KSA combats cyberthreats using latest technology

Information and cybersecurity expert Samer Omar
Updated 24 August 2019

KSA combats cyberthreats using latest technology

The 7th Middle East and North Africa Information Security Conference 2019 (MENAISC2019) will take place in Riyadh for the fourth consecutive year between Sept. 9-10, under the theme “Cyber Space, the New Frontier: Deception, Orchestration and Blackholes.”

Information and cybersecurity expert Samer Omar, CEO of VirtuPort’s MENAISC2019, said the increasing number of foreign cyberattacks on the Kingdom in the recent period have pushed for more institutionalization by developing national cadres specialized to combat these attacks. This step, he said, is in line with the Saudi Vision 2030, digital transformation initiatives and the development of e-governance.

“There is a significant qualitative improvement in the quality and number of gifted and talented Saudis working in cybersecurity and we will see in the near future more awareness and greater capacity in this vital sector by these young men and women,” said Omar. He added: “Today, we have specialized courses in cybersecurity in universities and other concerned institutions, and this in itself is a significant transformation that is important and demonstrates the depth of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.”

Last year, Saudi Arabia recorded the highest number of cyberattacks among all Arab countries and ranked 17th globally in the same context.

The MENAISC2019 will also be hosting the Cyber Saber Hackathon in its third edition, which will attract students from all around Saudi Arabia to try their skills at hacking and defending a model smart city. 

Previous editions of the conference have attracted more than 300 participants from all over the Kingdom, as well as a large number of specialized brands and international media organizations.

The increasing cyberattacks on Saudi Arabia are due to its economy — ranked among the top 20 global economies — being one of the strongest in the Middle East, making Saudi companies and institutions a direct and indirect target of cyberattacks to disrupt their operations and seize their data and resources. 

In line with Vision 2030, the Saudi government is working to support the information technology sector, promote creative and innovative thinking for companies and protect their data and systems.

Omar underlined the need for continued focus on human capital, in addition to investments in tools and technologies required by companies and government agencies to secure themselves from cyber-related threats.


Michelin-starred chefs delight Riyadh foodies

Guests at Taste of the World, Riyadh, a six-day extravaganza featuring some of the world’s best restaurants in the capital’s Digital City, sipped mocktails while listening to live acoustic music on the Music Stage.
Updated 17 November 2019

Michelin-starred chefs delight Riyadh foodies

Taste of the World, Riyadh has been heralded as a great success by both event organizers and the 14,000 visitors that attended the six-day extravaganza in the capital’s Digital City.
Commissioned by the General Entertainment Authority, this bespoke edition of the festival, created especially for the Riyadh Season, featured 14 of the world’s best restaurants, boasting a combined 13 Michelin stars.  
Throughout the festival, the participating restaurants featured an exclusive menu of three dishes, served in taster-size portions — two of each restaurant’s signature dishes, as well as a Saudi-inspired dish that the chef had exclusively designed for Taste of the World, Riyadh. Visitors looking for a more exclusive experience were welcomed to The Taste Residence where they were treated to a four-course dining experience with Michelin-starred chefs.
Another major attraction that drew large crowds was the Fire Pit, where local star chefs Areej Al-Shareef, Abdelelah bin Jarid and Fahad Bokhari showed off their talents alongside the global superstars. Hosted by Saudi culinary star and presenter Rakan Aloraifi, spectators enjoyed cooking demonstrations, tasting sessions and a live DJ.
In another area of the festival, guests sipped mocktails while listening to live acoustic music on the Music Stage.  
Award-winning chef Shane Osborn from Hong Kong’s Arcane said “Taste of the World, Riyadh has far exceeded my expectations. I have been fortunate to have experienced many similar events around the world but this one in Riyadh is both very unique and very different to anything that I have experienced before. It is the people of Riyadh who have really made it special and welcoming.”

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14,000 - of the capital’s cosmopolitan citizens visited the six-day culinary festival, featuring 14 of the world’s best restaurants and boasting a combined 13 Michelin stars.

Pascal Aussignac from London’s Michelin-starred Club Gascon said: “The smiles of the people whilst trying my food and their inquisitive questions about the meals prepared made it truly very special. I am
very happy to be here in Riyadh and to have taken part in this exciting event.”
Saudi chef Al-Shareef said: “I am very happy to be here and taking part in Taste of the World, Riyadh. I am also very proud in being the only female Saudi chef taking part and my experiences at the Fire Pit were very exciting and fun.”
Chef Aloraifi said, “This is the first time that Taste of the World has taken place in the Kingdom and people have been very excited about the occasion, the activities and the cooking demonstrations ... Hopefully next year we will be back again and will be able to add more local touches to the program.”
Based on the overwhelming enthusiasm and fast-selling ticket sales that has greeted the Taste of the World experience, organizers said they are looking forward to announcing a 2020 event soon.