1,000 Saudis to get cyber security training abroad

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Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH
— As many as 1,000 young Saudis will take advantage of the King’s Foreign Scholarship Program with specialization in vital cyber security areas over a period of five years.

The National Cybersecurity Authority has signed cooperation agreement with the Ministry of Education in this regard, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

According to the deal, every year 200 Saudis will be sent abroad for pursuing cyber security related specialized studies.

This will continue for a period of five years.

The agreement aims at achieving full coordination, cooperation and integration between the ministry and the authority to achieve the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 to have sufficient number of qualified specialists in the cyber security fields.

The authority will determine the requirements of the specializations in the cyber security sector, specifying the phase of education, qualifications required for pursuing studies in each specialization, number of male and female students required for each specialization, as well as the list of foreign universities and accredited programs.

The National Cybersecurity Authority was set up with a royal decree on Nov. 1, 2017.

The authority, which is directly linked to the King, aims at boosting the state’s cyber security as well as to protect its vital interests, national security and sensitive infrastructure.

Its missions also include improving protection of networks, information technology systems and data, especially in view of the fact that Saudi Arabia has been the target of frequent cyber attacks.

The authority, headed by Minister of State Musaed Al-Aiban, is made up of the head of Presidency of State Security, the head of General Intelligence, deputy interior minister and assistant to the minister of defense.

Al-Aiban announced then that authority would begin its regulatory and operational cyber security tasks by enhancing the protection of networks, IT systems, operating systems, hardware and software components, services and data.

He also stressed that the authority would give top priority to attract and hire qualified national cadres, build partnerships with public and private entities, and stimulate innovation and investment in cyber security to contribute to achieving a technological renaissance that serves the future of the Kingdom’s national economy.

In April this year, the Saudi Academy of Cyber Security Programing and Artificial Intelligence concluded a strategic partnership agreement with the US company Coursera Inc. under which the academy students have access to academic content and interactive training offered through 164 universities around the world.


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