Sultan Qaboos University, UK-Oman Digital Hub and BAE Systems collaborate to nurture young cyber talent in Oman

A growing demand for cyber skills and a more diverse workforce led Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) and the UK-Oman Digital Hub to host a Capture the Flag (CTF) competition in Oman spanning a week in mid-January. BAE Systems Applied Intelligence sponsored the event and provided the technology platform for the competition.
As much of the wider economic development diversification in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region has prioritised digital transformation, cyber security threats remain on the rise. Cyber security in the Middle East is forecasted to grow from $16.1bn in 2020 to $28.7bn by 20251.
CTF competitions are designed to encourage young people to explore a career in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) profession and put in place a foundation for the future cyber security market. This competition touched upon web security, digital forensics, reverse engineering, network security and cryptography.
“On behalf of everyone at Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, especially at the Department of Information Systems, College of Economics and Political Science, I would like to express our sincere gratitude for your sponsorship of “HUSN” Capture the Flag final competition, which was jointly organised by the UK-Oman Digital Hub”, said Dr. Al Mukhtar Al Abri, the Dean. “We cherish your invaluable contribution and look forward to further collaborations with your institution in the near future.”
The UK Oman Digital Hub works alongside local partners to support the Omani Government’s ambition to secure its digital future and boost the sustainable development of its economy. The Digital Hub develops expertise in cyber security training across a range of ages and experience levels, as well as mentoring for digital start-up companies.

We were proud to support this Capture the Flag competition, an important cyber security initiative, with our partners including Sultan Qaboos University and BAE Systems. It was wonderful to see so many inspiring young contestants from all over Oman using and developing their skills to overcome some tough cyber security challenges.

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James Goldman, Deputy Head of Mission, British Embassy Muscat

BAE Systems has been a long-standing presence in Oman, helping to build national resilience and capacity development in a variety of sectors. BAE Systems has brought the best of British innovation and worked with local partners here to support long-term capacity building and upskilling. 
Sandra Dumont represented BAE Systems at the event and congratulated all winners. “We are proud to sponsor the work of the UK-Oman Digital Hub by providing our Capture the Flag platform for this competition, and I am pleased that the contest has proved to be so popular with students. Ensuring a cyber-secure future will be essential for Oman’s prosperity and growth and forms a key part in the development of National Technical Capabilities described in Vision 2040.”
BAE Systems looks forward to conducting more cyber security competitions in 2021, working with our international partners and contributing efforts towards nurturing young cyber talent.
For further information, please contact:
Nick Haigh
Head of External Communications, BAE Systems Applied Intelligence
T: +44 (0) 7525 390 982
Julie Hannan
Head of Communications, British Embassy Muscat
T: +968 2460 9000
Dr. Sami Al Kharusi
Assistant Dean for Training and Community office
College of Economics and Political Science, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
T: +968 2414 1808
Notes to editors 
About BAE Systems Applied Intelligence
At BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, we help nations, governments and businesses around the world defend themselves against cybercrime, reduce their risk in the connected world, comply with regulation, and transform their operations.  For further information about BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, please visit www.baesystems.com/ai
About UK-Oman Digital Hub
UK-Oman Digital Hub was established to increase digital skill base across Oman by building a digital and cyber ecosystem with coherent initiatives across education, economy and government. The UK-Oman Digital Hub offer a range of initiatives developing the digital skill base across Oman including internationally accredited cyber security training, coding boot camps, cyber security and FinTech accelerators and more. You can follow and on our website: https://www.ukomandigitalhub.com.
We support Oman’s Vision 2040 and act as a UK-Oman digital policy focal point. For more information, please visit https://www.ukomandigitalhub.com/. You can follow us on twitter at @ukomandigihub and on Instagram at ukomandigitalhub.
About Sultan Qaboos University (SQU)
The College of Economics and Political Science at Sultan Qaboos University is among the top-ranked Business Colleges in the GCC region and is accredited by the European Foundation for Management Development (EQUIS): the first public business school in the Middle East to achieve this prestigious accreditation.
The College offers a comprehensive business and political science curriculum with eight undergraduate majors including Accounting, Economics, Finance, Information Systems, Marketing, Management, Operations Management, and Political Science. Students also have the option to minor in those areas. CEPS offers five post-graduate programs namely, MBA (the largest postgraduate program at the University), MA in International Relations and Security Studies, MSc in Information Systems, MSc in Supply Chain and Operations Management, and MSc in Accounting and Finance. The College currently offers two PhD programs, namely PhD in Information Systems and PhD in Management, with two more PhD programs coming up in the near future. For more information, please visit https://www.squ.edu.om/ceps.


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