The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is a political and economic union of the Arab states, comprising some of the fastest growing economies in the world due to the prevalence of oil and gas industry and more recently due to significant investments in the digital economy. However, in recent years, rates of cybercrime and cyber-threats have risen significantly, posing challenges to the security and economic performance of the region. This article deals with the necessity to engage in transnational cooperation to counter the complex challenges posed by cybercrime across the GCC. Interviews were held with members of the GCC political elite who hold expertise in cybersecurity affairs. An analysis is presented of cybersecurity threats in the region, problems of strategic cooperation and lack of dialogue to tackle common challenges in the areas of cybercrime and cybersecurity. Finally, specific aspects of GCC cybersecurity policy are discussed: preventive and mitigation actions; potential intraregional and international cooperation avenues; and the formulation of effective strategy to enhance cybersecurity capabilities and resilience. Although grounded in the GCC as a regional bloc, the findings also carry implications for other contexts, especially other Middle East and North Africa countries and, thus, represent a promising avenue for future research.
- Computer crime
- Computer security
- Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)
- regional cooperation
- Standards organizations