RIYADH: US-based cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks has partnered with Sirar, the cybersecurity subsidiary of Saudi telecom giant stc, to combat the growing internet threats, said the CEO of Palo Alto.
“The partnership is important as the Kingdom has a strong and advanced awareness status in cybersecurity, but it’s always a race between the tech front,” said Palo Alto CEO Helmut Reisinger.
“It is important for technology providers since they rely heavily on local partners,” he added.
Speaking on the current cyber trends affecting the region, he said: “the Middle East is a global trading place in all the ecosystems. It’s home to critical infrastructure and there’s paranoia, given the global geopolitical situation, about protecting this infrastructure.”
“Saudi Arabia has one of the most critical assets in this area. The Kingdom has a strong digital way of life, with businesses strongly adopting digital transformation.”
When talking about the significant cyber threat, he explains that the major threats today are mainly related to infrastructure and cloud security since 43 percent of cloud workloads are not protected.
“And then, another major threat is that the hacker community becomes increasingly industrialized,” he added.
Additionally, ransomware attacks, business email compromises and software vulnerabilities pose the greatest threat. “This is why there are increasing soft supply chain attacks, which means you take advantage of a vulnerability in a softer piece.”
Talking about measures the Kingdom should implement to increase its resilience to cyber-attacks, Reisinger believes it should raise awareness that cyberattacks can also be physical attacks.
It also should identify the critical lessons you are learning in a country. “I think an overarching good plan and governance is in place to increase this level. We see this, we hear this, and there are activities ongoing on that.”
“The other pieces I believe in the making are also role models in the region, and the Kingdom is a good place if you look here for the global cybersecurity forum is quite impressive,”
Reisinger also urged private entities and governments to adopt a zero-trust policy. “We call it zero trust with zero exceptions,” he added.
As global worker places are shifting to hybrid workspaces, Reisinger said there is a need to protect network assets and remote workers, who are increasingly working in hybrid environments.
Palo Alto Networks is a leader in cybersecurity globally, with a market cap of around $15 billion with strong market growth.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabian Oil Co., one of the biggest oil producers in the world, has joined hands with the Kingdom’s energy ministry to establish a carbon capture and storage hub as Saudi Arabia steadily progresses to achieve its net-zero ambition by 2060.
The announcement was made during the Saudi Green Initiative on Thursday on the sidelines of the United Nations Climate Change Summit, known as COP27, in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
After the announcement of the new project, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said that the Kingdom could achieve its net-zero target before the stipulated target in 2060.
“The Kingdom is taking another bold step. I’m very pleased to announce the establishment of a carbon capture and storage hub through a partnership with Aramco, which will help the Kingdom to meet its net-zero ambition by 2060. Don’t be very surprised if we achieve this net zero even before that period,” said the minister.
He added: “We honor our commitments and deliver them. We have to showcase that we are honorably achieving our commitments.”
During the speech, Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said that the new CCS hub would be located on the east coast of Saudi Arabia in Jubail.
According to Nasser, the hub will have a storage capacity of up to 9 million tons of carbon dioxide a year by 2027.
“At Aramco, we aim to contribute around 6 million tons, and the remaining 3 million tons from other industrial sources. As overall capacity ramps up, we will start other phases of our carbon-capture sequestration process,” said Nasser.
Nasser added: “We are the founding members of the oil and gas climate initiative, which drives collective action at the industry level. At the company level, Aramco announced the creation of a $1.5 billion sustainability fund to find solutions to climate challenges.”
He further noted it is a challenging period for the energy sector.
“This is a testing time in the world of energy. All of us need a little inspiration as we face the triple challenges in the sector; security, equity and environmental sustainability,” said Nasser.
RIYADH: Oil prices picked up on Friday after a milder than expected US inflation data reinforced hopes that the Federal Reserve will slow down rate hikes, boosting chances of a soft landing for the world’s biggest economy.
Prices were set to show a decline for the week after COVID-19 cases in top oil importer China jumped, raising fears of weaker fuel demand.
Brent crude futures rose 21 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $93.88 a barrel at 0500 GMT, extending a 1.1 percent rise in the previous session.
US West Texas Intermediate crude futures gained 22 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $86.69 a barrel, after climbing 0.8 percent in the previous session.
US to allow some Russian energy transactions until May
The US will allow some energy-related transactions with several Russian entities, including Sberbank, VTB Bank and Alfa-Bank, to continue until May 14, the Treasury Department said on Thursday.
The Treasury said in a notice on its website that it was extending a general license set to expire next month. Russia’s central bank is also on the list of entities.
The move comes weeks before the Group of Seven countries’ Dec. 5 price cap on Russian oil.
Trafigura names new heads of crude, US gasoline
Global commodities and energy trader Trafigura has made a few management changes in its crude and gasoline trading business in the US, sources familiar with the matter said.
Daniel Yuen is moving from Singapore to Trafigura’s main office in Geneva to become head of the crude business in Europe, replacing Conor McFadden. McFadden, in turn, is moving to Houston, Texas, to head up US gasoline trading. A spokesperson for Trafigura declined to comment on the development.
Equinor delays Wisting oil discovery investment by up to four years
Norway’s Equinor said on Thursday the company and its partners in the Wisting oil discovery in the Arctic Barents Sea had postponed the investment decision for the project. It said, in a statement, it was now aiming for an investment decision, scheduled previously for December this year, by the end of 2026.
(With input from Reuters)
RIYADH: The Saudi Information Technology Co., wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund, is aiming to become a global pioneer in the cybersecurity space, according to the firm’s chief product development officer.
In an exclusive interview with Arab News, Hesham Altaleb said the company is looking to expand in Saudi Arabia and address many other sectors, as technology becomes an integral and unavoidable component of everyday life.
He said: “We have had international customers that are requesting to realize the value proposition that we offer at SITE and requesting our services,” before adding: “There are no specific domains or geographies that we are currently operating with.”
Reflecting on the growing need for cybersecurity services, Altaleb noted how reliant people are on technology.
“We are requesting medical consultations through our phones, we are doing entertainment, we are playing games, we are monitoring all other aspects of our lives and doing education as well,” he said.
This growth requires organizations to help customers get protected against either state-sponsored attacks, cybercriminals, hacktivists, or other types of amateur actions.
For that reason, movement between information technology and cybersecurity go hand in hand.
“The more we put in the internet and the more we put in the technology, the more (we need) cybersecurity, resilience, and protection,” he explained.
Altaleb said that SITE has been partnering with many organizations nationally and internationally to help bridge the offering.
In terms of the company’s growth, Altaleb said: “We’ve had actually double-digit growth in the past five years.”
SITE now includes around 700 employees, with 30 percent of that female, but Altaleb described it as a “very tough challenge” to bring those talents in domains such as cyber security or cloud architecture and security.
On his outlook, Altaleb said: “We’re projecting strong growth.”
“The ICT sector is growing, as well we see more adoption of technology and therefore, we see it’s an imperative growth,” he added.
Launched in 2017, the wholly-owned PIF company addresses the immediate needs of the cybersecurity challenges that the digital transformation the Kingdom is witnessing.
The company works on business lines including cyber security services solutions, cyber security resilience, and cloud services solutions.
RIYADH: The second edition of the Saudi Green Initiative Forum will kick off on Friday in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, alongside the UN’s Climate Change Conference.
Inaugurated in Oct. 2021, the SGI is a roadmap for Saudi Arabia’s environmental action, with this year’s two-day event focused on demonstrating how Saudi Arabia’s climate commitments have moved “from ambition to action.”
The forum will bring together an elite lineup of government ministers, climate experts, and thought leaders, led by Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman, the Saudi Minister of Energy, and Abdulrahman Al-Fadley, the Saudi Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture.
It will discuss best practices and showcase the progress that has been made since SGI was inaugurated in 2021.
An SGI Gallery will be open to the public until Nov. 18 to showcase the breadth and speed of Saudi Arabia’s climate action, a statement said.
Following the Middle East Green Initiative held on Nov. 7, a gala dinner is set to take place on Thursday evening to build on the commitments made during the MGI Summit.
During the dinner, ministers from Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East will join counterparts from Saudi Arabia to further the progress of the Clean Fuels for Cooking Initiative, a program initially announced by the Crown Prince at the inaugural MGI Summit in 2021.
This happens as part of Saudi Arabia’s commitment to collaborating for a greener future for all.
This is evident in bringing the country’s flagship climate events to COP27.
In addition to the continued discussion on targets set under the Middle East Green Initiative and SGI there is also a reiteration of the Kingdom’s commitment to reaching net zero emissions by 2060.
RIYADH: Saudi telecom giant stc has signed a binding offer to sell its entire 49 percent stake in Contact Center Co. to its subsidiary Solutions by stc for cash consideration.
On a cash-free and debt-free basis, the 100 percent enterprise value is SR450 million, according to a bourse filing.
The financial impact of the acquisition is expected to be positive, as solutions will become a 100% owned subsidiary of Contact Center Co.