Cyber Criminals Continue Their Attacks on Saudi Sectors

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Cyber Security expert, Samer Omar, revealed that cyber criminals and hackers continue to target their attacks on the public and private sectors of Saudi Arabia.

Omar, who has over two decades worth of experience in Cyber Security under his belt, pin pointed three main reasons that have made Saudi Arabia a frequent target for the attackers. Firstly, the perception of Saudi Arabia being wealthy makes this part of the world a valuable target. Secondly, the regional conflicts bring about the attention of hacktivists, cyber criminals and cyber spies. Lastly, Saudi has an above average infection rate with varying levels of awareness and capabilities.  “All verticals have their challenges and although there are a lot of similarities, the nuances of industrial control systems / SCADA systems, financial systems, or other web applications need to be addressed differently” commented Omar.

Effects of Security Breach

The Cyber Security Consultant discussed the impact that Cyber-attacks can have on states and institutions stating that its effects range from financial and reputation losses to operational and business impact.

However, the central focus identified by the security expert, Samer Omar, is a set of challenges facing the information security sector in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries, which he considered to be highly inter-related, including: the importance of enhancing information security awareness and training – which is crucial to the war on Internet criminals.  Mr. Omar points out that “the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) has already taken great strides in contributing to security awareness in the Kingdom”.

Most breaches can be prevented if the security fundamentals are in place. This include patch management, enhanced password protection, and caution against using confidential documents when online without the necessary safeguards to avoid phishing, malware, and ransom attacks.

Cyber Security

This coincides with Riyadh’s hosting on November 21st, of the Fifth Annual Middle East and North Africa Information Security Conference (MENA ISC) and Hackathon 2017 with STC Solutions as the Lead Sponsor, which will be attended by leading international speakers specializing in information technology and cyber security.

Samer Omar pointed out that the strategic importance of the conference is that cyber security and cyber-attacks are crucial issues that affect all sectors of the government, private sector and financial institutions in one way or another around the globe.

He stressed that this year’s edition will focus on the role of cyber security professionals in supporting business enablement while balancing the battle against Cyber Attacks and Security Breach, to allow internet powered services to flourish securely.

“The Internet economy continues to face risks associated with expanded use of online services including increased mobility, cloud and IoT that will create real issues in the everyday lives of citizens,” he said.

About MENA Information Security Conference 2017:

VirtuPort in conjunction with Lead Sponsor STC Solutions are proud to announce that it is hosting the MENA Information Security Conference 2017 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on November 21, 2017.  This conference is aligned with the Saudi Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program 2020, as both of the visionaries aspire to foster a technologically advanced society.

This conference will bring together the top leadership in Cyber Security in Saudi Arabia for a one-day conference.  The invited keynote speaker is the Honorable Tom Ridge, Former Governor of Pennsylvania and the first Homeland Secretary of the United States of America amongst other speakers from multi-national companies sponsoring the event.

In addition to the conference, we will be hosting the Hackathon 2017 exclusively sponsored by STC Solutions.  This exciting and dynamic competition is targeted at university students with the objective of inspiring them to use their technical talents in a sanctioned competition to hack a model smart city.  The top three teams will win cash prizes and bring recognition to their universities.  The event will be broadcast via live streaming and the footage will also be available offline on VirtuPort’s social media channels.  Our goal is to harvest young Saudi talents to be the future cyber, white hat security professionals who protect this country’s infrastructure and data.

The event is free of charge to the university and the contestants; rules and guidelines are outlined in the attachment.  Contestants are required to make their own way to the venue (including those from other cities) and use their own equipment for the competition.  Lunch and snacks will be served to all approved contestants and they will receive a small gift from VirtuPort. Visit our website for more information: https://menaisc.com/