Saudi Arabia has established a new government body in charge for cybersecurity. The National Authority for Cybersecurity will protect the cybersecurity of the Kingdom, the national security, and sensitive IT infrastructure. According to the Royal Decree, its head will become the current Minister of State, Dr Musaed Al Aiban. The newly-established agency will report directly to the Saudi King HRH King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, it added.
The Chairman of the General Intelligence, the Head of the Presidency of State Security, the Deputy Minister of Interior, and the Assistant Minister of Defence will join the governing board.
One of the first tasks of Dr Al Aiban will be to enhance the protection of the networks, IT and operating systems. He will also ensure the security of the hardware and software components, service, and data. Given the vital importance of cybersecurity for the public, the new authority will also assist in the protection of the networks and information security systems.
The new government body will also work hard towards making cybersecurity a new national industry, as part of the Saudi Vision 2030. As the Kingdom has experienced several cyber attacks in the recent past, the new agency will try to prevent them in the future. Earlier this year, the Kingdom’s Ministry of Labor and Social Development was among the victims of the Shamoon virus, which turned the computers down by wiping their disks. One of the worst cyber attacks in the Saudi history was in 2012 when the hackers hit Saudi Aramco.
Asked about his new role, Dr Al Aiban said he would first create an ambitious team with experienced and hard-working professionals in the field. Furthermore, he will also start partnering with public and private sectors to nurture entrepreneurship, innovation, and investment in cybersecurity.