Saudi Arabia is developing a secure alternative to WhatsApp that will help ensure the protection of confidential data.
It is being developed by a team of Saudi engineers and researchers at the King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST).
Commenting on the project, Basel Al-Omair, an associate professor and founding director at National Center for Cybersecurity Technologies at KACST, said: “The advantage of the app, designed by the all-Saudi workforce, is that it is free from external servers controlled by foreign agencies and will hence ensure confidentiality.” Al-Omair has been associated with the center since January 2017.
He obtained his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at King Saud University (KSU) in 1998. Al-Omair did a master’s in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2003 and obtained another master’s degree in computer science at the same university.
Al-Omair did his Ph.D. in information security and cryptology from the University of Washington, Seattle in 2011.
He worked at the Technology Control Company as an information security consultant between March 2012 and December 2013, and an information security officer between December 2013 and March 2016.
Al-Omair has been an advisory board member at Al-Yamamah University since June 2019.
He has been an advisory board member at Al-Faisal University since June 2018 and an adjunct professor of software engineering since January 2019. He is also an adjunct professor of electrical engineering at KSU since January 2013.
Al-Omair has also been associated with the University of Washington as an affiliate professor and co-director of its Network Security Lab since July 2014. He is also a member of Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University and adjunct professor of computer science.