Prince Dr. Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed Al Saud, President of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology ( KACST) highlighted that the of loss-cost cyber attacks at the global level is estimated at 445 billion USD per year; underlining that this cost is expected to increase in the future as a result of the unprecedented expansion in using e-services and adopting new technology concepts, which reinforce by their turn the need to develop scientific research efforts in information security to support the national interests through technology-localization, capacity building and innovating national algorithms that can be used safely to protect data transfer.
Prince Turki, during inaugurating activities of the 3rd Saudi International Conference on Information Technology Cyber-security (KACSTIT) organized by KACST at its headquarters under kind patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and in the presence of Dr. Mohammed Bin Ibrahim Al-Suwaiyel, Minister of Communications and Information Technology and the participation of a group of experts and specialists from inside and outside the Kingdom, asserted that KACST has worked and is still working in close cooperation with the relevant authorities on the localization of the latest technologies in the Kingdom through establishing sophisticated infrastructure along with national capacity-building in many scientific fields, including information technology in general and cyber security technology on particular, out of the keen interest of Kingdom’s leadership in scientific research and technology development in various fields for their vital role in development and its sustainability
KACST President pointed out that KACST has created supportive and integrated ecosystem for the transfer and development of technologies related to information security through establishing the National Centre for Information Technology Security (C4C) and implementing applied research in information security in partnership with a number of prestigious universities and research centers of excellence around the world, as well as qualifying the capable national capacities in research and development (R&D) in this area.
Prince Turki focused that within this context also comes the establishment of national laboratories equipped with the latest cutting-edge hardware in areas of encryption, information security, networks and e-security; stressing that Saudi Company for Development and Technology Investment (TAQNIA) has established TAQNIA Cyber, is a Government owned company specialized in the fields of Information Security, Communication Security, Signal Intelligence and closely cooperates with KACST in providing information security services and consultations to both public and private sectors
Dr. Basil AlOmair, Director, National Centre for Information Technology Security (C4C), Chairman of the Scientific Committee of the Conference, highlighted that KACSTIT is a unique opportunity for experts, specialists and other stakeholders in the field of information security technology at the local, regional and international level to gather together to exchange knowledge and expertise in the various fields of information security; stressing that cyber security will remain the most important challenges facing the world as a result of fast development of electronic information and technology services.
Dr. Al-Omair underlined that KACSTIT which spans over two days, aims to discuss the leading scientific research and technologies in electronic security, where a selection of prominent scientists in information security from different countries of the world would give lectures on cryptography and its importance, strategies for e-defense in response to attacks and threats, new research fields in the electronic security, digital forensics analysis, and advanced defense systems for cyber-security.
Then Prince Dr. Turki bin Saud and Dr. Al-Suwaiyel honored the Saudi researchers who designed, implemented and launched the information security contest called “Capture the Flag” (CTF), for the first time in the Kingdom without the help of companies who namely are: Osama Abdul Rahman Almanna’a, Afnan Naif Al-Roumi, Rakan Turki AlKhelwi, Khalid Abdullah Aldkheem, Manal Abdulaziz AlMazroua’a, AbdeulHakim Mansour Sabber; as they also honored winners of the three places of the contest who are Diaa Mohamed Diab, (Dia2Diab) Team winner of first place, Abdulaziz Al-Qarni, Abdallah al-Muqrin, Neta’aeb Sahli, Aws al Akhlufh, and Abdulrahman Jawed members oif (Cyborgs) team winner of the second place, and Hussein Yousef, Mansour Al-Harthy, Khaled Alhakami, Omar Alasmar, and Abdullah AlShehri, members of (KFUPM Infosec) team winner of the third place.
Then, KACSTIT activities commenced by the first session chaired by Dr. Saleh Al-Mutairi, General Director, National Cyber Security Center (NCSC), Saudi Ministry of Interior. The session comprehended two scientific papers; the first of which was presented by Dr. Taher Elgamal, CTO Salesforce, USA who spotted on threats and opportunities of the next 10 years of the internet. Dr. Fred Piper, Emeritus professor of the Information Security Group at Royal Holloway, UK, took the stand next reviewing the UK experience in bridging the cyber security skills gap.
The second session chaired by Dr. Fahad Muhaya, Professor, Management Information Systems (MIS) Department, King Saud University, included three scientific papers; the first of which was presented by Dr. Mushtaque Ahmad, professor, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA who discussed malware download path forensics and mitigation. Dr. Bart Perneel, professor of electrical engineering at university of Leuven, Belgium, presented the second paper shedding the light on new threat models for cryptography; while Dr. Fengmin, co-founder and CSO of Cyphort, USA who by his turn presented new cyber-security defense for information security paper.
It is worth mentioning that KACSTIT activities go on tomorrow through two sessions through which six scientific papers would be presented by elite of local and international experts and specialists.