Saudi Arabia sets up new commission to boost cybersecurity

Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban
Updated 02 November 2017
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Saudi Arabia sets up new commission to boost cybersecurity

RIYADH: King Salman has set up a new cyber authority to protect information technology networks, systems and data, and improve online security for companies and individuals.
The National Cyber Security Commission will be linked to the office of the king and will “boost the cybersecurity of the state and protect its vital interests, national security and sensitive infrastructure,” the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said.
The king appointed Dr. Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban to chair the new commission. A Harvard graduate, Al-Aiban is a member of the Council of Ministers and has been a minister of state since 1992. The heads of state security and intelligence, the deputy interior minister and an assistant to the minister of defense will serve on the new body.
Al-Aiban said the commission would be the competent authority for cybersecurity, and aimed to maintain the privacy of all vital data of the state, individuals and companies in the private and public sectors.
He said it would protect networks, IT systems, operating systems, hardware and software components, services and data, taking into account the increasingly vital importance of cybersecurity in the life of individuals and the community.
Al-Aiban said his priority was to deploy qualified national staff to build partnerships with public and private bodies and organizations to take safety measures to ensure the country’s cybersecurity.
The new commission will provide a platform for young Saudis, both men and women, to take part in the national effort to strengthen cybersecurity, DNJ Technologies Chief Executive Othman Al-Robaish told Arab News.
Naif Al-Rashid, a Saudi journalist in Riyadh, said strengthening cybersecurity would increase the confidence of Internet users, not only individuals but also government entities, security facilities, financial houses, foreign investors and others who transacted business online.


Kiswa of Kaaba raised in preparation for Hajj

Updated 26 min 13 sec ago
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Kiswa of Kaaba raised in preparation for Hajj

  • Up to 50 people worked on the raising of Kiswa this year
  • The Kiswa is replaced with white cloth during Hajj

DUBAI: The lower part of Kaaba’s Kiswa, the black cloth draped around the holy shrine, was raised 3 meters in preparation for the new Hajj season and was replaced with white cloth instead, Reasah Al-Harmain said on Friday.
The procedure is done every year before the Hajj season in order to protect the Kiswa, as some pilgrims touch and pull on the black cloth when they circumambulate the Kaaba.

Up to 50 technicians and specialists oversaw the annual process, head of the General Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques Ahmad bin Muhammad Al-Mansouri said.
What some pilgrims do to the Kiswa stems from wrongful beliefs, which is why the black cloth is raised and replaced with white textile during Hajj, he added.
The original Kiswa will be draped again after the Hajj season concludes, Al-Mansouri said.