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.


Saudi Arabia’s Alkhobar becomes international role model for business continuity

Sultan Al-Zaidi (L) and Fahad Al-Jubeir.
Updated 21 September 2020

Saudi Arabia’s Alkhobar becomes international role model for business continuity

  • Alkhobar has pushed for a paperless municipality and emphasized the introduction of online services for residents

JEDDAH: Alkhobar municipality, along with Europe’s largest industrial manufacturing company Siemens, has been hailed as a role model for management excellence and business continuity.
The municipality has been awarded international certification for its excellence in managing crises and risks under difficult circumstances, in recognition of its administrative achievements during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Quality Austria (QA) awarded Alkhobar Municipality and Siemens with ISO 22301 and ISO 9001 certificates, which are concerned with business continuity management, especially during the pandemic.
ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is an independent and nongovernmental body. Its standards are internationally agreed by experts and are seen as the best way of doing something.
Alkhobar has pushed for a paperless municipality and emphasized the introduction of online services for residents.
Its mayor, Sultan bin Hamid Al-Zaidi, said that the municipality’s ISO achievement was in line with achieving the goals of the Eastern Province municipality. He added that the aim was to make Alkhobar a distinguished city, like other places in the province.
The Mayor of the Eastern Province, Fahad bin Mohammed Al-Jubeir, said that municipalities were keen to implement the most advanced administrative systems and provide the best services to beneficiaries.
“This comes in line with the objectives of municipal transformation, part of the National Transformation Program 2020 of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan which states that the Kingdom, with its outputs and services, should provide an international role model of quality and mastery, and raise the level of services provided by services and economic development agencies and enterprises,” Al-Jubeir told Arab News.

HIGHLIGHT

Business continuity was primarily done through strategic planning and taking into account the different local factors and needs of provinces and municipalities.

He added that the municipality had launched initiatives and programs seeking to make the Eastern Province and its governorates pioneers in administrative and service qualities, as well as improving public services.
According to QA’s regional manager, Dr. Mohamed Hassan, business continuity was primarily done through strategic planning and taking into account the different local factors and needs of provinces and municipalities.
“These instructions are then transformed into applicable programs and strategies at the amana (provincial government) level,” he wrote in an article. “Since the Eastern Province is, in this respect, the leading province in the Kingdom, the guidelines are finalized in consultation with the EP’s mayor, Fahad Al-Jubeir.”
The article gave examples of Alkhobar’s strategic emergency plans and said it had made arrangements with companies such as Al-Yamama for the prevention of damage from flash floods or storms.
It added that other public contractors, such as Nabatat, ensured that green spaces and parks in the city remained relaxing destinations for people, even on exceptionally hot summer days.
“A successful example of service digitization is the Balady software, which makes all municipality services available to citizens online. Moreover, the Balagat software offers a service in which complaints and suggestions from citizens can be reported and followed up online,” the article said. “If a complaint is not solved within 24 hours, it is automatically forwarded to the mayor of the Eastern Province, Al-Jubeir.”
The ministry’s foresight in initiating plans and preparations, the online software systems used and the high-quality standards in the municipality all helped in increasing the effectiveness of the business continuity management system.