RIYADH: Intersec Saudi Arabia, the annual three-day exhibition for the country’s fire and emergency, security, and safety sectors, wrapped up on Thursday with key leaders mapping out a future in which security – both real and cyber – must be a constant, central focus if the Kingdom is to meets its Vision 2030 goals.
Running from September 13-15, thousands of industry professionals, decision-makers, and thought-leaders gathered at the Riyadh International Convention & Exhibition Centre for knowledge sharing, networking, and product showcases. This year’s event, the fourth edition, featured more than 150 exhibitors from 20 countries.
Under the theme “Discover, Source, Learn,” an action-packed opening day explored the role of talent development, integrated intelligence, and securing real world mega events, before Day Two heard from Ed Sleiman, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. Sleiman delivered a keynote speech detailing the evolving responsibilities of a CISO.
Discussing Saudi Arabia’s National Cybersecurity Strategy, one of the Kingdom’s 2030 vision priorities, Sleiman emphasised the significance of enhancing internal and external systems within businesses, especially in a post-pandemic world. “Even outside of a crisis,” he said, “there are many challenges”.
Sleiman said: “Politics is usually very important to know as a CISO in terms of how to manoeuvre – you need to know how to speak the language of the business, as well as the language of your technical team. You need to be the go-between, translating for these two stakeholders because while your team will understand vulnerabilities, threats, viruses, and malware, the management team – especially senior management – does not. They understand security only from the perspective of risk.”
Day Two also featured three discussion panels on various cybersecurity-related topics. The first addressed the fact that Saudi is leading the Middle East in cybersecurity, the second addressed building cyber resilience to secure the Kingdom, and the closing session focused on escalating cybersecurity risks in healthcare while moving from cybersecurity to cyber resilience to transform Saudi into a global leader.
Dr Sultan Al Tukhaim, general manager of cybersecurity and data governance, communications, and IT commission for Saudi Arabia, said the Kingdom is “one of the world’s most prominent targets of cybercrime because it is an energy-rich country with a digitally active population, located at the heart of the global energy market”.
Dr Faisal Abdulaziz Alfouzan. assistant professor in cybersecurity and networks, and director of cybersecurity, added that “moving from cybersecurity to cyber resilience will require cybersecurity experts, national regulations, and standards, while also accelerating digital transformation and establishing critical infrastructures across a host of sectors.”
Richard Burns, chairman of ISS, a global leader in video management and video analytics software and an exhibitor at Intersec, said he had been left impressed by the fourth edition of the event, which featured brand and product launches, presentations and demonstrations, workshop sessions with industry leaders, and much more.
“The exhibition has been very satisfying and the traffic impressive,” he said. “We have had the chance to meet key leaders advancing the IT industry in KSA at great pace.”
The final day delivered a pivot back to real world security, with Lieutenant Colonel Osama Salim Al-Awfi, General Directorate of Civil Defence, providing a keynote speech on emergency responses and adapting security services for the tourist season at Al’Ula. Later in the day, a panel discussed the role of leadership in supporting the implementation of standards towards Vision 2030, with representatives of the National Fire Protection Association, Crash Training Institute, and the Saudi Standards, Metrology, and Quality Organisation, among others, sharing their insights.
Intersec Saudi Arabia is organised by Saudi-based Al-Harithy Company for Exhibitions (ACE) Group under licence from UAE-headquartered Messe Frankfurt Middle East, which organises Intersec, the world’s leading exhibition for security, safety, and fire protection.
Intersec Saudi Arabia is held in participation with Saudi Civil Defense, together with the industry at large. More information is available at www.intersec-ksa.com
Safety, Security & Fire: cluster competence of Messe Frankfurt
Safety and security are increasingly important basic needs and, therefore, stand for a growing global market. With thirteen trade fairs, conferences and forums around the world, Messe Frankfurt brings together demand and supply worldwide with progressive, connected products, applications and services focusing on commercial security and the protection of buildings, spaces and people. The Safety, Security & Fire business cluster offers access to the dynamic markets of the Arabian Peninsula, Asia, Europe and South America. Information is available at: www.technology.messefrankfurt.com/safety-security-fire
Background information on Messe Frankfurt
The Messe Frankfurt Group is one of the world’s leading trade fair, congress and event organisers with their own exhibition grounds. With a workforce of 2,200 people at its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main and in 28 subsidiaries, it organises events around the world. As in the previous year, annual sales for 2021 were significantly lower owing to the COVID-19 pandemic: approximately €154 million compared with Group sales as high as €736 million in pre-pandemic 2019. We serve our customers’ business interests efficiently within the framework of our Fairs & Events, Locations and Services business fields.
Sustainable business practices are a central pillar in our corporate strategy and strike a healthy balance between ecological and economic interests, social responsibility and diversity. Another of Messe Frankfurt’s strengths is its powerful and closely knit global sales network, which covers around 180 countries in all regions of the world. Our comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. We are using our digital expertise to develop new business models. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services. With its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt
(60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).
For more information, please visit our website at: www.messefrankfurt.com
About Messe Frankfurt Middle East
Messe Frankfurt Middle East’s portfolio of 16 exhibitions includes Automechanika Dubai, Automechanika Riyadh, Beautyworld Middle East, Beautyworld Saudi Arabia, Hardware + Tools Middle East, Hypermotion Dubai, Intersec, Intersec Saudi Arabia, Gifts & Lifestyle Middle East, Light Middle East, Materials Handling Middle East, Materials Handling Saudi Arabia, Middle East Cleaning Technology Week, Paperworld Middle East, Prolight + Sound Middle East, and SPS Automation Middle East. In the 2021/22 event season, Messe Frankfurt Middle East exhibitions combined featured 2,394 exhibitors from 53 countries, and attracted 83,124 visitors from 116 countries.
For more information, please visit our website at www.messefrankfurtme.com