Saudis aware of cyber risks as 97% of respondents take security measures: Cisco survey

Saudis aware of cyber risks as 97% of respondents take security measures: Cisco survey
With the prevalence of hybrid work models and the evolution and complexity of cyberattacks, Salman Faqeeh, managing director at Cisco Saudi Arabia, said the usage of sophisticated means for protection like multi-factor authentication has become more important than ever. (Shutterstock)
Short Url
Updated 24 July 2023
Follow

Saudis aware of cyber risks as 97% of respondents take security measures: Cisco survey

Saudis aware of cyber risks as 97% of respondents take security measures: Cisco survey

RIYADH: Internet users in Saudi Arabia are becoming more conscious of cyber risks as 97 percent of respondents in a recent poll said that they take extensive measures to protect the security of their home connections.  

According to a survey conducted by global technology firm Cisco, as many as 91 percent of respondents ranked broadband as critical national infrastructure, while 68 percent said they rely on their home internet to work from home or run a business. 

Cisco’s Broadband Survey, which was conducted with over 21,000 people across 12 countries, included 2,000 respondents from the Kingdom.   

“Our survey has confirmed that consumers in Saudi Arabia are increasingly prioritizing cybersecurity when using their broadband service, and this is aligned with the results of our previous study that revealed that 73 percent of consumers in the Kingdom worry about cybercriminals hacking their devices,” said Salman Faqeeh, managing director at Cisco Saudi Arabia.  

With the prevalence of hybrid work models and the evolution and complexity of cyberattacks, he said the usage of sophisticated means for protection like multi-factor authentication has become more important than ever.   

Passwords continue to be the most popular way to combat cyber risks as 52 percent of the survey respondents in Saudi Arabia said they use them to protect their home networks and devices.   

As many as 28 percent of respondents in the Kingdom said they switch on their router’s firewall, which poses a security barrier between the internet and one’s home network.  

According to the survey, up to 38 percent of consumers ranked security as a top priority when choosing their broadband package, even though speed remains one of the main preferences.  

In addition to this, an estimated 76 percent of consumers in the Kingdom expressed that they feel more secure while using the cloud.   
Earlier this month, the Saudi Ministry of Commerce released its summary bulletin which showed that internet security is gaining prominence in the Kingdom as an increasing number of cybersecurity firms are seeking registration to engage in commercial activities.      

According to the summary bulletin, the number of cybersecurity firms registered in Saudi Arabia grew by 52 percent to reach 2,229 in the second quarter of 2023, up from 1,462 in the year-ago period. 


Saudi drilling firm ADES secures 6 onshore contracts at $645.3m in Kuwait 

Saudi drilling firm ADES secures 6 onshore contracts at $645.3m in Kuwait 
Updated 6 sec ago
Follow

Saudi drilling firm ADES secures 6 onshore contracts at $645.3m in Kuwait 

Saudi drilling firm ADES secures 6 onshore contracts at $645.3m in Kuwait 

RIYADH: Saudi exploration service provider ADES Holding Co. has secured a SR2.42 billion ($645.3 million) deal for six onshore drilling contracts with Kuwait Oil Co., marking an expansion of its operations. 

ADES specified that the award includes new agreements for four existing operating rigs in Kuwait and two newly constructed units, according to a release to Tadawul. 

The contracts are slated to commence in the second and third quarters of 2025, with a firm five-year duration and an optional one-year extension. 


Saudi Arabia to propel global sustainable development through AI, says finance minister

Saudi Arabia to propel global sustainable development through AI, says finance minister
Updated 12 min 56 sec ago
Follow

Saudi Arabia to propel global sustainable development through AI, says finance minister

Saudi Arabia to propel global sustainable development through AI, says finance minister

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is on track to help propel sustainable development globally through its pivotal role in artificial intelligence, according to the Kingdom’s finance minister. 

In a session titled “AI and Development: Challenges and Opportunities” at the third meeting of G7 finance ministers and central bank governors under the Italian presidency, held last week in Stresa, Italy, Mohammed Al-Jadaan explained that the Kingdom is committed to advancing technology, particularly AI, to foster inclusive growth, according to a statement.  

This aligns with Saudi Arabia’s National Strategy for Data and AI, which aims to establish the Kingdom as a global tech leader by 2030. 

Additionally, the minister participated in a session titled “Addressing Financing Needs of Vulnerable Countries,” where he stressed the potential of a proposed multidimensional approach to dealing with debt vulnerabilities.  

He underscored that this strategy aims to create fiscal space, improve resilience, and progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals.  


Fitch upgrades Saudi Electricity Co. to ‘A+’ citing strong govt support

Fitch upgrades Saudi Electricity Co. to ‘A+’ citing strong govt support
Updated 26 May 2024
Follow

Fitch upgrades Saudi Electricity Co. to ‘A+’ citing strong govt support

Fitch upgrades Saudi Electricity Co. to ‘A+’ citing strong govt support

RIYADH: Saudi Electricity Co. received an upgrade from Fitch Ratings, raising its long-term foreign and local currency issuer default rating to “A+” from “A,” citing government support. 

In its latest report, the agency also upgraded the company’s national long-term rating to “AAA” from “AA,” with a stable outlook. 

According to Fitch, SEC’s standalone credit profile remains at “bbb” due to its dominant position in Saudi Arabia’s electricity market. 

“The upgrade follows our reassessment of SEC’s links with the Saudi Arabian government under Fitch’s recently updated Government-Related Entities Rating Criteria. SEC’s ratings are now equalized with those of Saudi Arabia (A+/Stable),” stated Fitch in the report. 

According to the US-based agency, an “A+” rating denotes expectations of low default risk and a strong capacity to meet financial commitments. 

On the other hand, a “bbb” rating indicates that while default risk expectations are currently low and the capacity to meet financial commitments is adequate, adverse business or economic conditions could impair this capacity. 

Commenting on the upgrade, Khaled bin Hamad Al-Gnoon, CEO of SEC, said the rating action is a testament to the company’s efforts and investments to bolster the reliability and efficiency of Saudi Arabia’s electrical grid. 

“This improved rating is reflective of our best-in-class governance, our close alignment with the Ministry of Energy and Saudi Arabia’s decarbonization strategy, and our solid financial profile,” said Al-Gnoon.  

He added: “We are committed to maintaining our service excellence and fulfilling our pivotal role in powering Saudi Arabia’s future.”  

In a statement, the company said the upgrade was driven by several key factors, including recognition of SEC’s robust decision-making and strong government support. 

Additionally, the upgrade acknowledges SEC’s stable financial profile, bolstered by the conversion of SR168 billion ($44.80 billion) of liabilities into equity-like instruments, the company’s leverage headroom, and strong cash flow visibility. 

Earlier this month, SEC reported a net profit of SR897 million for the first quarter of 2024, marking an 87 percent increase compared to the same period the previous year. 

 


Saudi’s ACWA Power signs several MoUs with Japanese companies

Saudi’s ACWA Power signs several MoUs with Japanese companies
Updated 26 May 2024
Follow

Saudi’s ACWA Power signs several MoUs with Japanese companies

Saudi’s ACWA Power signs several MoUs with Japanese companies

Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power signed memorandums of understanding with several Japanese companies on the sidelines of the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 Business Forum that took place on May 21. 

ACWA Power signed agreements with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Mizuho Bank, SBI Holdings and Toray Membrane Middle East to encourage collaboration on sustainable energy and water solutions. 

According to ACWA Power, the objectives of the MoUs are to promote sustainable energy transition and attracting foreign investment. 

The MoUs are important to the Kingdom in terms of water desalination supplies, reducing carbon emissions and economic development. 


Saudi plans to decarbonize are ‘important’ for future, says Marubeni CEO

Saudi plans to decarbonize are ‘important’ for future, says Marubeni CEO
Updated 26 May 2024
Follow

Saudi plans to decarbonize are ‘important’ for future, says Marubeni CEO

Saudi plans to decarbonize are ‘important’ for future, says Marubeni CEO

TOKYO: Atsushi Suzuki, president and CEO of Marubeni Middle-East & Africa Power Limited, says Saudi Arabia’s plans for a decarbonized outlook is an important step for the Kingdom.

“I think this is one of the most important steps for Saudi Arabia because, as you know, Saudi Arabia has a Vision 2030 to decarbonize and for the use of sustainable energy in the Kingdom,” Suzuki said in relation to a wind farm project his company is undertaking.

“As a Japanese company we have provided good capabilities to support Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 project of becoming an eco-friendly country,” Suzuki told Arab News Japan. “We believe this is a good step to a partnership between Japan and Saudi Arabia and will also result in Saudi Arabia becoming a big ‘new’ energy exporter not only of oil and gas, but also of new energy, green hydrogen for example.”

Marubeni has partnered with several Saudi companies to expand its presence in the country. “We have already participated in five projects in the power sector in Saudi Arabia, so we will continue to deploy our capacity to make sure that the Saudi government, our client, will be satisfied.”

The Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 Business Forum wrapped up on May 21 with more than 300 industry officials and business leaders from Saudi Arabia and Japan in attendance to promote business and cultural exchanges and to accelerate growth and investment between the two countries.

Saudi participants at the forum spoke of “getting the pulse of what the Japanese markets want from Saudi Arabia,” covering investment, business, sustainability, and the circular economy, as well as soft power fields such as entertainment and gaming.

This article originally appeared on Arab News Japan