Noor Alrayes' Contributions are Acknowledged by Major Newspapers
Founder and CEO of Alien Security Noor Alrayes was awarded the UPF award acknowledging her contribution in the Cyber Security field, the event was held in the houses of parliament. The news made it to major Newspapers such as Al Hayat and Asharq Al-Awsat, both London based newspapers, as well as Al Eqtisadiah and Al Riyadh.
Al Hayat Newspaper: A Saudi scholarship student wins the Universal Peace Federation award .. And the British Parliament witnesses her honoring.
Riyadh – Al-Jawharah Al Humaid | Since July 8, 2018 / 00:00 - Last updated on 8 July 2018 / 01:16
The Universal Peace Federation granted the Saudi scholarship student Noor Al-Rayes the Youth Achievement Award as a gesture of appreciation for her efforts in the field of cybersecurity. And the ceremony that was held at the House of Commons of the United Kingdom last week was hosted by Tom Brake MP.
Al-Rayes was supported by her university; City University out of appreciation to her scientific potential. She was granted a special visa by the British government after she completed her master's degree study in the Custodian of The King Abdullah Scholarship Program to implement the 'Alien Security' project, due to its importance in the field of cybersecurity.
The young sponsored Saudi student took the first step in the path of achieving the dream that she always had of continuing to study cybersecurity during her undergraduate studies (IT major), especially after that field became one of the requirements of the era, and after it became an urgent need with all the cyberattacks that face the countries of the world, and its institutions and human communities, including Saudi. In the meantime, she is working nonstop on completing her project that's related to community security, which is realised in the form of 'Alien Security' company which is specialised in this field, and provides its services to organisations and countries to protect them from hacking, cyberattacks, and to help them counter terrorism.
And regarding extending her visa's duration of stay, Al-Rayes explained that such a procedure is in force in Britain, where 10 out of every 1,000 students who presented ideas and creative projects are selected through a competition that includes complex procedures, and she acknowledges the efforts of the cultural attaché in the Saudi Embassy about which she says: "The attaché was showing great care and support, which strengthened my abilities and my determination to complete and present the project as a form of expressing gratitude to my homeland".
And about her project, which was celebrated by the Parliament and was the reason she got honoured, Al-Rayes pointed out that she is specialised in offering security services in the field of cybersecurity to provide protection solutions.
She added: "Cybersecurity is not just about technology! It also extends to departments and individuals, organisations also need to prepare their employees on how to handle any expected cyberattacks and ways to deal with them, " explaining that any organisation is vulnerable to hacking and that any "hacker" has the ability to electronically destroy a company if he has sufficient time and experience. She also explained that some companies think they are not in danger because they are small or unknown, but they do not know that a large number of hackers target these small companies because the process of hacking them is easier and faster. More than half of the small companies in Britain alone were victims of a cyberattack last year, let alone the rest of the countries. She also pointed out that the results of cyberattacks are catastrophic, and that some of them require solutions more efficient than conventional solutions.
She stressed that 60% of the medium, small companies that have been victims of attacks now face major problems, including having to pay large sums of money to fix the damage, as well as suffering from affected reputation and losing the trust of their clients, and that a company might close down if it doesn't find successful and urgent solutions.
And about the methods of hackers, she said: "Usually, terrorist groups that engage in hacking work in the field of the « Dark Web » and the execution of these attacks depend on the objectives of the hacker; they're either financial or other types of goals such as building a bad reputation in the Dark Web, and other goals", then she elaborated: "Some attacks take a long time to execute, others do not take longer than a few hours, and that depends on how strong the organisation is and how big it is and how skilful the hacker is".
And she continued: "My master's degree's thesis was working on accessing the Dark Web and collecting information and analysing it via artificial intelligence, it would then give helpful signs and indications to the concerned parties about the degree and type of terrorist crimes and how active they are, and it would classify them so that it's easier to block any kind of cybercrimes".
And because the interest in cybersecurity in any society is a pioneering step to maintain its security and stability in light of the vast use of the digital world, Noor Al-Rayes seeks, through her project, to create a peaceful virtual environment that's free from cyberattacks, "even though it's difficult to achieve 100 percent of such a goal; because most of the countries, including Britain and Saudi Arabia, were not safe from the attacks, and some countries faced many of them and it resulted in huge loses, but we try through our efforts and our experiences to prevent them".
And she pointed out that cyberspace is an important means and that it requires soldiers to protect it in any country, this also includes protecting the cyberspace that children and young people participate in such as social media platforms, and the efforts required from their caregivers to protect them and reduce the problems resulted by it.
The sponsored student Al-Rayes pointed out the importance of the enrolment of young Saudi men and women in this field and studying it due to its importance and the need to create human cadres that are competent and qualified to deal with it and fill the need, noting that she follows with interest the activity within the Kingdom to deter cybercrime in a way that attracted attention in Europe and America.
Al Eqtisadiah: Noor Al-Rayes: 20% of workers in the field of cybersecurity in the Kingdom are women.
Friday 17 August 2018
Rania Al-Qaraawi from Riyadh
Success of Saudis on an international level is no longer exclusive to Saudi men, Saudi women have begun to strongly compete too, and they have become increasingly involved in international forums, and have even been honoured in some of the most prestigious international parliaments, as in the case of researcher Noor Al-Rayes, who was recently honoured by the Universal Peace Federation during a ceremony in the British Parliament and was granted a two-year visa to implement her project that's related to cybersecurity.
The project of researcher Noor Al-Rayes aims to make cybersecurity accessible to small companies and to protect individuals from compromising their personal information.
I aspire to be a contributor to the field of cybersecurity. With those words, Noor Al-Rayes started her talk with "Al Eqtisadiah", asserting her desire to serve her country, and to increase the number of women in the field.
Al-Rayes explained, that the number of women working in cybersecurity in the Kingdom does not exceed 20 percent, in spite of the fact that there are many Saudi women with a bachelor of computer science, which makes it easier for them to specialise in the field.
Al-Rayes received a master's degree in cybersecurity from City University in London, where her thesis was aimed at cybercrime in the Dark Web through an artificial intelligence system. The program she presented as a graduation project extracts and analyses data from the Dark Web by using artificial intelligence algorithms and then classifies them according to the type of crime.
Al-Rayes stated that her graduation project is different from the one that won her the annual competition and got her honoured by the British government, as her project is concerned with protecting the official institutions, companies and individuals from cyberattacks and cybercrimes and it's concerned with educating individuals about cybersecurity and how to deal with these risks.
She also explained that her project aims to turn cybersecurity into something that's not impossible or difficult to obtain by small companies, as well as protecting individuals from cyber threats that could compromise our personal information.
She also noted that the reason she got honoured by the Universal Peace Federation in the British Parliament is because her project seeks to protect society from cybercrime and seeks to build a secure digital environment, as the organisation works to honour young men and women who present unique projects in fields that serve the society.
and she stressed that promoting the concept of cybersecurity is important for Saudi Arabia; because it ranks 17th worldwide and 1st in the Arab world in cyberattacks, most of which target government sectors and energy sectors, and are motivated by personal or political reasons.
and she pointed out that Saudi Arabia has taken great steps in enhancing its cybersecurity, the latest of which was the establishment of Hajj Hackathon, and the establishment of the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, and the Prince Mohammed bin Salman College of Cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence.
And she added that these efforts will not completely protect the Kingdom from cyberattacks, which will continue as technology advances, but what's required is to prepare to deal with the new technology and to remain up-to-date and aware of all that's new in this field to be able to defend against and prevent any movement targeting the Kingdom.