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.