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5G security assurance is key to Saudi’s economic acceleration: experts

As Saudi Arabia continues to advance its 5G infrastructure, Huawei’s Chief Security Officer in the US recently joined the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming, and Drones (SAFCSP) in a webinar discussion about how 5G and cybersecurity assurance can help harness the value of digital transformation in the Kingdom.5G Saudi

The webinar was part of the going Cyber Nights knowledge-sharing program being run by SAFCSP in cooperation with local and global technology experts.

Industries across Saudi Arabia today—including healthcare, education, and banking—are already benefitting from the incredible leaps in bandwidth and network speeds provided by 5G. That connectivity has become especially valued now as demand for internet access has sored due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and with more people studying and working remotely.

Muteb Alqany, President of SAFCSP, said, “Today, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is ascending the ranks of developed countries in terms of its technology infrastructure and innovation capabilities. 5G connectivity is a significant part of that transformation. By working with global experts like Huawei, we can ensure that such infrastructure is utilised fully and securely in the years ahead.”

Meanwhile, Andy Purdy, Huawei’s Chief Security Officer in the US, highlighted that in today’s digital era, public-private collaboration is essential in prioritising the rollout of 5G and to bring the greatest benefits to residents of the Kingdom. “Such collaboration is particularly important in addressing the larger global challenges that exist around cybersecurity. By providing strong guidelines and assurances to the public, there is an even greater opportunity to promote innovation across Saudi industries and the society at large.”

Purdy also referenced how COVID-19 has demonstrated the concrete benefits that can flow to citizens and organisations from 5G services, particularly in healthcare. Healthcare systems with access to 5G connectivity have benefited from improved response times, patient monitoring, data collection and analytics, remote collaboration, and resource allocation.

The success of 5G applications in the public health sector can also inspire businesses in other sectors to leverage 5G’s benefits and explore new applications of the technology, according to Purdy. As new services emerge, Purdy recognised that security demands can vary significantly across industries, and bespoke requirements are needed. A cooperative approach to cybersecurity risk mitigation in which governments, telecom service providers, and technology vendors collaborate on industry guidelines is now required—protecting consumers while harnessing the economic potential of digital transformation.

Huawei has long committed to helping partners in Saudi Arabia to address cybersecurity challenges while building cutting-edge networks. Huawei has been a partner of choice for telecom carriers globally for 5G network development, helping to launch 5G commercial networks in the Kingdom in 2019 through a broad range of end-to-end solutions.

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