Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Sudan PM hold talks in Riyadh

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince receives Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok in Riyadh on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince receives Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok in Riyadh on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. (SPA)
Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok arrives in the Saudi capital, Riyadh on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. (SPA)
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Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok arrives in the Saudi capital, Riyadh on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. (SPA)
Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok arrives in the Saudi capital, Riyadh on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. (SPA)
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Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok arrives in the Saudi capital, Riyadh on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. (SPA)
Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok arrives in the Saudi capital, Riyadh on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. (SPA)
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Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok arrives in the Saudi capital, Riyadh on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince receives Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok in Riyadh on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince receives Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok in Riyadh on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince receives Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok in Riyadh on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince receives Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok in Riyadh on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince receives Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok in Riyadh on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince receives Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok in Riyadh on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. (SPA)
Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok arrives in the Saudi capital, Riyadh on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. (SPA)
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Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok arrives in the Saudi capital, Riyadh on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. (SPA)
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Updated 09 March 2021

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Sudan PM hold talks in Riyadh

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince receives Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok in Riyadh on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. (SPA)
  • Kingdom is keen on the security and stability of Sudan, crown prince says

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman held talks with Sudanese Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok on Tuesday.
During the meeting, they reviewed Saudi-Sudanese relations in various fields and ways to strengthen them, including development and investment, Saudi Press Agency reported.
Both sides also discussed a number of issues of common interest.
The crown prince said the Kingdom was keen on the security and stability of Sudan in order to achieve the aspirations of its people, while Hamdok expressed his government’s appreciation for the Kingdom’s stances.
The meeting was also attended by Minister of Interior Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif, Deputy Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman and Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan. Sudanese Foreign Minister Mariam Sadiq Al-Mahdi and Finance Minister Gibril Ibrahim Mohammed were also in attendance.
Hamdok and his delegation arrived at King Khalid International Airport earlier on Tuesday, where he was welcomed by Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar.


Saudi organizations continue to face cyberattacks

Saudi organizations continue to face cyberattacks
The report explores the impact of cyberattacks and breaches on organizations and details how security teams are adapting to these challenges. (AFP)
Updated 18 min 52 sec ago

Saudi organizations continue to face cyberattacks

Saudi organizations continue to face cyberattacks
  • “Having an infrastructure that can provide a security operations center, with robust situational intelligence, will give context to threats and help prioritize potential targets and remediate risk with confidence”

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s senior cybersecurity professionals and their organizations continue to face serious threats as nearly 93 percent of the 252 organizations surveyed in the Kingdom experienced a cyberattack in the past year, according to a report.
VMware, an American cloud computing and virtualization technology company, released the findings from the fourth installment of the Global Security Insights Report. It was based on an online survey of 3,542 chief information security officers (CISOs), chief information officers (CIOs), and chief technology officers (CTOs) in December 2020 from across the globe.
The average number of breaches suffered by each organization was 2.47 over the past year while 11 percent of respondents said their organizations had been breached between 5 to 10 times. The uptick in attacks was mainly due to more employees working from home, highlighting the vulnerabilities in legacy security technology and postures.
The report explores the impact of cyberattacks and breaches on organizations and details how security teams are adapting to these challenges. Accelerated digital transformation has caused security teams to face evolving threats as cybercriminals seize the opportunity to execute targeted attacks exploiting fast-tracked innovation and remote workforces.
In an online press conference, Ahmed El Saadi, VMware’s regional director of sales, Middle East, Turkey, and Africa, said that complexity is the enemy of security. It is an indication that organizations cannot see into the corners where personal mobile devices and home networks have been grafted to corporate distributed IT infrastructure through insecure technologies such as VPNs.
“It is vital that organizations gain visibility of their networks through cloud-based technologies such as Secure Access Services Edge (SASE),” El Saadi said.
“Having an infrastructure that can provide a security operations center, with robust situational intelligence, will give context to threats and help prioritize potential targets and remediate risk with confidence.”

HIGHLIGHT

The average number of breaches suffered by each organization was 2.47 over the past year while 11 percent of respondents said their organizations had been breached between 5 to 10 times. The uptick in attacks was mainly due to more employees working from home, highlighting the vulnerabilities in legacy security technology and postures. 

The Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) and the National Information Center are doing a quite great job in this regard, he said, as they are using advanced cybersecurity technology to ensure secure services.
For his part, Saif Mashat, VMware’s country managing director, Saudi Arabia, said it is vital for organizations in the Kingdom to fully understand their security weaknesses if they are to improve their security posture.
“Many organizations surveyed are already using, or planning to use a cloud-first security strategy, and while they may encounter significant challenges related to cybersecurity, there is room for optimism,” Mashat told Arab News.
“By adopting an intrinsic, cloud-first approach to security, whereby security is built-in, and not bolted-on, organizations will be able to address challenges including ineffective legacy security technology and process weaknesses.”
He added that this will ensure companies in Saudi Arabia are better positioned for success in a fast-changing world, while also supporting the Kingdom’s ambitions to be a digital leader.
The report highlighted a shift that has undoubtedly changed the threat landscape, requiring security teams to transform their cybersecurity strategies and stay one step ahead of attackers.
The report also emphasized that key focus areas for the coming year must include improving visibility into all endpoints and workloads. Responding to the resurgence of ransomware, delivering security as a distributed service, and adopting an intrinsic approach to cloud-first security are also vital for a company’s security.
Moreover, 11 percent of all breaches were caused by ransomware, which continues to see a rapid escalation.
Ransomware has added an unwelcome tension as multistage campaigns involving penetration, persistence, data theft, and extortion are ramping up the pressure. Attackers are capitalizing on the disruption faced by remote workers and in most ransomware attacks, email continues to be used as the most common attack vector to gain initial access, the report said.
The message is being heard as 80 percent of respondents agreed they need to view security differently than they did in the past due to an expanded attack surface prompted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Apps also topped the list as the most vulnerable point on the data journey, but they are by no means the only area of concern.
The report also found that third-party apps are a common cause of breaches. Of the surveyed professionals, 78 percent said their ability to innovate as a business depends on them, so it is not surprising that security teams are focusing on sharpening their approach to consuming and developing them.
Some 46 percent of respondents said they plan to build more security into their infrastructure and apps and reduce the number of point solutions while 38 percent said they have adapted security to mitigate risk using existing assets.


King Abdul Aziz library launches reading marathon

King Abdul Aziz library launches reading marathon
King Abdul Aziz Public Library. (SPA)
Updated 5 min 17 sec ago

King Abdul Aziz library launches reading marathon

King Abdul Aziz library launches reading marathon
  • Events and activities are being prepared by specialists in children’s culture and literature, and will include a series of meetings with talented children

RIYADH: The King Abdul Aziz Public Library is hosting activities and events for the fourth session of the Reading Marathon for Children, which will continue until July 14.
Children taking part in the four-week marathon will be divided into two age groups: The first for children aged between seven and 10, and the second for children aged between 11 and 15.
Three days will be allocated for each age group.
Events and activities are being prepared by specialists in children’s culture and literature, and will include a series of meetings with talented children who have read a large variety of literary, artistic and children’s books.
Each week, children taking part will prepare an artistic project through a live workshop, which includes definitions of international arts from around the world.

 


Saudi, UN rights bodies discuss strengthening ties

Saudi, UN rights bodies discuss strengthening ties
Al-Awwad briefed the UN delegation on the most prominent reforms and developments in the field of human rights in Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
Updated 8 min 54 sec ago

Saudi, UN rights bodies discuss strengthening ties

Saudi, UN rights bodies discuss strengthening ties
  • Saudi leadership’s support and guidance had a great impact on the HRC mission to promote and consolidate human rights principles for the benefit of Saudis and expats

RIYADH: The Saudi Human Rights Commission (HRC) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) held a
meeting to further ongoing partnership between the two organizations.
HRC President Dr. Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad received at the commission’s headquarters in Riyadh a delegation led by Mohammed Ali Al-Nsour, chief of the Middle East and North Africa section at the OHCHR.
Al-Awwad briefed the UN delegation on the most prominent reforms and developments in the field of human rights in Saudi Arabia.
The HRC and OHCHR have been institutional partners since signing a memorandum of understanding in Geneva in 2014.
They have jointly trained some 4,500 human rights specialists, lawyers, government officials and law enforcement officers in Saudi Arabia. 


Saudi, Omani officials discuss economic zones ties

Saudi, Omani officials discuss economic zones ties
Updated 25 min 4 sec ago

Saudi, Omani officials discuss economic zones ties

Saudi, Omani officials discuss economic zones ties

JEDDAH: The secretary-general of the Economic Cities and Special Zones Authority (ECZA), Nabil Khoja, met on Tuesday in Riyadh the undersecretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion of Oman, Asila Al-Samsamiya, to discuss special economic zones between the two nations.

They covered cooperation and integration opportunities the zones would offer, with Khoja touching on the ECZA’s role as the organizational umbrella that ensures the alignment of the special economic zones project with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and national strategies.

He stressed that the meeting with Al-Samsamiya comes within the framework of strengthening international cooperation via special economic zones and seeking to build strategic partnerships.

Khoja noted that the ECZA has expertise in supervising, regulating and controlling economic cities and special zones, which can be shared between the Kingdom and Oman. He added that this will contribute to achieving the goals of the two countries, and to enhance the vital role that the ECZA can play in realizing the objectives of Vision 2030.

This meeting followed an extended session between the ECZA’s team, headed by the vice secretary-general for Special Economic Zones, Wassim Khashoggi, and the deputy chairperson of the Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones in Oman, Ahmed Al-Deeb. 

The two parties discussed providing support for Omani efforts to attract Saudi investment for special economic zones and free zones projects in the Sultanate.

They also covered the possibility of establishing a Saudi industrial zone in Oman, which the Saudi side would develop, operate and manage, and build roads to transport goods between the Saudi and Omani special economic zones.


Saudi art, music collide in exhibition

Saudi art, music collide in exhibition
The event will include seminars by expert speakers, performances, presentations on Saudi music and its symbols, and an art exhibition. (Supplied)
Updated 31 min 15 sec ago

Saudi art, music collide in exhibition

Saudi art, music collide in exhibition
  • The Jeddah event, which runs until June 28, will also shed light on art and its relationship with music

JEDDAH: Music can transcend boundaries, bridging gaps between different cultures and creating an atmosphere that is appreciated by all.
On World Music Day, the Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts (SASCA) celebrated in Jeddah its first Music Forum under the slogan “Music is the universal language of mankind.”
The event was sponsored by the University of Business and Technology (UBT), with the participation of 84 artworks.
The forum, which aims to break music barriers, is proof of how musicians from different backgrounds can learn from each other while forging new artistic collaborations, according to Mohammed Al-Sobieh, the director of the association in Jeddah.
“Music is a universal language that brings people together to express themselves, and collaborate,” Al-Sobieh said.
The forum gathered musicians from Saudi Arabia, the US, France, Syria, Portugal, Egypt and the Philippines.
Music tastes are no longer confined to a single genre, language or even country. People often enjoy songs in languages they do not speak, showing how music can transcend cultural boundaries.
Al-Sobieh said the forum is one of the most prominent activities on SASCA’s annual agenda. “The event provides a platform for musicians from everywhere to compete in offering their inspiring music.” The Jeddah event, which runs until June 28, will also shed light on art and its relationship with music. It will include seminars by expert speakers, discussion groups, performances, presentations by intellectuals on Saudi music and its symbols, and an art exhibition. He added that Saudi music icons will be honored during the 10-day event.

HIGHLIGHTS

• On World Music Day, the Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts (SASCA) celebrated in Jeddah its first Music Forum under the slogan ‘Music is the universal language of mankind.’

• The event was sponsored by the University of Business and Technology (UBT), with the participation of 84 artworks.

• The Jeddah event, which runs until June 28, will also shed light on art and its relationship with music.

Al-Sobieh said that Jeddah has always been a cultural hub in the region, proudly adding that the Jeddah Association brought together the pioneers of Saudi music.
A musically inspired art exhibition called the “Whispering Iron” will also be displayed. It was created by renowned artist Mansour Al-Mutairi, a member of the Saudi Plastic Artists Association and owner of Najdeh Colors Art Salon. The exhibition includes around 42 artworks, including  20 models of musical instruments.
Al-Mutairi has recently turned his hand to creating art from musical instruments, both modern and old.
The solo exhibition showcases metal sculptures made from huge piles of scrap metal collected from junkyards. While Al-Mutairi believes that they have been exquisite art forms in their prime, he has given them a new lease of life.
“My exhibition is entirely dedicated to music and it is my personal tribute to some of the Saudi singers, poets, musicians and composers I have listened to in my life and who have made a great impact on the Saudi music. Poets such as Prince Bader bin Abdulmohsen, Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, composer Tarek Abdulhakeem and singer Talal Maddah.”
He added: “There are over 40 works on display, each telling their own story about these wonderful machines of music and our relationship with them.”
Al-Mutairi, from Taif, hopes to expand the exhibition to other parts of the Kingdom as part of a bigger national project.
Demonstrating its continued support of art and culture, the UBT has announced its sponsorship of the Music Forum for the next 10 years. UBT Chairman Abdullah Dahlan said at the opening ceremony: “We are proud to be the official sponsor of the Music Forum because we are very keen to merge education with arts and culture.”