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  • Ahmed Saleh

Black Hat cybersecurity event's second edition launches at RFECC, Riyadh

Riyadh, Nov 15, 2023, The Riyadh Front Exhibition & Conference Center (RFECC) was abuzz on Tuesday evening as the second edition of the world's fastest-growing cybersecurity event, "Black Hat," kicked off. The event, set to run until November 16, 2023, attracted a diverse gathering of experts, speakers, and investors.

The opening ceremony, graced by Highnesses, Excellences, and Faisal Al-Khamisi, the Chairman of The Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming & Drones, set the tone for the significance of the occasion. Al-Khamisi emphasized the event's importance, welcoming attendees to Black Hat—an influential gathering that brings together InfoSec experts and innovators from major global companies.

Expressing pride in last year's achievement, where the Riyadh edition became the world's most attended cybersecurity event with 30,000 participants, Al-Khamisi stated his optimism in surpassing that record this year. With over 60,000 registered participants, 250 sessions, and 350 leading companies from 70 countries, this edition promises to be even more impactful, offering prizes exceeding SAR 1,000,000 for various competitions and challenges.

Acknowledging the role of HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, Al-Khamisi credited every milestone in the technology sector to the visionary leader.

Annabelle Mander, Senior Vice President of Tahaluf, expressed gratitude to The Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming & Drones, highlighting the growth of Black Hat Middle East and Africa as a result of a successful partnership. She thanked the SAFCSP for their contribution to this achievement.

A noteworthy collaboration was announced during the event between "HABOOB," owned by the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity and Programming & Drones, and Mandiant by Google Cloud. This collaboration aims to deliver the "Chronicle Cyber Shield" solution to the Kingdom for the first time, enhancing cybersecurity services across government entities.

The opening day of the Black Hat conference featured discussions on various subjects, including cyber risks, the impact of software in warfare, transportation hacking techniques, and the application of AI in development and security enhancement. Renowned speakers like Sam Curry, Chris Wysopal, Graham Ludlow, and Camille Fasquez enriched the sessions.

The Cyber Seed Startups unveiled four distinct awards, recognizing innovative ideas, startups in early development stages, experienced startups making waves, and Saudi cybersecurity talent. Simultaneously, the Activity Zone promised awards exceeding SAR 1,000,000 across various competitions.

Exhibitors such as IBM, Cisco, Huawei, Spire Solutions, Trend Micro, Mandiant, Google Cloud, Cloudflare, Qualys, Illumio, SITE, Mobily, Cyberani, Al Moammar Information Systems, Haboob, Sirar by stc, DSS Shield, Cipher, and many others added to the event's significance. The Black Hat event continues to be a focal point for the global cybersecurity community, fostering collaboration and innovation in the ever-evolving landscape of digital security.

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