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Women's cybersecurity forum in Saudi Arabia brings opportunities to horizon – Arab News

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JEDDAH: The number of female cybersecurity experts in Saudi Arabia is rising due to support and encouragement from the private and public sectors, and there will be a further boost for them in a forum being held next year.
A women’s forum on cybersecurity will be held in Riyadh on March 1-2, with the participation of specialists, academics, and researchers from the sector.
It comes within the framework of the National Cybersecurity Authority’s initiatives to empower women, support and encourage them, develop their skills, exchange experiences, and enable careers and leadership in cybersecurity.
Forum topics will cover the current situation to represent women in cybersecurity, and review efforts to build national capabilities in this arena.
Saudi women represent more than 50 percent of university graduates, representing a national asset with the potential to play an instrumental role in the Kingdom’s socio-economic development.
The forum aims to enhance women’s participation in cybersecurity, introduce opportunities in education and training to qualify them, and develop their professional and leadership capabilities to boost their competency.
Jude Altalhi, a cybersecurity analyst and recent graduate, told Arab News that making this field more accessible to everyone would get more women interested and involved.
Cybersecurity is a relatively new area that has gained popularity in the last few years, and she recalled her own journey. “I was glad to find that there were training camps for women and was surprised to find many women (are) interested and are excelling in it,” she said.
Altalhi added that the help she received online was beneficial and valuable.
“The online resources that are available help as well, there is a whole community around cybersecurity and that has been a massive help. You can find walkthroughs and solutions that will help you in your journey. So, I feel like the community of women and the cybersecurity community as a whole is progressing very rapidly.”
The forum also aims to enhance women’s participation in cybersecurity, introduce opportunities in education and training to qualify them, and develop their professional and leadership capabilities to boost their competency.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia, as chair of the Islamic Summit, and in-line with relevant OIC decisions on Afghanistan, called on Monday upon the OIC to urgently convene an Extraordinary Ministerial Meeting to discuss the humanitarian situation in the country and pathways for an urgent humanitarian response.

Pakistan has offered to host this meeting, in Islamabad on Dec. 17, 2021.
The Kingdom looks forward to convening this urgent meeting and hopes that it results in finding appropriate means and mechanisms to deliver aid to the Afghan people, and to coordinate procedures with relevant UN agencies, international financial institutions, and the international community for the sake of mitigating the humanitarian impact and alleviating the suffering of the Afghan people, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The Kingdom hopes this will also serve as an opportunity to demonstrate a collective stance on key principles.
This includes the importance of taking steps to ensure Afghanistan’s security and stability and preserve its sovereignty and territorial integrity, free from external interference, while rejecting terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and ensuring that Afghan territory is not used as a refuge or safe haven for terrorist and extremist groups.

This meeting should also urge the interim government in Afghanistan to be more inclusive, to abide by international norms and conventions, and to respect human rights and women’s rights to work and education granted in Islam.

The Kingdom urged member states, international organizations, and invited countries to, actively, participate in this meeting, in order to mobilize Islamic and international action to help the people of Afghanistan.
Saudi Arabia announced on Monday that travelers from all countries will be allowed in if they have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine inside the Kingdom. 
According to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the General Authority of Civil Aviation sent the new directive to all airlines operating in Saudi Arabia’s airports, which will come into effect from 1:00 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4. 
The circular clarified that direct flights from all countries will be allowed in the country, however, a mandatory three-day institutional quarantine period will be implemented in addition to having received at least one vaccine shot in Saudi Arabia. 
Airlines are also being advised to educate travelers on the importance of adhering to the precautionary measures implemented by Saudi Arabia’s authorities.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Film Commission on Sunday launched its strategy to develop the Kingdom’s film and cinema sector at a ceremony in the capital, Riyadh.
The ceremony was held under the patronage of Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, the minister of culture and chairman of the commission.
Hamed Fayez, the deputy minister of culture and vice chairman of the commission’s board of directors, said that the strategy, with its diverse and comprehensive programs and initiatives, represents a first step toward developing the sector and supporting and empowering Saudi filmmakers.
Fayez said the Kingdom has great potential in the industry due to creative Saudi talent winning awards at regional and international film festivals, Saudi films that have achieved remarkable recognition locally and internationally, and the growth of the production movement in recent years.
The Film Commission’s CEO Abdullah Al-Ayyaf said the strategy contributes to achieving the goals of the Ministry of Culture and the Kingdom’s Vision 2020 National Culture Strategy, by achieving growth in the Saudi film production sector and transforming it into a competitive industry.
It includes producing local cinematic content to attract Saudi and international audiences, and presenting the Kingdom as a leading global center for film production in the Middle East, he added.
The strategy was based on a benchmark comparison with the 20 most important countries in the film industry.
It includes six strategic pillars, including talent development, infrastructure, local production in the Kingdom, international production in the Kingdom, regulatory framework, film distribution and screening.
According to the strategy, the Film Commission will work on 19 strategic initiatives aimed at creating a large movement in the Saudi film sector, providing an infrastructure for film production, and empowering Saudi talents and capabilities.
The commission said its strategy was designed to increase direct contribution to the gross domestic product, increase the number of job opportunities in the film sector, and increase the number of locally produced feature films. 
The Film Commission is one of 11 cultural bodies affiliated with the Ministry of Culture and was established in February last year.
RIYADH: Global cybersecurity firm Kaspersky has signed a strategic agreement with Technology Control Company, a security services, digital services and big data company in Saudi Arabia, at the @Hack Infosec Conference 2021.
The managed security service provider agreement was marked at the conference, one of Saudi Arabia’s most anticipated information-security events of the year.
The move is in line with Technology Control Company’s commitment to providing its customers in Saudi Arabia with enhanced managed security services.
Mohamad Hashem, country manager at Kaspersky, told Arab News how new technologies increased the risk and exposure to cyberattacks by opening new avenues of attack.
“Taking this into account, Kaspersky is delighted to expand and strengthen Technology Control Company’s portfolio and offer customers in Saudi Arabia the most effective prevention, detection and response capabilities to the market,”  he said.
“Our innovative solutions and extensive expertise will ensure that our customers in the region receive the best data protection possible via a trusted local technology and service provider,”  he said.
Technology Control Company will be offering Kaspersky’s resources and services such as Security Operations Center consulting, security assessment, awareness and training.
The Kingdom is currently developing digitization and advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, blockchain, fintech and 5G across its public and private sector.
Taking this into account, Kaspersky is delighted to expand and strengthen Technology Control Company’s portfolio and offer customers in Saudi Arabia the most effective prevention, detection and response capabilities to the market.
Mohamad Hashem, Country manager at Kaspersky
As the country continues its road to digitization and adoption of these technologies, Kaspersky expects a steady rise in cyberattacks.
The partnership will play a key role in navigating these risks by helping Technology Control Company deliver security monitoring, incident response, threat hunting, threat intelligence, managed detection and response, security assessment and security awareness services in a cost-efficient, scalable and flexible way.
Technology Control Company’s customers in Saudi Arabia will be able to subscribe to next-generation SOC services based on solutions in line with global industry standards. Providing training such as incident response, malware analysis and digital forensics is another essential element of the alliance.
Hashem expressed his excitement about participation at @hack event and said that this was the first time the event was being held outside the US.
“Of course, we had to be a part of this great event because Kaspersky is one of the leading companies in the cybersecurity realm, and we are glad to be here,”  Hashem said.
He said that the company had signed an initiative with Cyberkids to help promote a better understanding of cybersecurity.
Muhammad Alwashmi, security services director at Technology Control Company, said that they were glad to partner with an international company with worldwide exposure and intelligence specific to the region.
“This agreement will support and provide our customers with premium protection to their businesses through the best solutions available in the market. Having Kaspersky on board will contribute to our success, and we are looking forward to a prosperous collaboration,”  Alwashmi said.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Monday will chair the third government forum to discuss the challenges of combating human trafficking in the Middle East.
The two-day forum will be held virtually under the theme “National and international coordination on combating trafficking in persons in the light of the coronavirus pandemic.”
The forum will involve the heads of anti-human trafficking committees of Gulf Cooperation Council countries, a number of Arab states and international representatives.
It will be inaugurated by the president of the Human Rights Commission and chairman of the National Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons, Awwad Al-Awwad.
The forum will discuss the challenges and developments in the field in order to enable national committees to develop joint action plans to address crime.
Saudi Arabia’s hosting of the forum affirms the important role of the Kingdom in tackling human trafficking and supporting victims. It comes as the Kingdom marks continued progress in the US Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report.

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