UK-Oman Cyber returns with secure connected places focus to support Sultan Haitham City development  

Image: © SOM | ATCHAIN

UK-Oman Cyber, formerly known as Cyber Oman, has returned to continue its mission of unlocking economic change and new opportunities through technology as part of the Oman Vision 2040 – “a guide and key reference for planning activities in the next two decades”.  
The rebranded programme remains part of an ambitious multiyear initiative funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and supported by its British Embassy in Oman. We at Plexal are delivering UK-Oman Cyber collaboratively with our partners, digital resilience consultancy Protection Group International (PGI) and innovation development company AL JABR. 

Our primary aim is to support a robust cyber security ecosystem in Oman that will keep the nation safe as new technology solutions emerge and enter the market.

Securing connected places

Plexal’s focus for this iteration of UK-Oman Cyber will be around secure connected places (also known as smart cities) policies to provide best practices. We’re able to share our understanding from UK-based implementation projects that we’ve worked on with the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT).

We’ll be working with key Omani stakeholders to develop tailored guidance and tools that can be applied to Sultan Haitham City, a planned sustainable residential development designed to combine innovation, culture and prosperity.

Comprising five cities across Oman, each will house up to 20,000 homes, schools, hospitals and more. Sultan Haitham City aims to become a leading connected places testbed and will leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) and other advanced technologies to provide an enhanced quality of life for residents.  Knowledge sharing and collaboration between key stakeholders in Oman and the UK, including government bodies will be a cornerstone of this. 

Strengthening Oman’s cyber resilience workforce  

Recognising the vital role of skills development in creating economic impact through UK-Oman Cyber, our partner PGI is continuing the work with Omani authorities and stakeholders, including the Advanced Cyber Academy, to develop and test a Cyber Resilience Framework for the Omani Workforce (CyROW).  

This work began in 2021 and has already seen the announcement of CyROW 2022 and subsequent projects to pilot its use and identify benefits within major Omani employers, including CBO, NAMA, Omantel and PDO. The next phase of the project will see the extension of the pilot to additional key employers to increase the number of employers categorising their workforce and employment needs in consistent ways. 

In parallel, we’ll commence work to enable universities, colleges and training providers to align their education offer with the current and future needs. Through this work, UK-Oman Cyber will define and enable employment opportunities and facilitate important consistency, capability and capacity in the Omani cyber resilience workforce. 
The shared vision  
Together, our collective aim is to align with the country’s vision to “overcome challenges, keep pace with regional and global changes, generate and seize opportunities to foster economic competitiveness” which we’ll do by securing the digital economy.  

Through this approach, we’ll ensure we’re contributing to prosperity across Oman and enhancing its growth, while ensuring security is integral to the developments – keeping the nation resilient against threats.

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