Governments, financial institutions and businesses around the world have been facing an increase in cyber threats as people and businesses become more digitally connected. To proactively help combat our collective threat, DIFC has established a Cyber Forward programme in partnership with Mastercard, to leverage global best practice cutting-edge capabilities in cyber security to enhance the cybersecurity awareness and capability of the DIFC community.

The Cyber Forward Programme will help boost cyber readiness and resilience across the DIFC ecosystem.

Cyber Ambassador Programme

Cyber Ambassador Programme

Members and partners of DIFC will be given the opportunity to nominate and contribute to the DIFC Cyber Forward Programme as delegates for their organizations.

Threat Intelligence Platform integration

Threat Intelligence Platform integration

DIFC and Mastercard are working to promote the integration with the DFSA Threat Intelligence Platform so that the community shared repository is enriched with real-time and actionable intelligence.

Cyber Resilience Working Groups

Cyber Resilience Working Groups

Hosted- Cyber Resilience Working Group’s, facilitated in partnership with Mastercard and FS-ISAC, will sit on a quarterly basis to share cyber domain knowledge to uplift the participants and community.

Digital NextGen Programme

Digital NextGen Programme

A Higher-Education internship curriculum will be developed in collaboration with top-tier universities, and the DIFC Academy, to establish a DIFC internship programme for the cyber domain and emergent technologies.

"Dealing with challenges associated with cyber security is a common responsibility. To provide individuals and society a high degree of protection from cyber threats, we need to consolidate and synergise the efforts of various stakeholders…We will continue our journey of innovation and development to make Dubai the world's safest city in the digital world"

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai 

Cyber Ambassador Programme

Be a good DIFC community citizen and be part of the DIFC Cyber Forward Programme journey 

 In the digital world, we are only as strong as the weakest link. We rely on each other to be a proactive community member to assure our collective cyber strength. 

We invite those with a passion and commitment to our digital society to register your interest to be part of the DIFC Cyber Forward Programme as a Cyber Ambassador for your member or partner organization. 

Register below to nominate as a Cyber Ambassador within the DIFC Cyber Forward Programme.


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Digital NextGen Programme

The globally leading Digital NextGen Programme will offer a platform to grow the next generation of technologists in the UAE community, so that new workers can contribute earlier in their careers in driving financial technology innovation.

A pilot Digital NextGen internship window will be launched in 2023.

  • Higher-education technology interns will be selected from leading academic institutions across Dubai
  • DIFC Cyber Ambassadors will be engaged to register interest to host technology students for an initial 16-week NextGen Programme
  • The pilot technology domain established will be Cybersecurity
  • Once the pilot is proven - with DIFC community uptake and support - other technology domains will be rolled-out including: Blockchain, Automation, AI, Digital Privacy, Digital and Mobile Platforms etc

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cyber Security Framework will set the foundation for NextGen student learning during a 16-week internship:

Week 1

Community Leader Testimonials

Dubai and UAE Public and Private Sector leaders will be invited to give fireside chats and presentations on the importance of various facets of cyber security to the NextGen students.

Week 2


Develop an organizational understanding to manage cyber security risk to systems, people, assets, data, and capabilities.

Week 4


Develop an organizational understanding of implementing appropriate safeguards to ensure delivery of critical services.

Week 6


Develop an organizational understanding of implementing appropriate activities to identify the occurrence of a cyber security event.

Week 8


Develop an organizational understanding of implementing appropriate activities to take action regarding a detected cybersecurity incident.

Week 10


Develop an organizational understanding implement appropriate activities to maintain plans for resilience and to restore any capabilities or services that were impaired due to a cyber security incident.

Week 12 - 14

Cyber Range

Conduct a simulation and case study of a malicious event and select effective countermeasures learnt during weeks 12-14

Week 16

The Voice of the NextGen Student

NextGen students will back brief Dubai and UAE Public and Private Sector leaders on what they have learnt: how to defeat and successfully recover from a malicious cyber event using the layered control of the NIST CSF