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NCSC builds KSA’s cybersecurity readiness

Aims to improve cybersecurity awareness with the release of cyber security controls guidelines

NCSC builds KSA’s cybersecurity readiness
AlAbbad: NCSC protects KSA.

Saudi Arabia's National Cyber Security Centre is aiming to improve the cybersecurity awareness and readiness of the Kingdom, with the release of the new basic cyber security controls guidelines.

The NCSC, part of the Ministry of Interior, is charged with protecting cyberspace in the Kingdom and supporting government, critical national infrastructure (CNI) entities, and other major organisations, explains Dr. Abbad AlAbbad, the Executive Director of Strategic Development & Communication at the National Cyber Security Centre.

The basic cyber security controls have been developed as guidance for all organisations in the Kingdom, to help them be ready for cyber attacks, Dr AlAbbad says.

NCSC has three main areas of responsibility, situational awareness, information assurance, and National Incident Response, he continues, and the controls have been developed in line with these, as a set of highly recommended guidelines and practices. The basic controls are intended to be more adaptable than existing industry security standards, so that they can be used to improve the security stance of any organisation.

"We have shared the basic cyber security controls with all CNIs, so that we can achieve the minimum standards of cyber security, and consequently increase the maturity levels nationally," he says. "Many countries follow the NEST framework or the ISO 27001 or other standards for security; we have developed the basic controls based on international standards, but put in a way that is flexible and can fit with different entities, regardless of their size, even small and medium businesses. This is a milestone in increasing the security maturity of the nation."

The NCSC will hold an event next week in Saudi Arabia to discuss these guidelines with its key stakeholders.

In addition to the basic controls, the Centre is also supporting cyber security efforts in the Kingdom through the annual Cyber Security Conference, and it is also looking at building national capacity and skills in security through working with universities.

"One of the important topics we discussed is the need and necessity for national capacity building, it is an urgent need for the country," AlAbbad says.


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