Region’s biggest cyber event wows and educates thousandsasHITB+CyberWeek 2019 concludes with PROCTF showdownin Abu Dhabi

HITB+CyberWeek 2019 has set the precedent for cybersecurity innovation and blazed a trail for the next generation of cyber talent

Abu Dhabi, October21, 2019: Aweek of future-facing cyber activities, demonstrations, and thought-inspiring seminars has drawn to an endfollowing the conclusion of HITB+CyberWeek 2019, a pioneering cybersecurity forumheld at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi.Presented by Hack In The Box (HITB), a cutting-edge platform for technical talks and trainings in cyber security knowledge, HITB+CyberWeek 2019 was the biggest HITB event of the year and engagedover 5000 visitorsas they experiencedmultiple activitiesand a variety ofcybersecurity learnings designed to educate people of all ages.

Culminating in the Pro Capture the Flag (PROCTF) final, a hacking competition for professionals from around the world, the winning team ‘Bushwhackers’, along with the second and third placed teams ‘LCBC’ and ‘mHackeroni’, shareda total prize pool of US$100,000 in cash.

Featuring teams from the UAE for the first time, PROCTF is a new style of attack and defense contest that was battled outover three days as 19 teamsfrom around the world competed for PROCTF glory.

Resembling real world ‘white hackers’ aiming to protect society from malware, teams not only hacked other teams; they also had to place focus on protecting themselves. This provided world-class experience and simulation on how to improve defensive lines, which is an essential skill factor for all security professionals to acquire.

Young participants sharpened their skillsets during the competition. However, they also were immersed in an emerging topic that has received little limelight until now. As such, PROCTF brought attack and defense-style hacking to the attention of thousands, catapulting the essence of real world hacking via the HITB+CyberWeek 2019 platform. This also gave teams outstanding career visibility and acknowledgment from well-known companies in the cybersecurity innovation sphere.

“Across the various competitions and showcases on display at HITB+CyberWeek 2019, we’ve curated an environment to develop and nurture the future thinkers and doers who will enable cyber innovation to flourish,” said Dhillon Kannabhiran, Founder and CEO of HITB.“However, we’ve also created a lasting ethos and shift in thinking to project digital resilience as an essential factor that mustn’t be overlooked as our world shifts from physical to digital. By bringing together students, families, cyber industry professionals, and members from academia for this pioneering week-long cyber expose, Abu Dhabi has provided the innovative atmosphere needed to bring the cyber challenges of tomorrow to the mainstage. We look forward to progressing the evolution of this formative HITB event in 2020.”

Gregory Galkin, Head of Cyberbattle Business Development at Positive Technologies, organizer of the Standoff competition, commented, “We are very proud that we have successfully concluded our first Standoff in the United Arab Emirates and outside Russia. This has been an exciting opportunity for Positive Technologies to be in Abu Dhabi and have the chance to showcase the great value of such an activity. For Positive Technologies, a Standoff is not a game; it is a mere representation of our actual world and the closest to real life cyber security crises that can arise in any country around the world. It is designed to stress test the security infrastructure of cities, help in addressing these issues, assess the readiness of the security experts, while at the same time offer hand-on experience to all participants. We believe that this event is steadily gaining global recognition and we are expecting that next year it will be taken to the next level, with additional participation and added value outcomes that will serve the entire cybersecurity industry.”

Overall, HITB+CyberWeek 2019 was a resounding success and a one of a kind event for the region to illustrate the imperative for smart and resilient cyber mechanisms as society becomes more digitally entwined.

Hostingover 5000 visitors, and generating interest from the private and public sectors and the academic field, the eventunited key social and economicstrata to set the precedent for cybersecurity innovation and create a pipeline for the next generation of cyber talent.

HITB+CyberWeek will return next year, running from 17 to 22 of October 2020 in Abu Dhabi.