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Saudi- Kingdom in Forefront in e-Government Services
Source: http://www.menafn.com/menafn/1093564023/Saudi-Kingdom-forefront-egovernment-services
Source Date: Saturday, September 29, 2012
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, ICT for MDGs, Thematic Website, Knowledge Management in Government, Citizen Engagement
Country: Saudi Arabia
Created: Oct 01, 2012

The Kingdom is in the forefront in the region to implement e-government services, according to a panelist at the Third Annual e-Government Summit that concluded in Riyadh Wednesday.

"Unlike other countries in the region, Saudi Arabia has a definite plan for e-government services during the next five to 10 years, Alexander Zarovsky, chief business development officer at InfoWatch, said.

Zarovsky led a panel discussion on national digital information traffic monitoring, data loss prevention, social media monitoring, and other topics. He said people in the Kingdom are fully conversant with information technology and its solutions. He also described the Kingdom as the best market for IT.

He pointed out that several e-government portals had been set up in the Kingdom and much money had been invested here to develop the IT industry.

Mamdouh Khawaji, IT vice president at SEDCO Holding, made the inaugural speech at the summit on Tuesday, while Ali Fathi Al-Sheikh Ahmed, president of ISACA Riyadh Chapter, made the opening speech during Wednesday's session.

The Kingdom's IT market value is forecast to reach 5.7 billion by 2014, ranking it as one of the largest in the Gulf region. It plans to execute 30 initiatives in the first two years of the Second National Plan for higher levels of prosperity and welfare to citizens and the residents.

The strategic themes to the new plan include building a sustainable e-government workforce, improving the experience of the public in their interactions with the government, developing a culture of collaboration, and improving public sector efficiency.

According to a report by the International Data Corporation (IDC), spending on IT in the Middle East is expected to reach 21.5 billion in 2012, as companies invest in "game-changing" technologies such as cloud services and social networking.

According to the InfoWatch chief business development officer, the Middle East market is not driven by data loss incidents, because most of them still go unreported, as companies want to save their reputation.

"They look to manage risk internally. The trend in the Middle East is intellectual property protection, risk management and compliance," Zarovsky said.

Compared to two years ago, he continued, most companies now have integrated infrastructure protection systems such as antivirus, firewall, anti-malware and IDS.

Now they are more focused on internal security and confidential data protection, such as monitoring outbound traffic to ensure sensitive data is not leaked or exposed via e-mail, webmail, social networking, instant messaging, or other online channels.

Zarovsky pointed out that companies can lower the risk of data loss by restricting internal IT security policies and using encryption software for all corporate and private mobile devices used in the company perimeter.

He added this would provide the minimum level of protection from accidental, but not malicious data leaks. Alternatively, the company can block all data transfer channels (outbound e-mail, web access, USB ports, etc.), which is not the solution for a 21st century enterprise, as it will stop all business processes in the company.

"Today, data loss prevention and digital rights management are the key solutions for confidential data protection," he concluded.
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