Riyadh hosts cyber security conference

Updated 28 April 2018
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Riyadh hosts cyber security conference

  • The two-day event received a large number of research papers from 'dozens of countries'
  • The conference addressed key issues such as cybersecurity, networks, communications, software engineering

RIYADH: Cybersecurity, social media and smart cities in cyberspace figured prominently at a high-profile conference in Riyadh patronized by Abdullah Al-Sawaha, minister of telecommunication and information technology. 

The two-day event received a large number of research papers from “dozens of countries,” said Dr. Mishary Al-Mishari, chairman of the organizing committee and a member of the board of directors of the Saudi Computer Society (SCS). Among the countries were the US, UK, Canada, India, Pakistan and Ireland.

The conference addressed key issues such as cybersecurity, networks, communications, software engineering, wireless networks, applications of networks, social media and cloud computing, he added.

SCS Chairman Dr. Essam Al-Wagait said it is the Kingdom’s first national non-profit professional and scientific association to support professional activities in the fields of computer science and information and communications technology (ICT). 

The event was followed by a keynote session in which Prof. Saleh Al-Shebeili and Dr. Amr Ragheb highlighted their work at the Technology Innovation Center in radio frequency and photonics, sponsored by King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology.

Muhammad Khurram Khan, a professor of cybersecurity at King Saud University, gave a speech titled “Smart Cities in Cyberspace: Challenges and Solutions.” He said: “Modern and disruptive technological advancements offer profound promises for the future of smart cities, which harness the power of ICT to address urbanization challenges and consequently bolster the quality of life of inhabitants.”

But this increased connectivity may expose smart cities to diverse cybersecurity risks that could put their operations and their inhabitants’ lives in jeopardy, Khan added. 

“Therefore, as smart cities move from concept to reality, cybersecurity becomes a top concern for digitally connected communities,” he said.

After the keynote session, the conference hosted more than 140 speakers who presented their research papers.


Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat: ‘Our security and religion are a red line’

Updated 19 May 2019
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Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat: ‘Our security and religion are a red line’

  • Al-Jubeir's statement comes following last week's attacks on Saudi oil tankers in the Arabian Gul and installations within the Kingdom
  • He accused Iran of committing "countless crimes" including seeking to destabilize the region

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is doing its best to avoid war in the region but stands ready to respond with "all strength and determination" to defend itself from any threat, the Kingdom's top diplomat said on Sunday.

In a news conference, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir accused Iran of committing "countless crimes" including seeking to destabilize the region. He urged the international community to take responsibility to stop the Islamic republic from doing so.

"Our security and religion are a red line," Al-Jubeir said. His statement comes following last week's attacks on Saudi oil tankers in the Arabian Gulf and installations within the Kingdom.

Iran’s foreign minister was quoted by the state-run IRNA news agency on Saturday as saying his country is “not seeking war” even as the chief of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said Tehran was in a “full-fledged intelligence war with the US.“

The US has ordered bombers and an aircraft carrier to the Arabian Gulf over an unexplained threat they perceive from Iran, raising tensions a year after Trump pulled America out of Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.

Al-Jubeir said Iranian regime can spare the region the dangers of war by adhering to international laws and covenants, by stopping its interference in the internal affairs of other countries of the region, by stopping its support for terrorist groups and militias, and immediately halting its missile and nuclear weapons programs.

"Saudi Arabia stresses that its hand is always extended to peace and seeks to achieve it, and believes that the peoples of the region, including the Iranian people, have the right to live in security and stability and to move towards development," he said.

"We want peace and stability and we want to focus on the Kingdom's Vision 2030 which will enrich Saudi people’s lives," he added.

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have repeatedly accused Iran of bankrolling the activities of its proxy Shiite militias such as the Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen and various groups in Iraq.

Houthi militias had repeatedly launched ballistic missiles and rockets into civilian targets in Saudi Arabia since a Saudi-led Arab Coalition threw its support behind the government of Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi against the Iran-backed power-grabbers. Last week, they owned responsibility for the drone attacks on two oil pumping stations in Saudi Arabia.

Al-Jubeir also urged Qatar, an estranged member of the GCC to stop supporting extremists and terrorists and return to the fold. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt severed trade and diplomatic ties with Qatar in 2017, charging Doha of siding with terror groups that have been destabilizing the region. 

Instead of making amends with its GCC brothers, Qatar sought help from Turkey and Iran in bid to alleviate the impact of the boycott action of the group known as the anti-terror quarter (ATQ).