Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz has issued a royal decree to establish a Global CyberSecurity Forum (GCF) Institute.
The Institute is non-profit and enjoys financial and administrative independence. It has the total capacity to achieve its goals and manage its affairs under the supervision of its own Board of Trustees.
The establishment of the GCF Institute aims to strengthen cybersecurity at the global level, as well as to enhance global cooperation, economic and social development in this field, and to support international efforts related to cybersecurity.
The launch affirms the Kingdom's global leadership in this field, supporting international efforts and unifying everyday endeavors.
It also opens broad horizons for transferring knowledge, exchanging experiences, and exploring opportunities for cooperation in the cybersecurity sector.
Saudi Arabia became a successful and pioneering model recognized internationally in the field after making progress in cybersecurity locally, regionally, and globally.
- Boosting cyber systems and the knowledge economy
Shura Council member Fadel al-Buainain lauded the royal decree to establish the Forum, reinforcing the cyber system and the knowledge economy.
Buainain told Asharq Al-Awsat that the new decree didn't come as surprise as the Kingdom is witnessing an unprecedented digital transformation, and aims to fully automate its activities by 2030 and transform into a digital government.
Saudi Arabia topped the global cybersecurity index in the Middle East and Asia and came second, according to the UN.
He believes the new Institution will help create protection against digital attacks targeting the systems and networks, especially the financial sectors that cannot function without it.
The Council member believes that this will place the Kingdom among the pioneers in cybersecurity and launch global initiatives, aiming to support development in the international community, unify efforts, and direct them to serve the whole world.
He expected the Forum to contribute to unifying efforts, exchanging experiences, and opening broad horizons for transferring knowledge and exploring cooperation opportunities. It would be reflected in the development of the cybersecurity system and raise its efficiency, achieving complete protection.
- Protecting domestic and international interests
The Councilmember explained that digital transformation and the information and communication revolution that the world is witnessing are the engines of modern economic development and are as equally important as the industrial revolution and transformation.
He pointed out that digital transformation is connected to all economic, service, and social sectors, while the digital economy has become a basis for modern development.
Buainain described King Salman's decree to establish the Institution as globally significant, contributing to strengthening cyber security at the local and international levels and achieving global cooperation and economic and social development.
- Boosting the security defense mechanism
Saudi businessman and Chairman of Excellence Abdallah al-Meleihi said the new Institution would boost the defense mechanisms in the technology sector and enhance their cyber security.
Meleihi noted that the Kingdom was one of the first countries to realize the dangers of security breaches in information systems.
Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Meleihi said that Saudi Arabia established a strong base in cybersecurity, a promising and developing field.
Countries that invest and develop this sector will create a safe environment for new industries and the technology sector, said Meleihi, adding that it would stimulate qualitative investment in the field.
Cybersecurity is one of the most important goals of the Kingdom's Vision 2030, and its market would reach $5.6 billion, said Meleihi.
- Creating global partnerships
Head of the al-Shorouk Center for Economic Studies in Jazan, Abdul Rahman Baashen, reiterated that establishing the Institution will reinforce the general Saudi trend.
In addition to its interest in cybersecurity, the Kingdom is becoming a global destination for qualitative investments and modern industries, such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and carbon neutrality.
Baashen expected the new institution to boost international cooperation and create global partnerships for a healthy environment, noting that it would also deepen innovative ideas and solutions to various issues.