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27 Nov 18 - 28 Nov 18

DarkMatter Business Track at HITB


Date: 27th - 28th November 2018

Venue: Grand Hyatt, Dubai

DarkMatter Group, headquartered in the UAE, enables businesses and governments to become smart, safe and cyber resilient. As a full-service provider of smart and safe digital transformation, we’re uniquely positioned to provide organisations with the strategy, technology, and operating model to achieve business continuity amidst adverse and constantly evolving cyber threats.

In parallel to Hack in the Box Security Conference Dubai, DarkMatter Group is hosting an annual business conference and technical workshops targeting key industries in the United Arab Emirates. Beyond Cyber, is taking place on the 27th and 28th of November 2018 at Grand Hyatt Dubai and will focus on the theme of a Smart & Safe Digital World.

Please fill in the form below to register with us. We look forward to welcoming you at Beyond Cyber. 

For more information and queries, email us at contactus@darkmatter.ae 


Conference Agenda - 27 Nov 2018


Agenda for DarkMatter Beyond | Cyber Conference  


10.00 am - 10.45 am

Registration and morning coffee


10.45 am - 11.00 am


Opening Video / Welcome Address

Karim Sabbagh, CEO of DarkMatter

11.10 am - 11.15 am Video: Tech tension is real

11.15 am - 11.45 am


Keynote: Running cyber resilient mega-events

Eman Al Awadhi, Director of Cyber Security & Resilience – Expo 2020


11.45 am - 12.00 pm


Crowd polling: Assessing audience feedback around safe digital transformation in everyday life – readiness for the panel


12.00 pm - 12.45 pm



Panel: Safe Digital Transformation in everyday life

Karim Sabbagh, CEO – DarkMatter Group 

Eman Al Awadhi, Director of Cyber Security & Resilience – Expo 2020

12.45 pm - 14.00 pm



14.00 pm - 14.20 pm



Speaker: TBC 


14.20 pm - 14.45 pm


Panel: Cyber transformation in an already heavily regulated banking & finance industry

Speaker: TBC


14.45 pm - 14.55 pm


Crowd polling: Assessing audience feedback around breaches & threat intelligence / Video – Threat Intelligence & Voice of Cyber


14.55 pm - 15.20 pm



Keynote: Cyber Threats and Vulnerabilities in the UAE for 2018 – Key Findings

Eddie Schwartz, EVP – Cyber Services at DarkMatter

Alan White, VP – Cyber Network Defence at DarkMatter


15.20 pm - 15.50 pm





Panel: Building future skills to manage cyber resilience of the future

Ronald Hale (Vice President - Cyber Training, Development and Policy, Education Services, DarkMatter Group)

Joni (Chief Operating Officer – Ajyal Talent Management)

Jamal N. Al-Karaki (Department Head, Information Security Engineering – ADPoly)

Fahem Al Nuaimi (CEO - Ankabut)


15.50 pm - 16.00 pm


Closing remarks

Karim Sabbagh


Conference Speakers


Speakers - DarkMatter Beyond | Cyber Conference  

















Karim Sabbagh

CEO, DarkMatter Group

Karim Sabbagh is the Chief Executive Officer of DarkMatter Group, bringing more than 30 years of experience running technology-centric global organisations.

Karim manages corporate direction and strategy at DarkMatter Group, where he is responsible for leading Group business activity and directing the company’s four practices: DarkMatter, DigitalX1, DigitalE1 and Government Solutions. With his extensive knowledge of strategic development and international expansion, Karim leads DarkMatter Group’s growth towards becoming the essential provider of smart and safe digital transformation across businesses and governments.

Prior to joining DarkMatter Group in 2018, Karim was the President and CEO of Luxembourg-based communications satellite owner and operator, SES (Société Européenne des Satellites). He also served as the Chairman of the Executive Committee of SES and Chairman of SES ASTRA. He led the transformation of the company, overseeing the evolution of the company’s strategy and execution alongside its elevation as the leading provider of satellite-enabled communications solutions in the video, fixed data, mobility and government markets.

Karim has a strong track record as a technology thought leader and practitioner across the Middle East and globally. Prior to joining SES, Karim was a Senior Partner and Global Practice Leader for communications, media and technology with Booz & Co. He led multinational teams in long-term, large-scale privatisations, international expansion, mergers and acquisitions, growth acceleration and strategy-based transformation programmes.

Mr. Sabbagh has collaborated with and published influential reports such as the Global Information Technology Report co-published by the World Economic Forum and INSEAD along with Cornell University. Mr. Sabbagh was also the Chairman of the Ideation Center that served as Booz & Company’s think tank in the Middle East, as well as being a Member of the World Economic Forum’s Regional Agenda Council on the Arab World.

Karim holds an MS in Technology Management from Columbia University, a DBA (Doctorate) in International Business Management from the International School of Management (Paris), and an MBA and BBA from the American University of Beirut. He is also a visiting professor in Technology and Innovation Management and a member of the Academic Council at Écoles des Ponts Business School in France.










Eman Al awadhi

Director of Cyber Security and Resilience, Expo 2020

As Director of Cyber Security and Resilience at Expo 2020 Dubai, Eman Al Awadhi is responsible for defining and executing the strategic direction for safeguarding Expo 2020 from cyber threats. In today’s digital and interconnected world, Eman has significant responsibility for ensuring security and privacy of Expo 2020 infrastructure and data for achieving Expo’s vision to deliver the safest World Expo.

Eman has 10 years of enriched cyber security experience. She started her career as Network Security Engineer in the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority’s UAE Computer Emergency Response Team (aeCERT).

She was awarded prestigious Prime Minister’s Medal by the Sheikh Khalifa Government Excellence Program for the category of distinguished employee. She was part of Emirates Integrated telecommunications as Security Compliance Manager prior to joining Expo 2020 Dubai in 2016.

With her significant contributions in the field of cyber security, Eman is a member of the National Advisory Council for the College of Technological Innovation at Zayed University and is a graduate of the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Program for Leadership Development. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from the American University of Sharjah, and a Master of Science in Information Security from the Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research.










Eddie Schwartz

Executive Vice President - Cyber Services, DarkMatter Group

Eddie Schwartz is DarkMatter’s Executive Vice President of Cyber Services. He leads the company’s Governance, Risk and Compliance, Cyber Network Defence, xen1thLabs for Testing and Validation, Managed Security Services, Trust Services, Cyber Architecture & Engineering and Cyber Security Education Business Units.

Eddie’s cyber security career spans over 25 years where he most recently served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Whiteops Inc., a leading provider of advanced cyber security detection and prevention.

Prior to this, Eddie held a number of senior leadership positions including Global Leader for Cyber Security Solutions at Verizon; Chief Security Officer for RSA; Co-Founder and Chief Security Officer of NetWitness (acquired by EMC); Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Mantech; General Manager of Global Integrity (acquired by INS); Senior Vice President of Operations of Guardent (acquired by VeriSign). He was also Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer at Nationwide Insurance.

Eddie Schwartz served on the Board of Advisors for start-ups including Observable Networks and My Digital Shield and has served as a member of the International Board of Directors of ISACA and Chairman of ISACA’s Global Cyber Security Taskforce.

Eddie has a BIS in Information Security Management and an MSc in Information Technology Management from George Mason University School of Management in Washington D.C.













Alan White 

Vice President - Cyber Network Defence, DarkMatter Group

Alan J. White is the Vice President of Cyber Network Defence within Cyber Advisory Services at DarkMatter. In this role, he is responsible for various cyber defence services including technical testing and red teams, threat hunting, malware analysis, digital forensics and incident response.

Over the past 14 years, Alan has worked in a range of leading cyber security leadership roles — including Fortune 100 companies — in the field of cyber security solutions. He is a highly successful leader providing thought leadership and trusted advisory input to c-level and military leadership around the globe. Alan is a retired Lieutenant Colonel having spent 25 years in the US Army as a Signal and Cyber Officer. There he led the development of computer emergency response teams. He built and led Red, Blue, White and Gold Teams through Cyber Range training events, which included some of the military’s first strategy and tactical procedures in cyber response.

He is a well-known international speaker, and is published in many online articles and contributions. Before joining DarkMatter, Alan was the General Manager of Dell SecureWorks Asia HQ in Tokyo, Japan, responsible for expanding the cyber security market, and for all strategic and operational business delivery. In his last global role he built and led Tokyo and UK Security Operation Centres SOCs, providing continuous cyber threat monitoring services. Prior to joining Dell SecureWorks, Alan led a professional services organisation in North America that focused on a range of cyber security services including Technical Testing, Governance Risk and Compliance, Incident Response and Digital Forensics, Industrial Controls, and Residency Services.

Alan is a bestselling cyber defence author of the Blue Team Field Manual (BTFM). He maintains several security certifications including: CISSP, CISA, GCIH, CCE, CEH, ECSA, CNDA and previously GCIA and QSA. Alan earned a Master of Science degree in Applied Computer Systems from University of Maryland University College and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Rhode Island.











Dr Ronald Hale Ph.D., CISM

Vice President Cyber Training, Development and Policy, DarkMatter

Ron brings broad experience in information security and cybersecurity to Darkmatter gained over 30 years in the profession.  This experience touches almost every aspect of the security profession. Early in his career he served as the manager of security services for Northrop Corporation Defense Systems Division responsible for developing and managing the security program for classified and unclassified systems as well as implementing corporate investigations, crisis management, technical surveillance countermeasures, executive protection and the division-wide security awareness program. As a research manager for Bank Administration Institute Ron published the first study of ATM Security and Fraud and provided guidance to security executives from major US and international banks. As a practice director for Deloitte, Ron formed the security architecture team providing assessment and penetration testing services as well as support for organizations to define and implement a holistic security program from policy through detection, response and recovery.  As the Chief Knowledge Officer for ISACA, an international association of security, assurance, risk management and governance professionals, Ron was responsible for knowledge creation and product development including ISACA frameworks, guidance and practices, professional standards and for the development of study aids for certification exam candidates. Most recently Ron formed a cybersecurity research institute producing guidance on topics including blockchain and enterprise risk management.  At DarkMatter, Ron leads cyber training programs providing career focused training that prepares individuals for entry-level cyber positions in government and law enforcement.

Ron is a Certified Information Security Manager and has a master’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Illinois and a doctorate in Public Policy and Administration from Walden University.





Joni Cholwich 

Chief Operating Officer, Ajyal Talent Management, DarkMatter Group

Joni is an experienced human capital and educational consulting professional with significant expertise in negotiating and leading change, transformation initiatives, new educational programmes and business development across different business environments. She has held senior roles at PricewaterhouseCoopers in South Africa, and at Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC – a Mubadala Company) and KMPG in the UAE, where she headed Emiratisation and Arabisation for the UAE and Oman.

Joni has spearheaded major nationalisation projects for private and public companies and overseen a wide range of talent management projects that span acquisition, succession planning, and leadership development. She is particularly keen on outreach programmes that promote greater interest in STEAM subjects, to develop human capital capability in the ICT space.












Jamal N. Al-Karaki

Department Head, Information Security Engineering – ADPoly

Dr. Jamal Al-Karaki is an accomplished Information security and technology expert with 20+ years of versatile IT experience and expertise in corporate systems and network security architecture and management along with IT projects management, network and IT infrastructure design and implementation, curriculum design, training program design, and change management throughout the project life cycle in public and private sectors. In addition, Dr. Al-Karaki has a rich University career in education, training and research including serving heavily in academic leadership capacity. Dr. Al-Karaki is the Co-Founder and Division Head of information Security Engineering Technology- Abu Dhabi Polytechnic (ADPoly), Abu Dhabi, UAE since Feb 2012. Before Joining ADPoly, He served as the Dean of Information Technology College, at the Hashemite University, Zarka – Jordan. He also worked for faculty of computing, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia with knowledge comes a responsibility towards the society. Dr. Al-Karaki obtained his Ph.D. from Iowa State University where he was awarded the research excellence award on his pioneering work on wireless ad hoc networks. Dr. Al-Karaki has more than 60 published refereed technical articles in scholarly international journals and proceedings of international conferences. He also served on the Editorial Board of some international journals and as publicity chair and technical program committee member of several International conferences and workshops. He also attended/gained reputable professional certificates that includes CISSP, OSCP, ECSA, GMOB, CHFI, RHCSA, and CCNA security. Dr. Al-Karaki constantly works collaboratively with industry, government, faculty, senior executive leadership, and with community stakeholders to encourage scholarly pursuits, engagement, and innovation as critical goals with sound budget planning. As active researcher, he developed plans to advance the research agenda, activity and productivity; outreach and community engagement. He also develops strategic plan for continuous improvement of undergraduate and graduate programs. He also developed notable experience with leadership in the development of new programs that meet international standards and success in building teamwork. In particular, he has excellent experience with ABET, CAA, NQA, and standards. His research work focuses on network security, cyber security, Penetration testing, Security audits, Cloud security, threat modelling, Blockchain, IoT, Big data, and e-learning. Dr. Al-Karaki is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and member of Association of computing and machinery (ACM).




Workshops Schedule - 28 Nov 2018


Workshops Schedule: Beyond | Cyber Conference 




10.00 am – 11.00 am



DarkMatter Quarterly Cyber Security Report Results for the UAE

Bernice McCallum, Threat Intelligence Director


10.00 am – 11.00 am



Microcontrollers, Edge computing and Cloud Service Security

Milosch Meriac, Principal Security Researcher, Hardware Lab, xen1thLabs, DarkMatter


10.00 – 11.00 am



Practical Quantum-safe Implementations in Industry

Victor Mateu, Cryptographer


10.00 – 11.00 am



Auditing source code for vulnerabilities

Eldar Marcussen, Lead Security Researcher


11.00 am – 12.00 pm




An overview of the UAE threat landscape

Rocky De Wiest, Senior Security Consultant

Maxim Deweerdt, Lead Consultant


11.00 am – 12.00 pm




Security of Messaging: the Past, the Present, and the Future

Alexander Sherkin, Software Architect


11.00 am – 12.00 pm



SOC-CMM: How to measure the maturity of your security operation center

Eric Eifert, Senior Vice President


11.00 am – 12.00 pm



Lateral Movement in Windows Domain in 2018

Juned Ansari, Senior Cyber Security Consultant


12.00 pm – 1.00 pm



SOC Use case development and mapping to the ATT&CK Model

Srivatsa Venkatesh, SOC Ops Manager 


12.00 pm – 1.00 pm



Unconventional Vulnerabilities in Google Cloud Platform

Venkatesh Sivakumar, Security Consultant


12.00 pm – 1.00 pm



Efficient Solution for Identifying, Monitoring and Selecting SSL/TLS Deployment Configurations

Lamya Al Qaydi, Security Researcher, xen1thLabs


 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm



Hands-on-Hacking and Deep-dive into the world of Low-Frequency RFID

Milosch Meriac, Principal Security Researcher, Hardware Lab, xen1thLabs

Chaouki Kasmi, Director Mobile and Telecommunication Lab, xen1thLabs




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