Jeddah — Saudi Arabia’s cybersecurity sector has witnessed a high presence of women, with the rate of participation reaching 45 percent, according to statistics published by the Saudi Federation for Cyber Security, Programming and Drones (SAFCSP). Worldwide the participation of women in cybersecurity is about 75%.
Saudi Arabia has marked a tremendous increase in women’s participation in its economy in the light of Vision 2030 under the leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense.
Women’s role has become highly visible in Saudi cybersecurity, a vital and sensitive area of specialization where they have proven their ability effectively.
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Hemaya Association group has supported the role of women in cyber security.
Abrar Alrefaei, Deputy CEO of Information Security at Hemaya, said that the Hemaya Association had developed Saudi cybersecurity content in the Arabic language due to the lack of Arabic content on cyber security. It also increased its activities to help the community raise awareness about the dangers of the internet and guide the public on using technologies safely.
The association, since its inception, has sought the presence of women in cybersecurity. As a result, a special community established within the association, “HameyaT,” includes several women specializing in cybersecurity.
Nouf Yousef, HameyaT, a community supervisor and cyber security and information technology director, stated that Hemaya aims to activate the sector’s role by providing awareness and training in the information security field.
The Chief Information Security Officer at Saudi National Bank, Rasha Abu AlSaud, pointed out that cyber security has an essential role due to various hacking attempts and the polished techniques used lately. And it is necessary to form a competent and independent team in each facility to evaluate the controls independently at all times.
Hemaya Association cooperates with multiple organizations, including the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and the National Cybersecurity Authority (NCA); these organizations support the association for achieving its goals related to the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
“The efforts of the various sectors, led by the National Cybersecurity Authority (NCA), resulted in providing many jobs and training opportunities,” Rasha confirmed, noting that “there is a high turnout of women to join the cybersecurity field, where it provides employment chances in the establishments without any discrimination.”
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Cybersecurity is considered a different and renewable field that requires the participation of both sexes without exception, she emphasized.
Dr. Wejdan Bin Saeedan, Member of Information Security Association (Hemaya Association), said that during her time at Hemaya Association and as a faculty member, she had noticed a great interest in the cybersecurity during recent years security major.
There is no specific age group applying to the major. Still, there are many female students in general education and those with high positions who have begun their careers in cybersecurity, Dr. Wejdan said.
Nouf confirmed that new graduates’ choice of cybersecurity at universities had grown significantly as the field opens doors to opportunities to work in companies, banks, and other private sector ventures.