A survey of cyber-security awareness in Saudi Arabia
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Place of Publication
Security Research Institute
Rapid development has been observed in the deployment of communication technologies and the use of the Internet across the globe. Information exchange is the main aspect of use of such technologies in everyday life. Crimes associated with the misuse of information on the Internet are on the increase and are resulting in various losses. Saudi Arabia is one of the fastest developing countries in the Middle East, where the uptake of communication technologies such as the Internet and mobile technologies has risen sharply in recent years. These technologies are relatively new to the region when compared to developed countries. Therefore, the crimes associated with these technologies may be new to the people in the region. This paper investigates the cyber security awareness of the people in Saudi Arabia within different contexts. A quantitative online based survey was conducted to gather information related to cyber security awareness in Saudi Arabia. The study found that, although the participants had a good knowledge of IT, their awareness of the threats associated with cybercrime, cyber security practices, and the role of government and organisations in ensuring information safety across the Internet, is very limited. An application based model to create cyber security awareness in the region was preferred by the majority. The results indicated that, although cybercrime is on the rise, no specific approach is being followed to increase cyber security awareness in the region except for CERT regulations and online information on government websites. Additionally, Chi-Square test results (t(627)=3.85, p=0.013) indicated that Internet skills have an effect on cyber security practices from the users' end and there is an association between skill level and the security measures being implemented by organisations in the region. The study found that there is an immediate need to develop a model to create cyber security awareness in the region in order to combat cybercrime.