Saudi Arabia’s cybersecurity concerns increase as threats evolve

The country’s geopolitical position and natural resources make it an obvious target, as field and industrial operations come into the crosshairs of malicious actors.

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Saudi Arabia's oil resources and location in a region rife with geopolitical tensions have long made it an obvious target for cyberattacks. As those attacks escalate and evolve technically, both the government and private enterprises are having to update and rethink their defenses.

Saudi Arabian businesses are rightfully concerned about security vulnerabilities, despite the fact that Saudi Arabia ranked first regionally and 13th globally in the Global Cybersecurity Index 2018.

After the U.S., Saudi Arabia ranks second in the cost of data breaches and, with 38,800, has the highest average number of compromised records per breach, compared to the global average of 25,575, according to a report commissioned by IBM Security.

Across the Middle East, meanwhile, the average cost of a data breach increased from US$5.31 million in 2018 to $5.97 million in 2019, the second-highest cost globally when compared to other regions.

The government has made moves to address these issues through the recently launched National Cyber Security Agency and the Saudi Arabia Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming & Drones (SAFCPSD).

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