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Sun 16 Dec 2018 09:10 AM

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Saudi Aramco, Raytheon to develop cybersecurity joint venture

The new JV will also create job opportunities for Saudi nationals, according to Saudi Aramco

Saudi Aramco, Raytheon to develop cybersecurity joint venture
Bill Blake, Chief Executive, of Raytheon Saudi Arabia and Amin Al-Nasser, president and CEO, Saudi Aramco

Saudi Aramco and American defence contractor Raytheon have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish a joint venture cybersecurity company, the companies announced on Friday.

The new company will market and provide cybersecurity software and hardware capabilities as well as research and development.

“We are excited about the joint venture which will support the kingdom’s Vision 2030 by creating highly skilled jobs for Saudis in the cybersecurity sector and will support the foundation for Saudi Arabia’s economic development,” said Saudi Aramco’s senior vice president of finance, strategy and development, Khalid Al-Dabbagh.

Al-Dabbagh added that demand for cybersecurity services is “expected to grow as companies move further into the digital space and embrace technologies such as Internet of Things and big data.”

In November, Saudi authorities said they detected an “advanced” cyber-attack targeting the kingdom, although they did not specify on the source of the attack of which government bodies were targeted.

Previously, Saudi Aramco had been among a number of companies that were affected by Shamoon in what some said was the country’s worst cyber-attack yet.

Dave Wajsgras, president of Raytheon intelligence, information and services, said that the MoU is “an important step in creating a joint venture that we see becoming the cornerstone of cybersecurity defences in the region.”

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