Saudi Arabia ‘a prime target for hackers,’ cyber experts warn

The seventh Middle East and North Africa Information Security Conference takes place in the Saudi capital on Monday and Tuesday. AFP
Updated 08 September 2019

Saudi Arabia ‘a prime target for hackers,’ cyber experts warn

  • State-sponsored hackers had previously mounted attacks on Kingdom's critical infrastructure

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s size, wealth, and geopolitical prominence make it a prime target for cyberattackers, experts have warned on the eve of a high-profile cybersecurity conference that begins in Riyadh on Monday.

“As the world gets more and more interconnected and we become increasingly dependent on technology, the threat landscape is broadening and creating more opportunities for attackers,” said Mark Leveratt, cybersecurity adviser to the Defense Services Marketing Council in Abu Dhabi.

“This is leaving individuals, organizations, governments and nations increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks.”


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Muhammad Khurram Khan, founder and chief executive of the Global Foundation for Cyber Studies and Research in Washington, said state-sponsored hackers had already launched elaborately planned cyberattacks against the Kingdom’s critical infrastructure and government departments.

“They are also targeting the general public and local organizations, including hospitals, universities and SMEs, for financial gain by performing ransomware attacks, which have increased by almost 400 percent over previous years,” he said. Khan said cybercrime legislation should be an integral part of the national cybersecurity strategy of every country.

“Fortunately, Saudi Arabia has developed an anti-cybercrime law that aims to secure the safe exchange of data, protect the rights of users and the internet, and defend the public interest, morals and privacy,” he said.

The seventh Middle East and North Africa Information Security Conference takes place in the Saudi capital on Monday and Tuesday.

 


Mohammed bin Talal Al-Nahhas, governor of the Saudi Public Pension Agency

Updated 13 min 22 sec ago

Mohammed bin Talal Al-Nahhas, governor of the Saudi Public Pension Agency

Mohammed bin Talal Al-Nahhas, governor of the Saudi Public Pension Agency

 

Mohammed bin Talal Al-Nahhas has been the governor of the Public Pension Agency since Aug. 2016.

He played a vital role in establishing, developing and operating the largest network of Islamic banking branches in the Kingdom and the Middle East with a capital of SR15 billion ($4 billion), Alinma Bank.

He has worked as an executive director and banker, and has more than 32 years of experience in banking, business development and management.

Al-Nahhas obtained his bachelor’s degree in administrative sciences from King Saud University, Riyadh, in 1984, and completed an executive management program from the University of Michigan in 1998.

He took part in teaching banking science at the Institute of Public Administration between 1993 and 1995, and actively participated in establishing and developing compliance management and applying the corporate governance system in banks between 2003 and 2015. He also actively participated in the implementation of several administrative programs related to the management of human capital.

Al-Nahhas is a member of the board of directors in many institutions such as the General Organization for Social Insurance, the National Center for Privatization, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, Saudi Telecom Company and ACWA Power among others.

On Friday Al-Nahhas thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for issuing a royal order extending his service as governor of the Public Pension Agency.

He expressed his pride in their trust, praising the great support and care the General Pension Agency received and the direct interest from the Kingdom’s leadership. He also said that the Public Pension Agency aspired to achieve the ambitious national plans set out in the Vision 2030 reform plan.