Risks of cyber attacks further threaten ‘Internet Economy’


RIYADH — Despite the annual increase in the Internet economy, also known as “The Digital Economy” around the world, the Middle East and North Africa face more significant challenges related to securing information and infrastructure from cyber-attacks by hackers focused on sabotaging, extorting, or defrauding their victims.

Within this context, the annual MENA Information Security Conference 2017, to be held on Nov. 21 in Riyadh under the patronage of VirtuPort with lead sponsor Saudi Telecom Company - Solutions, it will be attended by leading international companies specializing in information technology and cyber security.

"The Internet economy is facing increased risk of financial loss, business interruption or theft of identities and intellectual property by the hackers which will create real issues with the increase of devices connecting to the Internet, especially in light of the economic growth of the Internet of Things or IoT," Samer Omar said, CEO of VirtuPort.

The forthcoming conference in Riyadh on information security will discuss a series of important topics that will provide an overview of the nature of cyber threats and solutions to reduce them. "The growing misuse of electronic networks for criminal purposes negatively affects the integrity of sensitive national information infrastructures, personal information, and government, service and financial sectors.”

"Cybersecurity has become an essential part of any national security policy, and developed countries such as the United States and the European Union have categorized cybersecurity and cybersecurity issues as a priority in their national defense policies" he said.

The CEO of the Saudi Telecom group, Dr. Khaled Al- Biyari, will deliver a welcoming speech in the conference, during which, he will be highlighting the importance of expert discussion of cyber threats across the region.

STC solutions is the lead sponsor of this year’s MENA ISC 2017 and the exclusive sponsor of the Hackathon. STCS CEO, Omer Alnomany pointed out that the GCC, especially throughout last year, faced organized cyber-attacks that targeted the information infrastructure. Over the years, cyberattacks have been evolving, which calls for accelerating the pace of information security awareness while taking advantage of regional and international experiences in combating cyber-attacks.

As for the sponsorship of the Hackathon, Alnomany said that it comes as means to support the national interest and to make use of the Saudi young talent in the field in defending their country. The conference has gained tremendous support including that from Huawei who is the Platinum Sponsor with other leading companies like A10 Networks, Fortinet, Kaspersky, Obrela, as Gold Sponsors. AccessData, Aiuken, Anomoali, CybrScore, ForcePoint, McAfee, MicroFocus, Nexthink, Palo Alto Networks, RedSeal, Symantec, Tenable, Thales are all Silver sponsor also supporting this critical event.

Keynote speaker Tom Ridge is the former governor of Pennsylvania and the first secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security ever since it was founded on Nov. 25, 2002. He will present the conference with a speech on “Business Flexibility in the Age of Overlying Cyber Threats" and is expected to provide a different view of the nature of the attacks and the means of defense that enable the stakeholders to address them effectively and

The Vice President of Cyber Security at Saudi Telecom Company – Solutions Fahd Al-Jutaily will present a working paper entitled "Intelligence Defense Systems: The Next Generation of SOC". Other topics being presented at the conference will also include the "Implications of Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS attack)" “Effective Security Services”, as well as “Managed Security Services”, “Vision 2030 and Cybersecurity”.

The Information Security Conference is aligned with the Vision 2030 and the National Transition 2020 Program, which aims to promote an advanced society in the technology sector. Moreover, it aspires to enhance the opportunities for top leaders and thinkers to meet in the field of electronic information security in the Kingdom.

In addition to the conference, MENA ISC Hackathon 2017 will be sponsored exclusively by Saudi Telecom Company Solutions. It will be a dynamic competition between both male and female Saudi students from various universities. The competition aims to attract young Saudi talent in preparation for future roles in the field of information security and providing protection for infrastructure and data across the Kingdom.

The top three teams will receive cash prizes, honor their universities, and have their completion broadcasted live along with video clips on the private channels of VirtuPort. — SG