Saudi Arabia braces to fight cybercrimes

(REUTERS)
Updated 13 March 2017
0

Saudi Arabia braces to fight cybercrimes

JEDDAH: Cybercrime is not a new phenomenon, but it is hitting the headlines as never before. The growing frequency and sophistication of online threats have exposed businesses to new risks.
The fourth edition of the Kingdom Cybersecurity Meeting aims to address these issues that continue to challenge business leaders to rethink their defense strategies to counter persistent threats in cyberspace.
The event will take place on April 18 and 19 in Riyadh, and will feature more than 20 speakers.
Dr. Taghreed Justinia, assistant professor and program director for health informatics at King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, said: “We are a country with a uniquely vast geography, (as our) cities (are) still distinctly separated and still under development… We also have an advanced and reliable telecommunications infrastructure that could support a vision favoring smart cities. It is necessary to focus on securing the infrastructure and data. Getting citizens and various agencies involved in unifying the vision is an important step. Investing in cybersecurity is a necessity and should be considered in the planning and budgeting stages of any project. It should not be left for later stages or only when there is a security threat.”
Abubakar Arshad, cybersecurity adviser at the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority Bahrain, said: “Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the most crucial technological developments of our times. It is changing every aspect of technologies around us… Criminals are using AI to hack into the most sophisticated systems. This trend is set to continue exponentially. Therefore, as cybersecurity professionals, we need to be aware of the threat and also adopt AI technologies to protect against threats from organized cybercriminals...”
Set against the backdrop of the growing cyber menace and with the emerging need of aligning security closely to business imperatives, the Kingdom Cybersecurity Meeting will contribute to efforts in building an effective cybersecurity strategy in the region.
“This market is booming with rapid infrastructure development and we must keep up the pace of security alongside the speed of these development projects... Cybersecurity is of key interest to anyone involved with information technology,” Justinia said.


Mideast plays key role in Chinese export of armed drones, report says

Updated 17 December 2018
0

Mideast plays key role in Chinese export of armed drones, report says

  • China has exploited America’s selective drone export policy to become an increasingly influential player in meeting demand
  • The report is entitled “Armed Drones in the Middle East: Proliferation and Norms in the Region”

BEIRUT: The use of armed drones in the Middle East, driven largely by sales from China, has grown significantly in the past few years with an increasing number of countries and other parties using them in regional conflicts to lethal effects, a new report said Monday.
The report by the Royal United Services Institute, or RUSI, found that more and more Mideast countries have acquired armed drones, either by importing them, such as Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, or by building them domestically like Israel, Iran and Turkey.
China has won sales in the Middle East and elsewhere by offering drones — otherwise known as UAVs or unmanned aerial vehicles — at lower prices and without the political conditions attached by the United States.
The report , entitled “Armed Drones in the Middle East: Proliferation and Norms in the Region,” said that by capitalizing on the gap in the market over the past few years, Beijing has supplied armed drones to several countries that are not authorized to purchase them from the US, and at a dramatically cheaper price.
“China, a no-questions-asked exporter of drones, has played and is likely to continue playing a key role as a supplier of armed UAVs to the Middle East,” it said.
The report explored where and how each of the states have used their armed drones and whether they have changed the way these countries approach air power. It found that Iran, the UAE and Turkey all changed the way they employ airpower after they acquired armed drones.
For Turkey and the UAE, armed drones enabled them to conduct strikes in situations where they would not have risked using conventional aircraft, it said. Iran developed armed drones from the outset specifically to enable to project power beyond the reach of its air force, which is hamstrung by obsolete aircraft and sanctions, the report added.
The report said it remains to be seen whether and how the loosening of restrictions on the exportation of armed drones by the Trump administration will alter dynamics in the region.
“Nonetheless, proliferation in armed UAVs in the Middle East is unlikely to stop and could, in fact, even accelerate,” the report said.