Monday 4 December 2023

MENA ISC to highlight cyberattacks risks for critical infrastructure

RIYADH, June 13, 2022

The Middle East and North Africa Information Security Conference, set to be held in September, will focus on risks of cyberattacks on critical network infrastructure.
Themed “Cyber Fusion - Converging Cyber Intel: Critical Network Infrastructure IT, OT, and IoT,” the conference will be organised by by VirtuPort in-person this year – after being held virtually for the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The event is scheduled to be held in Riyadh on September 6 and 7.
Samir Omar, CEO of VirtuPort in Saudi Arabia, UAE, and USA, said the 10th edition of the MENAISC2022 addresses important topics aligned with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 including enabling secure digital transformation and a focus on the human capital development of nationals as well as the women empowerment in cybersecurity.  
It will focus on supporting companies and government agencies tasked with the protection of critical network infrastructure to reduce the risks of cyberattacks. 
Omar is a veteran in the cybersecurity industry who has expansive experience spanning 25 years. Through his global experience, he worked with government agencies, financial institutions, and telecommunications companies providing security and risk management solutions and expertise.  
Surge in cyberattacks
Omar highlighted the importance of the timing of the conference as it coincides with an unprecedented surge in cyberattacks targeting the infrastructure of many countries posing a threat to 12 vital infrastructure sectors. Any potential damage to these sectors will have devastating effects on the economy, health, safety, and security of countries, he said.
The conference will tackle a wide range of topics under the main theme, including Artificial Intelligence for a flexible and efficient energy industry, digital transformation, smart cities, threats and risks facing the supply chain and how to confront them, cyber resilience, business continuity, disaster recovery, and safe artificial intelligence in public safety, healthcare, cloud security, and third-party risk analysis in addition to, cyber security integration of critical IT infrastructure, Operational Technologies (OT), and the Internet of Things (IoT). 
Omar said the conference will support the protection of critical infrastructure, as well as enhance cooperation between stakeholders.  
He said this year’s MENAISC2022 will spotlight ways of achieving and increasing the resilience of infrastructure and its ability to adapt to changing conditions so that they are able to withstand and recover in the event of a cyberattack. 
“The resilience and security of critical infrastructure depends on cooperation between stakeholders.  The conference will encourage the facilitation of this cooperation between stakeholders, allowing free communication between them and the sharing of reliable information.   Enhancing the security and resilience of critical infrastructure requires equitable representation and participation of relevant stakeholders from all sectors,” the CEO added.
Omar added that Saudi Arabia National Cybersecurity Authority has already played an important role of protecting the infrastructure from cyberattacks and has been the catalyst for improved security awareness and investments in the cybersecurity. According to a 2020 report by the US Saudi Business Council, the Saudi cybersecurity market size is expected to be valued at $5.6 billion by 2023.  – TradeArabia News Service


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