Saudi Arabia is the most targeted country in the Middle East, particularly the Kingdom’s oil, infrastructure and telecommunications sectors.

Saudi Arabia has had two major cyber-attacks by state and non-state actors that affected its national security and as a result, steps to enhance the Kingdom’s cybersecurity were taken. In 2012, Saudi Arabia’s economic growth and national security was challenged by the Iranian-attributed “Shamoon virus” against Saudi Aramco. The virus infected the computer network of the company, and deleted 85 percent of the company’s devices and hard drives. Furthermore, non-state cyber actors such as the Houthi-backed Yemen Cyber Army affiliates hacked the Kingdom’s online system of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Several strategies and cybersecurity methods have been used to influence and enhance the national security of Saudi Arabia, such as blockchain technology and foreign policy instruments. Moreover, cybersecurity institutions influence and enhance the Kingdom’s national security, with some institutions newly developed to focus on this very recent problem, such as Saudi Telecom Company (STC), National Information Security Strategy (NISS), National Cybersecurity Centre (NCSC), and Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA).