Following a Royal Decree issued by King Salman, Saudi Arabia is firming up plans to establish a Global Cybersecurity Forum Institute (GCFI) in the capital city Riyadh to address challenges and unlock opportunities amid rapid advancements in the internet sector.
The GCFI will serve as a platform to advance stability, security, and prosperity of cyberspace by catalyzing socioeconomic change, pushing knowledge boundaries, and uniting global champions, according to a Global Cybersecurity Forum press release earlier.
“Given the inherently integrated, pervasive, and global nature of cyberspace, its safe and secure further development is in the interest of all — and is the shared responsibility of all. There is a demonstrated and urgent need for greater action to complement existing global efforts,” Alaa AlFaadhel, Initiatives & Partnerships Lead at the GCF, told China Daily in an interview.
To drive the achievement of its objectives, the GCFI will have a solid governance framework. This includes a board of trustees and an advisory council composed of international experts carefully drawn from the highest echelons of government, academia, think tanks, and private sector, according to Alaa AlFaadhel.
She said the board of trustees will be responsible for supervising the GCFI’s functioning, growth and development, and “will aim to preserve the Institute’s sustainability and independence”. The advisory council will offer recommendations on issues that will support the achievement of the Institute’s objectives.
“The GCFI headquarters is in Riyadh. The GCFI plans to open international branches and offices in the future, aligned with its objectives,” said AlFaadhel.
According to market intelligence platform Statista, the global cyber security market was valued at nearly $222 billion in 2022.
By 2030, the market is forecast to hit more than $650 billion. In a report published on June 8, it said network security was the largest segment in the global cybersecurity market, accounting for $5.4 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2022, followed by vulnerability and security analytics, with market revenue worth $4.2 billion.
“The GCFI will serve as a space where the world’s relevant stakeholders collaborate to address the challenges, but also to unlock the incredible opportunities enabled by cyberspace, such as accelerating economic growth, investment, and job creation, as well as increasing access to information and knowledge, and enabling greater collaboration,” said AlFaadhel.
Through the institute, the annual Global Cybersecurity Forum will continue to convene thought leaders and decision-makers from around the world, she said. The 2023 edition of the GCF will be held from Nov 8 to 9 in Riyadh under the theme “Charting Shared Priorities in Cyberspace.”
Last year’s edition of the Forum brought together 127 speakers from among the world’s top minds and welcomed over 9,000 attendees from 117 countries, according to AlFaadhel.
“Building upon this foundation, we now seek to further drive substantive collaboration on key priorities in this domain of central strategic importance,” she said.