunities for cyber-crime are endless, the targets are often unaware of the risk, and in most of the cases have little or no effective defence. It is time to be proactive before becoming reactive in a world where technology and internet communication are changing dramatically and our dependency is at the utmost.” he said.

The CYMASS 2017 Security Conference will take place on 21 and 22 February 2017. The event will present an exciting line-up of international subject matter experts addressing topics such as:

  • The grave cost of disruptions caused at mass gatherings through cyber-attack.
  • The latest developments in perimeter surveillance through detection software & hardware.
  • Securing mass transportation venues.
  • Disaster prevention, emergency readiness, response and recovery in our most popular tourist hotspots.


“In recent years, places of mass gathering have come under increased scrutiny regarding the ability to protect and secure visitors or daily traffic, whether from malicious threats or natural disaster,” said David Khandan, Austability's Executive Director: Strategy & Relationships.

“A surge in the worldwide reliance on technology has often endeavoured to support ease of flow and safety in these places, but manipulation of the cyber sphere can lead to disaster when left unchecked.

"CYMASS is the first platform of its kind to address the relationship between these two topics - cyber security and securing places of mass gathering - and will present an impressive level of expertise on the subject to industry representatives committed to developing their operational effectiveness within this scope,” said Khandan.

Who will be there?
The conference is aimed at a number of industries including those related to safety, security, crisis management and operational risk, but also sectors catering to places of mass gatherings – an element that CYMASS organisers feel with bring a unique, interesting and invaluable perspective to the industry at large.

“CYMASS 2017 will also offer powerful appeal to representatives of leisure or tourism-related organisations, such as tourism hotspots, sporting venues and religious sites for mass gatherings, and of course, travel-related organisations such as airports or mass transport systems. These areas are often overlooked in terms of the influence that cyber threats, trends and developments can have on them, thus offering much content for conversation and debate,” added Khandan.

Invitation Only
While CYMASS access will be limited to a select number senior industry representatives, organisations seeking expert guidance on securing places of mass gathering via integrating effective cyber security frameworks, are urged to apply for conference access early on.

“Attendance will be on an invitation-only basis, but we will open the conference to public ticket-applications for a limited period of time,” said Khandan.  “Due to the nature of the information that will be discussed at the conference, which can be sensitive in nature from a security point of view, it is important we ensure all attendees are pre-approved.”