King Salman of Saudi Arabia set up the National Cybersecurity Authority on October 31, 2017. In this article, we will refer to it as NCA. It aims to enhance Saudi Arabia’s cybersecurity. That includes protecting information technology networks, systems, and data. Besides, another goal of NCA is to improve online security for companies and individuals.
King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud issued a decree to form the NCA on October 31, 2017. Furthermore, Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman heavily supported the decree. They are ministers responsible for the NCA.
The king appointed Dr. Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Abain as chairman of NCA. Dr. Al-Aiban is a Harvard graduate. Moreover, he is a member of the Council of Ministers. Dr. Al-Aiban has been a minister of the state since 1992.
Additionally, these notable members of the state serve in the NCA.
- President of State Security
- Chairman of the General Intelligence
- Deputy Minister of Interior
- Assistant Minister of Defense
Essential Cybersecurity Controls
The National Cybersecurity Authority created the ECC. It means Essential Cybersecurity Controls. ECC will serve as the mandating entity of the government.
Hence, public and private sectors are now mandated to develop national security policies. ECC measures constitute the minimum security requirements for in-scope national organizations. In summary, public and private sectors are required to comply with the ECC’s regulations.
Goals and Purpose
The Kingdom recognizes it must take appropriate security measures to improve its digital economy. According to the Saudi Press Agency, “the authority will be linked to the King and is created to boost cybersecurity of the state, protect its vital interests, national security and sensitive infrastructure.”
The National Cybersecurity Authority aims to protect the whole country against cyber threats. It includes the privacy of all state data. Furthermore, NCA aims to protect private and public companies’ data. The protection NCA aims also include all individuals.
Also, the NCA aims to establish a national industry in the field of cybersecurity. One of its top priorities is to attract and hire qualified national cadres. Aside from that, NCA also aims to build partnerships. That includes public and private entities. NCA also targets to stimulate innovation and investment. As a result, it will contribute to achieving technological rebirth. Consequently, it serves the future of the Kingdom’s national economy.
Furthermore, the NCA also gives young Saudis a great opportunity to take part in the national effort to strengthen cybersecurity. That is according to DNJ Technologies chief executive Othman Al-Robaish’s statement to Arab News.
According to Dr. Al-Aiban, the following will be included in the NCA’s protection.
- IT systems
- Operating systems
- Hardware and software components
- Services and data
Furthermore, he emphasized that the NCA will take into account the increasingly vital importance of cybersecurity in the lives of the public.
Naif Al-Rashid, a Saudi journalist in Riyadh, said strengthening cybersecurity would increase the confidence of Internet users, not only individuals but also government entities, security facilities, financial houses, foreign investors, and others who transacted business online.
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