The Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC), represented by the Saudi Network Information Center (SaudiNIC), recently hosted a workshop on the Domain Name System Security Extension (DNSSEC). The workshop was held at CITC's headquarters on 9 May 2017 in Riyadh in coordination with the Middle East Network Operators Group (MENOG) and RIPE NCC. The event was aimed at raising awareness and promoting the adoption of DNSSEC within national networks in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This complements efforts to further develop the Saudi Internet Domain Name System, using DNSSEC technology.
The workshop highlighted DNSSEC's role as a complete set of technical specifications, designed particularly to secure and protect information provided by the Domain Name System (DNS), which uses the Internet Protocol (IP) system. The workshop offered an ideal platform to provide participants with an overview on the benefits and advantages of adopting DNSSEC and how to activate it for both Authoritative DNS servers and DNS resolvers. Those who took part also gained knowledge about managing DNSSEC encryption keys and enabling DNSSEC in the Root Servers, while identifying the latest trends in DNSSEC at all national, regional and international technical levels.
Dr. Ibrahim Al-Freih, General Manager of Internet Services, Communications and Information Technology Commission, said in his opening speech: "The workshop was held in line with our commitment to monitor, track and utilize the rapid development of the international communication and information technology sector. We strive to adopt the best innovations that can help us achieve our ambitious vision to advance Saudi Arabia's ICT sector, in accordance with the highest standards of competitiveness with the objective of better serving the investors and customers alike."
He went on to add: "The importance of the workshop stems from the pivotal role played by the DNSSEC based on the Public-Key Cryptography, in terms of enhancing security in the DNS and raising the level of verification of the source as well as the validity and reliability of information within the system, which contributes in the reduction of cyber-attacks, especially on authentication protocol data interception, also known by (man-in-the-middle)."
Eng. Chafic Chaya, Regional Communications Manager ME, RIPE NCC, noted in his opening speech that the organisation is delighted to cooperate with the Communications and Information Technology Commission and the Saudi Network Information Center in organizing the latest workshop. He expressed the RIPE NCC's commitment to providing all kinds of technical support and assistance to its members in the Middle East, especially in Saudi Arabia, noting the significant progress recorded by the Kingdom in its deployment of IPv6 and DNSSEC. "Our strategic partnership with CITC and the success of the workshop has enabled us to intensify our efforts in organizing similar trainings and awareness activities, yielding positive results in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which is taking early steps to transform into an integrated knowledge economy," concluded Eng. Chaya.
The workshop was preceded by two-days training session on DNSSEC, dedicated for the Internet Service Providers and the banking sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Aside offering a major boost to cybersecurity capacity-building efforts in the Kingdom, this enabled participants to acquire a better understanding of DNSSEC, equipping them with the expertise, knowledge and capabilities necessary for its optimal application in their networks, applications and services.