According to a report by the state news agency SPA, King Salman of Saudi Arabia issued a royal decree on Wednesday to establish a new institute for the Global Cybersecurity Forum (GCF) in Riyadh. The main objective of the institute is to leverage the potential of cyberspace and support global efforts to enhance cybersecurity.
The SPA statement highlighted the institute’s purpose, stating, “The GCF Institute will address the most complex cybersecurity challenges faced by governments, businesses, and individuals. It will serve as a catalyst for the exchange of ideas, drive thought leadership, and conduct research to inform policy solutions and actions.”
Through this institute, the annual GCF will bring together experts and decision-makers from around the world to collaborate on safeguarding vulnerable individuals in cyberspace while maximizing the benefits for everyone.
The establishment of the institute stems from the recognition that key stakeholders in global cybersecurity have emphasized the need for an action-oriented platform to tackle pressing issues in cyberspace, as mentioned in the SPA report.
Mohammed Khurram Khan, a professor of cybersecurity at King Saud University in Riyadh, expressed his support for this initiative, stating that it demonstrates the Saudi government’s commitment to making the Kingdom a global leader in cybersecurity. He believes that it will facilitate global cooperation on cybersecurity with other nations and provide a platform for knowledge exchange and collaboration in addressing crucial cybersecurity challenges faced by individuals and organizations.
Professor Khan further emphasized that the institute will focus on policy, technology, and practical perspectives, utilizing Saudi Arabia’s expertise and experience in cybersecurity. He highlighted Saudi Arabia’s previous efforts in establishing national institutions for capacity and capability building, such as the National Cybersecurity Center, the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming, and Drones, and the National Cybersecurity Authority. These initiatives have contributed to the Kingdom’s prominent position in the global cybersecurity index of the International Telecommunication Union.
Headquartered in Riyadh, the GCF Institute will be governed by an international board of trustees responsible for ensuring the institution’s sustainability and independence. Additionally, an advisory council comprising distinguished international experts from government, academia, think tanks, and the private sector will provide guidance and expertise to the institute.