(MENAFN - Arab News) The Embassy of Finland in cooperation with Finnish companies Codenomicon, NXme and Stonesoft will organize on Wednesday a high-profile seminar on "Information Security for the Future" at Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Riyadh.
Finnish Ambassador Jarno Syrjl told reporters on Saturday that Stewart Kowalski, associate professor at the department of computer and systems sciences at Stockholm University, would be the keynote speaker. He will deliver a talk on "Mind the Security Gap: Improving Information Security with Socio-Technical Systems Analysis."
The event will be opened by the Finnish ambassador, while Mohammad Al-Qasem, the minister's adviser and secretary-general of CIT Plan at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, will speak on the "Saudi Perspective on Information Security and the National CIT Plan."
The organizers said during a press conference that the information security problem had become a growing phenomenon. Nations, organizations and individuals are becoming victims of hackers who steal data and other vital information from databases. He said all government sectors in the Kingdom were shifting to the e-government system, making IT security a matter of crucial importance.
A great deal of good technical security solutions have been and are being developed around the world today. However, without an adequate sociotechnical analysis, many high-quality security technology solutions can become weak and even insecure.
In his statement, the Finnish ambassador said the information technology industry enterprises in Finland employed 48,000 people and had a combined turnover of 7 billion euros.
IT is an industry of strategic importance. The products and services this industry provides can help improve productivity and performance as well as the quality of products and services.
Many of the significant social changes currently under way, such as the ageing population, can be addressed successfully with the appropriate use of information technology.
IT companies provide software as well as IT-related services and consultation, database services and content production. In a modern society, information technology can be found everywhere; indeed, society could not function without it. Information systems are used to operate and control airplanes, cars, forestry and agriculture machinery, telephones and household appliances. Production processes too are IT-controlled.
Information technology is also making its way into the service industry. An increasingly large number of services are produced digitally over information networks. This opens up entirely new opportunities and makes the market truly global.
On his part, Tapio Aijala, chief operating officer of NXme, said they had been operating in Saudi Arabia since 1998. They were the first in the country, he added.
He said that his company's services included constant knowledge transfer to both government and private sectors in Saudi Arabia. "We are working closely with our customers, not only in providing our services, but also in development and providing security information," he added.
Quoting the ambassador, he mentioned they were one of the best providers of information security, adding this would be very helpful for the Saudi market. The key discussion on Wednesday will be on transferring Finnish technology with special reference to information security technology.
Talking on NXme (previously Nixu Middle East), he said it is an information technology security consulting and network operations company based in Dubai and Riyadh, with strong roots in Finland. "Our operations are based on deep understanding of TCP/IP protocol, Unix information security consulting and auditing, designing secure network solutions, and operating and supporting complex networks."
Another Finnish organizer of the event is Codenomicon, which is considered a leader in unknown vulnerability management. It provides the Middle East region with the very best solutions to ensure the safety of critical national infrastructure. The company does this with two product families, one focused on zero-day vulnerability discovery through security testing, and the other focused on situation awareness solutions.
The third participant is Stonesoft Corporation (NASDAQ OMX: SFT1V), an innovative provider of integrated network security solutions to secure the information flow of distributed organizations. Stonesoft Secure Connectivity Solution unifies Firewall, VPN (Virtual Private Network), IPS (Intrusion Prevention System) and SSL VPN, blending network security, end-to-end availability, and award-winning load balancing into a unified and centrally managed system.