VirtuPort recently hosted the 10th edition of the Middle East and North Africa Information Security Conference 2022, which spotlighted cybersecurity challenges facing organizations and corporates in Saudi Arabia and the region at large.
The two-day international conference, held on Sept. 6-7 in Riyadh, was titled “Converging Cyber Intel: Critical Network Infrastructure IT, OT and IoT,” and featured more than two dozen world-class speakers, key decision-makers and information security influencers, who presented real-life case studies as well as the best practices in cybersecurity and cyber risk management. More than 50 global cyber companies sponsored MENAISC 2022, which was held at Hilton Riyadh Hotel and Residences. The general participation included representatives from top companies from the Kingdom and the region.
Samir Omar, CEO of the MENAISC 2022 and VirtuPort, welcomed guests with a presentation on “Cyber Fusion — The world enters a new epoch.” He said: “There are over a dozen critical infrastructure sectors whose assets, systems and networks, whether physical or virtual, are considered so vital to any country in that their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination thereof.”
The aim of the 10th MENAISC, Omar said, was to “generate an effective dialogue between executives, directors and global cybersecurity experts with rich experiences in developing strategies and cybersecurity techniques for the benefit of digital transformation and technological advancements.”
“The Saudi ICT market has been witnessing steady growth since the launch of Saudi Vision 2030. This makes the IT infrastructure in the public and private sectors vulnerable to cyberattacks, where these attacks cause great damage to the economy and various sectors,” the VirtuPort CEO said.
VirtuPort provides cybersecurity advisory services to companies ranging from medium to large entities across all industries in the MENA region. Omar stressed the importance of the conference for Saudi Arabia, especially because it is the largest market for information and communication technology in the MENA region.
For over a decade, MENAISC has addressed the industry challenges and provided thought leadership via global and renowned influential speakers, technical workshops, CPE credits, technology exhibitions and much more, contributing to creating an environment of information sharing and community building, including promoting public-private partnerships and more.
The event showcased Saudi Arabia as a pioneer in advanced technological applications for a cyber-secure digital transformation. Delegates at the conference discussed ways and means to stop criminals from causing significant financial harm to companies and governments.
Paul Roberts, Microsoft’s technical specialist in IoT security, was all praise for Saudi Arabia. “It’s amazing to see Saudi Arabia holding such conferences and the participation of several top companies proves how they are aware of cybersecurity,” he said.
Christopher Will, vice president at CyberStronger, said Saudi Arabia’s human capability development program under Vision 2030 will foster values of determination and persistence and improve the readiness of youth to join the labor market.
Giving an overview of targeted intrusion activity, CrowdStrike’s Senior Director Jason Rivera cited Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea for resorting to cyberattacks through espionage and financially motivated attacks.