Saudi ministry continues distributing Ramadan food

Saudi ministry continues distributing Ramadan food
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Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs has continued distributing Ramadan food. (SPA)
Saudi ministry continues distributing Ramadan food
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Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs has continued distributing Ramadan food. (SPA)
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Updated 02 May 2021

Saudi ministry continues distributing Ramadan food

Saudi ministry continues distributing Ramadan food
  • The distribution is part of King Salman’s iftar program, which is being carried out in cooperation with Saudi Arabia’s Embassy in Australia

CANBERRA: The Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance has continued distributing Ramadan food baskets in Australia, Fiji, and nearby islands, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The distribution is part of King Salman’s iftar program, which is being carried out in cooperation with Saudi Arabia’s Embassy in Australia.
Shadi Al-Sulaiman, who heads the Australian National Imams Council, praised the depth of the Kingdom’s relationship with Muslim communities in Australia, nearby islands and around the world.
The ministry also inaugurated King Salman’s program to distribute tons of dates to charities and Islamic centers across the Philippines during Ramadan, benefiting about 12,500 Muslims.
The initiative was carried out in cooperation with the office of the religious attache at the Saudi Embassy in the Philippines.
The ministry is implementing this year’s program in 24 countries including Indonesia, where food baskets and iftar meals were distributed for the third week in a row in coordination with the Saudi ambassador in Jakarta, Essam bin Ahmed Abed Al-Thaqafi.
Ahmed bin Isa Al-Hazmi, who is the Kingdom’s religious attache in Jakarta, said that more than 80,000 people in cities and villages would benefit. 


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 29 min 40 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.


Saudi officials prepared to receive Hajj pilgrims

Saudi officials prepared to receive Hajj pilgrims
Updated 9 min 18 sec ago

Saudi officials prepared to receive Hajj pilgrims

Saudi officials prepared to receive Hajj pilgrims
  • Due to pandemic, only 60,000 pilgrims will be allowed to perform the pilgrimage as registration is only open to citizens and residents of the Kingdom
  • Officials have completed organizational, service, and health preparations to provide the best services to pilgrims at Grand Mosque in Makkah

JEDDAH: Officials in Saudi Arabia said they have completed all the organizational, service, and health preparations to provide the best services to pilgrims upon their arrival at the Grand Mosque in Makkah during this year’s Hajj season, which will begin mid-July.

The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques said that all field and administrative agencies and departments are working to improve the outputs of business and services through pre-prepared plans and programs.

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Ministries of Health and Hajj announced earlier this month that a total of 60,000 pilgrims will be allowed to perform the pilgrimage this year as registration is only open to citizens and residents of the Kingdom.

Authorities will take into account COVID-19 health requirements to preserve public health and safety while also facilitating the performance of rituals and worship in the Grand Mosque.

Those wishing to perform Hajj must be free of any chronic diseases, and be within the ages of 18 to 65 years for those vaccinated against the virus, according to the Kingdom’s vaccination measures. 

Hajj pilgrims should be fully vaccinated, or those who took one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before, or those who are vaccinated after recovering from coronavirus infection.


King Abdul Aziz library launches reading marathon

King Abdul Aziz library launches reading marathon
King Abdul Aziz Public Library. (SPA)
Updated 16 min 5 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 19 min 42 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 35 min 51 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.