Major Saudi internet and cybersecurity conference gets underway

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Visitors at the IoT-CDS Conference in Riyadh. AN photo by Khaleed Alkhamees
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Abdullah Al-Sawaha, Saudi minister of communications and information technology, will launch the forum on Wednesday. (SPA)
Updated 14 February 2019

Major Saudi internet and cybersecurity conference gets underway

  • The summit follows the National Transformation Program (NTP) 2020 launched by Saudi Arabia
  • The flagship event will highlight the growth and development of online technologies in the Kingdom

RIYADH: A major Saudi conference showcasing the latest advances in internet technology on Wednesday got underway in Riyadh.

The three-day Saudi International Exhibition and Conference for Internet of Things (Saudi IoT 2019), was opened by the Kingdom’s Minister of Telecommunication and IT Abdullah Al-Sawaha.

The event, now in its second year, is also hosting the Cyber Defense Summit (CDS) which aims to develop solutions to tackle the digital security challenges facing the country. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Al-Sawaha said Saudi IoT 2019 offered an ideal platform for entrepreneurs and businesses to share ideas and promote the digital sector.

Under this year’s theme titled “Redefining Communications,” the flagship event will highlight the growth and development of online technologies in the Kingdom.

Thousands of visitors from the Middle East and around the world are expected to attend the event being held at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center, along with 300 local, regional and global companies and more than 50 speakers.

Al-Sawaha said Saudi IoT 2019 played an important role in pushing forward the process of digital transformation in the Kingdom in line with the country’s Vision 2030 reform plan.

The minister added that the conference offered a unique interactive forum for those interested in emerging technologies including government, the private sector, internet specialists, entrepreneurs and investors.

The Saudi Ministry of Communications and Telecommunication and IT,  in cooperation with its partners had, said Al-Sawaha, made significant strides in the sector toward enhancing the Kingdom’s technical and digital status worldwide.

Working with the private sector, the ministry has played a key part in upgrading and expanding broadband services throughout the country, he added, while in partnership with the telecommunications equipment company Huawei, also launched the Kingdom’s first IoT lab with a fund of $1 million to support Saudi entrepreneurs.

Al-Sawaha announced that a campaign to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation in emerging digital technologies would be launched soon.

Over recent years the ministry has run numerous IT awareness programs to support economic diversification, and more initiatives were in the pipeline, Al-Swaha added.

Speakers at Saudi IoT 2019 will share their experiences and scientific research findings, while explaining how communications technology can be applied to many areas of life.

IT experts will be running skills workshops at the event and a live show area will feature demonstrations of the very latest IoT technologies.

The CDS side of the event will feature more than 600 industry leaders in cybersecurity, along with over 50 speakers and at least 30 solution providers. There will also be an expo on cutting-edge cyber-security solutions.

Sectors being represented include government, defense forces, banking, financial services and insurance, energy and utilities, manufacturing, retail and supply, hospitals, universities, diversified conglomerates, real estate and construction.

Organized by the New Horizon for Conferences and Exhibition, the event represents a practical response to the National Digital Transformation Program 2020, launched as one of the key Vision 2030 projects.

Condemnation of attacks on Saudi Aramco oil plants continue

Updated 17 September 2019

Condemnation of attacks on Saudi Aramco oil plants continue

  • Bahraini King calls Saudi leadership

RIYADH: Condemnations of Saturday’s attack on Saudi Aramco oil installations continued on Monday, as the US pointed out Iran as the likely culprit behind the drone strikes that have dramatically escalated tensions in the region and triggered a record leap in global oil prices.

King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman both received calls from the King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa of Bahrain to condemn the attacks at Saudi oil facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais.

US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper called the crown prince, who is also the defense minister, to affirm his country's full support for the Kingdom.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said, “We will work with international partners to forge the widest and most effective response,” with a statement from his ministry saying the “UK remains committed to supporting the security of Saudi Arabia.”

India also slammed the attacks and reiterated the country’s “rejection of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,” a foreign ministry spokesman said.

Official Spokesperson of the UN Secretary General Stephane Dujarric said in a statement that the Secretary General condemns Saturday's attacks on two Aramco oil plants.

The German Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said, “Such an attack on civilian and vital infrastructure in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is not justified”.

— with SPA