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NCSC holds summit to build cybersecurity culture in Saudi

Joint event with Kaspersky to highlight risks and brief government for better cyber defence

NCSC holds summit to build cybersecurity culture in Saudi
The NCSC Kaspersky summit was intended to raise awareness of cybersecurity issues and create a culture of awareness and readiness,

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a part of the Ministry of Interior of Saudi Arabia, has co-presented a cybersecurity forum with Kaspersky Lab, to help build security capacity among public sector organisations in the Kingdom.

The one-day summit took place in Riyadh, and hosted more than 150 participants from 50 different organisations through sessions and panel discussions.

The event was intended to to bring the national cybersecurity mandate and priorities within the framework of the Saudi Vision 2030 to life, and also aimed at building a culture of cybersecurity consciousness across all areas of public sector organisations, to enable government for a secure digital future.

Dr Abbad Al Abbad, Strategic Development and Communications Executive Director at NCSC, said: "Our goals as an organisation are focused towards improving the cybersecurity readiness and capabilities of the Government sector, including critical national infrastructure, as well as developing and formalizing the internal capabilities around cybersecurity within the Kingdom. This Summit, together with Kaspersky Lab, essentially enables the leadership and IT experts at Saudi public sector organisations to learn from strong innovators in the space, within the context of the Saudi National Vision 2030."

Kaspersky highlighted the cyber security risks to organisations in the Kingdom, which has become a frequent target of cyber attacks and hackers.The Kaspersky IT Security Survey 2017 showed that almost 60% of organisations in Saudi Arabia have experienced virus and malware incidents in the last 12 months, while 21% of organisations have experienced a targeted attack that was directed specifically at them.

Organisations in the Kingdom also feel that they are not prepared to tackle threats, Kaspersky said, with 41% of those surveyed saying that they lack sufficient insight and intelligence on the threats faced, and that they need better tools to detect and respond to advanced persistent threats (APTs) and targeted attacks.

Maxim Frolov, Managing Director for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa at Kaspersky Lab, said: "Seeing a public sector entity taking the lead in preparing and equipping other public sector entities with the cybersecurity consciousness they need is extremely positive, and something we at Kaspersky Lab believe many countries can learn from Saudi Arabia. The summit demonstrated the great strides that public sector organisations are making in their digital transformation journeys, with the ultimate objective of being aligned with the Government's strategic and futuristic plan."

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