Abeer Khedr Joins Selection Committee for the global Cybersecurity Woman of the Year Awards 2023

Amid the rise of the AI evolution,  women make up a large share of the cybersecurity workforce, strengthening diversity in one of the fastest-growing sectors. Hence, the global Cybersecurity Woman of the Year Awards ceremony celebrates the substantial contributions of outstanding female cybersecurity professionals who are bringing high-impact digital security to retain safer digital categories. The nomination process falls under 7 categories for broadening the horizons of this well-deserved award.

In the 2023 edition, Abeer Khedr, Head of Cyber Security at the National Bank of Egypt, joins the selection committee to carry out the nomination process to select the shortlisted winners of the global Cybersecurity Woman of the Year Awards.

Abeer brings more than 25 years of experience in technology and information security. She is also the first appointed Chairperson of the Cyber Security Committee of the Federation of Egyptian Banks, which was established in July 2021. Assuming the position of Chief Information Security Officer, she has led the cyber security program for the bank amid the massive digital banking transformation. She was championed for taking part in several community initiatives both locally and regionally.

In cooperation with Egypt’s Information Technology Institute, she designed the NBE cyber academy’s curriculum to scale up the knowledge of qualified caliber in different cyber-related specializations in Egypt. Prior to joining NBE, Abeer has been leading the security consulting and IT audit service lines at Deloitte- Egypt serving different industries.

Realizing her remarkable role, the Top 50 Women Forum awarded Abeer has been recently awarded among the Top 50 influential women in Egypt for community work related to the cyber security industry.

She was named to Egypt’s 30 successful women list in the Egyptian Women Forum 2020. She has also been named a leader in the cyber security category for the Middle East in CIO Middle East 2022 awards. Additionally, Abeer was recognized among leading information security government leaders & executives in the ME by the CISO council in Dubai in 2018, and as a Woman Security Leader in 2018, and 2016 respectively. Abeer received various global recognitions as “CISO of the year” in 2016, 2021, 2019, 2018, and 2022.

Abeer was selected among the panel of judges for IFSEC 2019 which selects global cyber security influencers and in 2021 as a permanent member of the judging committee that selects IFSEC global cyber security influencer of the year.

As a dedicated professional, she brings the value of diversity and inclusion to cybersecurity teams. Accordingly, Abeer co-founded the Women in Cyber Security Middle East Group of more than 2100 regional members in 2018 to support female cybersecurity professionals from different countries of the Middle East.  Abeer has also supported the organization of the first Capture the Flag competition for women in the MENA region in Cairo in 2018, which witnessed the participation of almost 50 women.

Three million employees are required for information security in international companies

The panel session discussing the cooperation efforts to combat customer fraud, held within the activities of the International Technology Exhibition and Conference for the Middle East and Africa, Cairo ICT 2022, dealt with the latest developments in cyber security in light of the digital transformation currently taking place in the countries of the world.

Osama Kamal, TV personality and CEO of “Trade Fairs International”, organized the session, which focused on financial institutions and banks.

He started his speech by referring to the technological development that coincides with the development of fraud and hacking. He then directed his speech to the participants, asking: Which is faster… hackers or protection providers?

Engineer Mostafa Khedr, Director General of Fraud Control at the Central Bank of Egypt, answered by pointing out that there is an advanced level of awareness, in light of digital transformation and greater reliance on technological systems, after the events of the Corona virus and the current digital transformation.

Head of the Cyber security Sector at the National Bank of Egypt, Eng. Abeer Khedr said that during recent years, especially after the spread of the Coronavirus, banks and financial institutions have doubled their dependence on digital transformation applications in most of the services provided to bank customers.

She indicated that protection in financial institutions starts from the infrastructure and databases, up to the applications and services used by customers.

She added, “workers and employees are being trained continuously, and in parallel, awareness campaigns are being carried out for the public in all media to preserve their financial data in cooperation with the Federation of Egyptian Banks.”

Directing her speech to the youth participating in the session, she described them as the ones who have a major role to play in educating older groups, given that young people are the most able to deal more safely with technological applications.

Following that, Mostafa Khedr pointed out that usually, the hacked person is a smart person, hence the process of updating must be done periodically for the digital and security systems in institutions, especially financial institutions.

Continued Eng. Abeer Khedr, pointing out that cyber security and countering breaches are among the most important issues in which cooperation is being undertaken with the Central Bank of Egypt.

In a joyful gesture, Osama Kamal indicated – during the session – that the head of the cyber security sector at Cisco in Africa attended the two sessions, pointing out that he was one of the cadres who got a job opportunity at the beginning of his life through a previous session of the Cairo ICT exhibition.

Eng. Abeer Khader commented by saying that specialization is the most important element in obtaining a job in the fields of cyber security and digital security in banks and financial institutions.

Digital security expert, Dr. Adel Abdel Moneim responded by mentioning that there are about 3 million vacancies worldwide in the field of information security.

He also pointed out that the field of information security stems from the field of cyber security, which is a comprehensive function for all technological services such as applications, the Internet of things, artificial intelligence, and other fields that include a large number of disciplines and jobs.

Adding that there are models for employment in Europe and America, to qualify young people and graduates and to integrate specializations in the field of information security in academic and educational institutions

When asked by Osama Kamal about the penalties that are implemented in relation to fraud or digital fraud, Eng. Mustafa Khedr responded, “According to the law, the lawsuit moves when the harm is caused by the affected person or his bank, and therefore the legal basis for crimes and incidents of digital fraud is examined.”