KINDI Open Courses on Cyber Security Workshop
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Last modified: October 16, 2016 09:06:34.

The project was initiated with a stakeholder workshop that took place on 7-8 June 2015 at Qatar University, with the following objectives:

  • Gather requirements for the content adaptations that need to be made to the existing course in order to address the specific regional cyber security challenges.
  • Gain an understanding of the pedagogy that needs to be supported in order to ensure learners in the region will gain the maximum benefit from the courses.
  • Raise awareness of the project across the region and establish links with stakeholders from industry, government and academia who could help promote the courses.

Representatives from academic, industrial and governmental organizations in Qatar, as well as from the wider gulf region (Kuwait and Saudi Arabia) attended the workshop. The workshop participants discussed some general principles that should be followed when developing the KINDI Open Courses on Cyber Security:

  • Principle 1. Study intensity and duration depends on the audience for each course. Therefore, a business audience could be expected to engage at a slightly higher intensity over a short period of time, whereas the general public would want lower intensity of study but would engage for slightly longer.
  • Principle 2. Content should focus on technologies / issues that impinge on users. 
In order to ensure the relevance of the study materials and maximize the ability of learners to relate to the content, the focus of the courses should be on those domains of cyber security that have direct impact on users.
  • Principle 3. Examples and case studies should be relevant to the region. Drawing the examples and case studies used in the course from the Gulf region, whether this is by focusing on particular industry sectors (e.g., oil and gas) or particular types of application (e.g., social media, online shopping, etc.)
  • Principle 4. Provide practical tips and advice to help protect users immediately. The primary objective of the courses would be to raise awareness of cyber security problems and solution. However, by helping users take concrete steps towards improving their (or their employers’) cyber security practices, we can maximize the potential impact of the courses.

Participants also discussed some of the challenges of describing cyber security concepts in Arabic.

Next Steps

Overall the initial workshop was successful in bringing together representatives of academia, government and business that have an interest in raising awareness of cyber security in the gulf region. The workshop also was successful in attracting cyber security experts from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and UAE, who have expressed a clear interest in continuing their engagement with the project team. These links will be maintained and extended during the course of the project. As a result of the discussions, the project has benefited from guidance on both the content and pedagogy for the proposed courses. The project team has used this input to develop the outlines for each of the courses (Appendix B), and will now work to develop the detailed content over the coming months. In parallel, the project team will be working regional colleagues to develop a programme of activities for raising awareness of the courses across the Gulf.