The Saudi National Cybersecurity Authority (NCA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Cybersecurity Cooperation with the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). The MoU was signed on the sidelines of US President Joe Biden’s visit to the Saudi Kingdom.
It aims to promote bilateral cooperation in cybersecurity to safeguard the cyberspace and vital interests in the Kingdom and the United States. It focuses on several areas such as sharing cyber threats information between both countries, and exchanging best practices and expertise in this field.
The new cyber agreement between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia could boost Western goals of protecting telecom networks from Beijing’s hackers. They plan to collaborate on best practices, technologies, tools, and approaches to cybersecurity training and education.
Saudi Arabia will invest in new U.S.-led technology to develop and secure reliable 5G and 6G networks. This technology, known as Open Radio Access Network or Open RAN, emphasizes interoperable, rather than proprietary, technologies, making it easier to combine pieces of different vendors’ infrastructure.
Saudi Arabia’s support is a badly needed win for the U.S. in its efforts to promote Western 5G technology in a region where the Chinese vendor Huawei is dominant. It is widely deployed in the Middle East due to Chinese government subsidies so it’s difficult for other companies to compete.
Cloud-based Open RAN technologies carry significant cost advantages that should make them attractive in markets where Chinese subsidies would otherwise win the day.
Putting man back on the moon
Saudi Arabia signed the Artemis Accords with NASA to join the international alliance in civil exploration and the use of the moon, Mars, meteorites, and comets for peace and the beneficial use of space for all of humanity, and to bring Man back on the moon.
The Artemis Accords align national priorities for innovation that the Saudi Kingdom announced end of June 2022. This includes future economies, in which space is the next trillion opportunity for the world by 2040 and can aid in the growth of a multitude of sectors and create thousands of jobs.
In total, 18 agreements were signed between the two nations however, it is early days and so far it is just words.