Most days, Dr. Sherif Hashem, a visiting professor in SUNY Poly’s Computer and Information Science department, can be found giving a lecture to college students. However, on September 13, his audience was a bit different.
Dr. Hashem last month gave a talk on capacity building in the area of cybersecurity to a United Nations Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, N.Y., which he says was well-received by the group.
Though he has consulted for several government projects throughout his professional career as a university professor, Dr. Hashem has specifically worked to assist U.N. countries in helping to adopt solutions for cybersecurity threats over the past seven years. He received an invitation this year from Switzerland Ambassador Jürg Lauber who serves as chair of the OEWG on developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security
“I was invited, based on my expertise working in past groups and having a wealth of knowledge on the topic,” he said. “It’s really deciding and recommending to the states, general assembly and secretary general what to do to face the growing cybersecurity threats.”
His relationship with U.N. consulting began in 2012 when Dr. Hashem was part of a highly selective group of 15 international cybersecurity experts, each representing a different member country, tasked with developing universal security recommendations. Dr. Hashem represented Egypt.
“It went on to become, really, a reference for countries in setting their policies and strategies in cybersecurity of what to do and what not to do,” he said.
Over the last decade, Dr. Hashem led several key cybersecurity efforts at the national level, and setting up the framework for further developing the Egyptian National Computer Emergency Readiness Team (EG-CERT) at the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA).
More recently, in 2015, Dr. Hashem became a member and a Chairman of the Executive Bureau of Egypt’s Supreme Cybersecurity Council (ESCC), which is affiliated with the Egyptian Cabinet of Ministers.
Dr. Hashem expects the current OEWG to continue working over the coming year, and present a comprehensive report with their recommendations, based on various discussions and deliberations, to the U.N. Secretary General at the end of their term.