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Saudi Arabia pushes cyber security agenda

Saudi Arabian government and private sectors urge for better cyber security

Saudi Arabia pushes cyber security agenda
Senior Saudi decision makers discuss the growing cyber security challenges at the 8th Cyber Defence Summit in Saudi Arabia

Senior Saudi decision makers met privately to address the growing cyber security challenges at the 8th Cyber Defence Summit in Saudi Arabia.

It comes as regional instability and brewing tensions with Iran means cyber security has taken on heightened urgency in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Ibrahim Alshamrani, executive director of operations at the National Cyber Security Centre of the Ministry of Interior, addressed the audience on the topic of ‘Securing the connected future of Saudi Arabia'. He highlighted some of the key threats faced by the Kingdom, such as zero day attacks and next-generation malware, and stressed the value of high-level capacity building and collaboration.

Another panel discussion on "CIOs and the digital future - making security everybody's business" featured Dr. Hani Al Zaid, Counselor and CIO at the Shura Council; Adeel Ashraf, Group ICT Director at Abunayyan Holding; and Dr. Ahmed Altheneyan, Technology Advisor and CIO, Minister's Office, Ministry of Defence. The panel discussed the developments reshaping technology leaders' top priorities, such as the rise of mobile channel and global economic uncertainty.

"Cyber security is a collective responsibility. Leaders like CEOs, CIOs and CISOs need to align the needs and strategies of the business with IT and security. Technology owners, custodians, stakeholders, users, and the overall community need to have a better understanding of cyber security implications and the role each of them play," said Eng. Ahmad.

Rasha Abualsaud added: "We need to refresh the security posture of our organisations regularly, as the threats landscape is changing every day."

The 8th Cyber Security Summit was organised by multinational business facilitator Naseba and chaired by Dr. Basel Al Omair, founding director of the National Centre for Cybersecurity Technology (C4C), focussed on Saudi Arabia's current and upcoming cyber threats, and helped attendees to gather information from companies, such as Qualys Middle East, Blue Coat and Tripwire.

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