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DJEDDAH: Hemaya, a Saudi information security association, aims to be a leader in the community by raising awareness about the safe use of technology.

The association, which is the first nonprofit of its kind in Saudi Arabia, is enlisting cybersecurity experts to help raise awareness about information security.

Its services range from consultations, training, workshops, campaigns and, most importantly, the creation of partnerships in the public and private sectors.

Cyber ​​security is a challenge for businesses and governments around the world, and like many countries, the Kingdom regularly faces the threat of cybercrime.

In 2017, the Saudi National Cybersecurity Authority was created to define the regulatory and operational framework for cybersecurity in order to better protect the Kingdom’s national security.

“Unfortunately, cybersecurity faces many challenges, and more and more of them. Lack of awareness among people could be one of the main challenges forcing authorities and cybersecurity experts to work on the resolution, as well as downplaying opportunities for attackers, ”said Mohammed Al-Jebreen, director of cybersecurity. communities and partnerships at Hemaya, at Arab News.

“Building partnerships between different entities and sectors greatly helps in solving and meeting these challenges, as each party provides the necessary capacities to contribute to solving these problems,” he added.

Hemaya also shares its knowledge through its initiatives using specialists and volunteer experts. These projects provide the community with various skills to protect themselves from data breaches.

“There is a very strong demand from the community to learn about the field of information security, especially if the knowledge is provided by entities and recognized experts in the field. When we at Hemaya announced the Der’a Community Cyber ​​Security Training Initiative, over 44,000 trainees signed up. This gives a good indication of the increased desire of people to know more about cybersecurity, ”said Al-Jebreen.

Hemaya initiatives are based on three different principles: sustainability, volunteering and partnerships. All of them are part of the vision of the association’s mission to be a leader and authority in the cybersecurity industry.

Abrar Al-Refaei, deputy managing director of Hemaya, told Arab News that “most of the time, experts indicate their willingness to volunteer to provide Hemaya’s services to the community.”

She said: “When we approached some people to offer our services, we were very well received. It should be noted that our members believe in putting effort and time in community service to raise awareness and help educate people, and they encourage others to do so.

Hemaya’s cybersecurity experts are all members of six social groups linked to the association.

“We have six companies in Hemaya, as follows: The Main, Hemaya Operation, Hemaya GRC, Hemaya Academics, Hameat and HAT. The roles of companies are complementary and each company has an important role, ”said Al-Jebreen.

The association also works to strengthen and empower national capacities in the field to achieve the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

“At Hemaya, we have always believed in the importance of developing national capacities. We periodically deliver lectures and workshops and broadcast them publicly to everyone. They have different difficulty levels, from beginner to advanced. The Der’a Initiative is an example of what Hemaya has done to empower and strengthen national capacities in the area of ​​information security, ”Al-Refaei said.

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