RIYADH — Trend Micro Incorporated Wednesday in partnership with IDC and leading industry organizations released a report titled ‘Cybersecurity and its Impact on Digital Saudi’ that covers an in-depth analysis of the Kingdom’s security landscape. The research is a culmination of interviews with technology stakeholders and cybersecurity experts across the country, which has long been MEA’s largest ICT market.
According to the findings, most CIOs (60%) see managing security as the biggest continuing technology-related challenge faced by their organization, and 75% of them have set aside budgets for cybersecurity and privacy technologies, seeing these tools as among their topmost strategic business objectives.
The IDC report revealed an increase of digital-transformation initiatives across the Kingdom. It showed that more than half of Saudi organizations (56%) are in the process of moving to cloud environments. Some 70% say they are planning AI-based solutions, including robotics and cognitive-processing capabilities; almost half (46%) are implementing blockchain; and a further 63% plan the adoption of big data analytics for business intelligence.
As part of the Saudi Vision 2030, a series of royal decrees directed the establishment of the National Cybersecurity Authority (NCA) to centralize strategy. Among its many functions, the NCA encourages development of cybersecurity talent across industry sectors to allow private enterprises to protect themselves.
As a result of the authority’s efforts, the IDC report shows that 45% of Saudi organizations have already implemented advanced security measures and 48% are in the process of doing so. This and other trends identified by the research, are expected to drive overall security spending in Saudi Arabia to $425 million in 2020.
“Cyber security decision makers have long found themselves on the forefront of a war, seemingly without end,” said Dr. Moataz Bin Ali, vice president, Middle East and North Africa, Trend Micro. “The rules have changed – first we tried to keep the invaders out altogether; nowadays we accept that a wiser threat posture is to focus on what happens when they eventually find their way over the battlements.
“It is heartening to see CIOs in the Kingdom are responding to these threats to ensure they can digitally transform in peace and build a better Saudi Arabia — a digital Saudi Arabia — for subsequent generations.”
Trend Micro has established a strong presence in Saudi Arabia with its MENA headquarters based in Riyadh, The company is working across various facets to support the government’s vision with considerable investments in the ecosystem by working closely with the public and private sectors, along with bringing technology transfer, as well as training and development for cybersecurity professionals.
“Amid Saudi Arabia's accelerating digital transformation agenda, the need to secure vital cyber assets has gained strategic importance across different business sectors and industries, especially as the Kingdom's critical national infrastructure has been threatened several times in the recent past,” said Hamza Naqshbandi, regional director, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, IDC.
“As Saudi organizations accelerate their digital ambitions, it will become increasingly critical for them to establish sustainable 'digital trust' — the full alignment of security and business to enable a fundamental basis of trust that connects the organization with its employees, partners, and customers.” — SG