THE SECURITY OF FORESIGHT

Saudi Arabia 2020 | DIGITAL ECONOMY | INTERVIEW

With risks growing due to the increased presence of technology in everyday life, IT security has never been more necessary.

Abdullah Al-Dosari
BIOGRAPHY
Abdullah Al-Dosari is an experienced leader with more than 18 years in the field of technology and telecoms. He is an expert in business modeling, marketing operation, product development, and performance management. He is currently chairman of the Board of Netwo.Co and CEO of T2 – Business Research & Development. Before this, he was technology general manager for Holool Aloula and held various managerial roles at GO – Etihad Atheeb Telecom. He holds an executive MBA from King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals and a bachelor’s in computer science from King Saud University.

How can T2 be a part of the Kingdom's comprehensive IT transformation?

T2 is positioned at the heart of the digitalization process of the Saudi economy as it seeks to improve interconnectivity and the security of the IT ecosystem. In 2014, we started as a company with one clear product, RiCH, to solve the intercommunication challenge that we saw in the market, especially when it comes to reaching end customers. With RiCH, enterprises can communicate with their clients using fax, email, SMS, and voice calls in an easier and more secure way. From its first deal in 2014 worth SAR200,000, today RiCH's revenue is SAR85 million; SMS traffic went from 50 million to 6 billion in four years. Our 40-42 clients are split between government entities, banking institutions, and very large corporations. In 2016, we launched Ole5 (Olly five), a system for digital correspondence (Morasalat) to track and manage huge amounts of internal and incoming and outgoing messages and letters between large government parties with the broader goal of promoting a paperless environment and e-services to reduce the cost of operations and increase efficiencies. Our first client was one of the largest ministries, which was looking for a solution that entailed the maximum level of security. As such, we offered an almost unbreakable technological solution which was later certified by international security experts to guarantee the highest standards of security. Today, Ole5 is facilitating hundreds of thousands of e-correspondence originated from more than 100 countries, as well as Saudi Customs and the General Authority for Sports—the type of player we continue to target. Our third product is Akeed, an access control management system that works with the various security devices to manage and track entry and exit actions. Demand for traceability will rise, which we seek to exploit. Finally, we recently launched our fourth product, ReeDoo, an Arab OCR that seeks to achieve a paperless environment by scanning documents into a digital format.

What is the best way to increase the security of the IT ecosystem in Saudi Arabia?

A proper and advanced information security ecosystem requires two factors: awareness from the client and tailored solutions according to the size and nature of the client. Both the government and private sector need to understand that we face a growing threat from the increased presence of technology in our lives. So far, we still rely on a model that pushes us to understand how important information security is only after something happens to us. This approach means that larger efforts are placed on mitigating the consequences of the damage, rather than preventing it. It should work in the opposite way. The internet and growing interconnectivity of our world are increasing the exposure of confidential and private data, and it is important to act accordingly. At the same time, delivering tailored solutions will allow the sector to grow organically. Saudi Arabia has a lot of opportunities for several IT companies, but the challenge will be to find the right segments that suit them. Positioning is key to gaining expertise and bringing value to the market.