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Saudi Telecom Creates Cybersecurity Heart of Excellence

Making ready for the long run and a 5G world

Saudi Arabia introduced “Saudi Imaginative and prescient 2030” in 2016, a daring pathway for the nation’s future. A transformative and deeply bold plan, it seeks to unlock Saudi Arabia’s huge potential by making a diversified, revolutionary nation for the advantage of future generations. Because the launch of “Saudi Imaginative and prescient 2030,” the nation has witnessed unprecedented change and memorable progress. One firm enjoying a crucial function on this transformation is the Saudi Telecom Firm.

Because the nation’s largest info and communication expertise firm, Saudi Telecom is on the convergence of computing, communications, and authorities insurance policies that form how info and communications must be accessed, secured, processed, transmitted, and saved. With its bold plan centered on the long run, Saudi Telecom has been serving to its residents, companies, utilities, and protection put together for a 5G world. A forward-thinking firm, Saudi Telecom offers clients with revolutionary web providers and infrastructure platforms in addition to connectivity and managed providers.

As a result of it hosts 60 p.c of the nation’s web and communication visitors, Saudi Telecom is uniquely positioned to drive digital transformation throughout the nation. To allow these efforts, Saudi Telecom is further vigilant about safety challenges, together with cyberattacks. Defending crucial infrastructure from cyberthreats is a strategic crucial for the corporate and the nation. Because of this, safety is a key element of every thing Saudi Telecom does.

In 2019, Saudi Telecom got down to reimagine its Cyber Protection Heart (CDC) right into a Heart of Excellence with modern safety, detection, and protection capabilities. Yasser J. Alghamdi, Director of the Cyber Protection Heart, joined to offer strategic route and improve general safety measures at a time when the corporate had been impacted by a collection of ransomware and espionage assaults.

However to efficiently replace the Cyber Protection Heart and obtain 2030 Imaginative and prescient mandates, Saudi Telecom wanted a companion with deep experience in cybersecurity; one with operational groups positioned in a number of geographies throughout Saudi Arabia to assist incident response necessities. Cisco turned that companion to Saudi Telecom, offering the deep degree of experience and capabilities wanted for each cybersecurity and 5G.

“Cisco helps us hold the environment safe so we will proceed
to assist digital transformation throughout the nation.”

—Yasser J. Alghamdi, Director, Cyber Protection Heart, Saudi Telecom

Holding the Saudi web safe

To handle cybersecurity points, Cisco Enterprise Vital Companies specialists labored carefully with Saudi Telecom groups to know their challenges, goals, and key outcomes wanted, from each a enterprise and expertise perspective.

Cisco then labored along with them to boost Saudi Telecom’s cybersecurity capabilities with superior monitoring strategies, together with machine studying, automation, and the combination of a number of safety applied sciences. To do that, we created a custom-made resolution to deal with their distinctive necessities.

A collection of steps have been taken to construct a Cybersecurity Heart of Excellence. Right here’s a sampling:

  • Maturity evaluation: Cisco performed a baseline evaluation to higher perceive Saudi Telecom’s community surroundings. Roadmaps have been additionally created to information safety initiatives, and cybersecurity technique workshops have been held to switch expertise and information.
  • Authorities cybersecurity necessities: Cisco labored with Saudi Telecom to develop cybersecurity documentation required by the Saudi authorities. What usually would have taken three to 4 months was expedited with Cisco’s assist.
  • Vendor-agnostic safety strategy: Saudi Telecom safety leverages expertise from a number of distributors. So, Cisco utilized a vendor-agnostic safety strategy to allow multivendor methods to work optimally collectively. For instance, a threat-hunting resolution that makes use of machine studying makes use of the ability of a number of distributors to streamline accuracy.

The outcomes converse for themselves

As we speak, Saudi Telecom has greater than 300,000 community nodes; 10,000 servers; 30,000 endpoints; and 250 crucial purposes in its in depth system, together with 14 TB of occasions they seize and course of each day.

Working collectively, Enterprise Vital Companies and Saudi Telecom groups have been capable of enhance visibility throughout crucial property greater than 90 p.c. With the addition of latest assets and higher platform administration, over the previous three years, Saudi Telecom’s Cyber Protection Heart diminished imply time to detect (MTTD) from 48 hours to lower than half-hour — a major enchancment of 95 p.c.

Imply time to response (MTTR) decreased from 8 hours to lower than 1 hour—an effectivity enchancment of greater than 87 p.c. And time to comprise undesired occasions decreased from 48 to 4 hours, a drop of 92 p.c.

Incident response was optimized by creating and sharing greater than 40 automation playbooks and 50 machine studying use circumstances. Plus, new incident response operation and reporting processes have been developed, and forensics and malware evaluation toolkits have been acquired.

All of this contributed to Saudi Telecom’s potential to amass CREST SOC accreditation from the Council for Registered Moral Safety Testers (CREST) for his or her Safety Operations Facilities (SOC). Saudi Telecom’s Cyber Protection Heart was additionally acknowledged with a maturity rating of 4 out of 5, based on the U.S. Data Methods Audit and Management Affiliation (ISACA).

As well as, Cisco was capable of assist Saudi Telecom align with the MITRE ATT&CK framework, enabling them to seize details about attackers, together with their strategies and places. We helped them construct greater than 500 use circumstances aligned with the MITRE normal, to allow them to speed up assault detection and mitigation. All the time trying forward, Saudi Telecom continues to strengthen its technical capabilities with investments in rising applied sciences and automation and a powerful governance mannequin.

“By our partnership with Cisco, we really feel assured that now we have achieved a powerful degree of maturity, and we are actually within the strategy of looking for to advance our cybersecurity posture even additional,” says Alghamdi.

Watch this video about Saudi Telecom Firm’s story:

To learn extra about Saudi Telecom’s story, go to the Cisco CX web site.


to allow your group for a safe 5G future.




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