Week in Review

Week 15 in Review: Technology and information security top the bill

Leaning on our artificial intelligence capabilities, Aramco sets course to protect its digital assets.

Week 15 in Review: Technology and information security top the bill

A few years ago, Aramco adopted a cybersecurity strategy to transform to a data-driven cyber defense.


Today, the company is reaping the benefits of such an approach, but the call for diligence has only grown louder as threats continue to mount in cyberspace.


That’s just one of the top stories from a busy Week 15 at Aramco.


Here’s a look at the week’s top headlines.


AI and machine learning proving their worth as high-value defense solutions

Aramco’s Information Protection Department (IPD) is progressively reinforcing its cyber defense capabilities with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.


In 2018, Aramco’s Digital Transformation Strategy was officially endorsed by the company’s Strategic Counsel.


Aramco recognized the importance of data and the need to digitally transform to ensure business competitiveness, unlock business value, and overcome future challenges.


To be the leading integrated chemical and energy company, we are embracing digital transformation, and unlocking the potential of our data assets is crucial for digital transformation.
— Nabil A. Al Nuaim, senior vice president of Digital and Information Technology


Recognizing the cybersecurity industry trajectory, the opportunity presented by AI and machine learning, and the risk of inaction, IPD set out on a journey to transform to data-driven cyber defense. 


This early adoption years ago is paying off. Now, in 2023, AI and machine learning are being leveraged to help protect the company from the latest threats in an evolving cyber landscape.


Conventional defense controls or practices, which rely on known indicators, or manual tasks, are no longer sufficient to thwart attacks. Attacks are becoming sophisticated; cyber criminals are adopting more AI and machine learning capabilities for their own maneuvers to avoid detection or magnify scale.


Aramcons rally around cybersecurity and first Cyberlympics

The first Cyberlympics Awards were recently held in Dhahran by Aramco’s Information Security Department (ISD).


The ceremony, on March 21 at the Technical Exchange Center, celebrated those who elevated cybersecurity awareness levels within the company and the community.


The achievements of Aramco individuals and teams, as well as third parties, were recognized in different fields of cybersecurity.


To view the winners, click on the headline above.


New ‘Node’ technology offers higher levels of control and efficiency

A group of Aramco inventors has used disruptive Fourth Industrial Revolution technology to pioneer a single hardware and software solution called Intelligent Integrated Node (IIN) that offers higher levels of control and efficiency while driving forward the integration of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) in the oil and gas industry.


The innovation team at the Process and Control Systems Department (P&CSD) created IIN to replace multiple automation and control devices with a single system. The new solution offers greater control and improved efficiency by providing more capacity for capturing and analyzing data from multiple instruments.


The IIN solution utilizes edge computing technology to grant access to up to five automation systems’ instruments and network, thereby increasing computing speed and reducing data volume.


The technology is currently being field-tested at the Shaybah Producing Department. The trials are expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2023, after which the technology is expected to be deployed on a large scale throughout Aramco facilities.


Khalid Y. Al Qahtani, vice president and chief engineer, said: “We have great pride in our engineers in addressing new challenges and transforming them into wonderful opportunities. The IIN is one example of many where Engineering Services is introducing new capabilities and optimal solutions to the company and the marketplace.”


The vast reach of our employee donation campaign

As part of its annual efforts to provide food to those in need throughout the Kingdom during the Holy Month of Ramadan, Aramco’s Citizenship Division continues to implement the ‘Care Box’ initiative.


The Citizenship Division collected donations from employees and also provided the opportunities for volunteers to prepare the boxes. The initiative is part of Aramco’s humanitarian efforts to support local communities, and to promote charity, voluntary work, and citizenship, which is one of our core values.


Employee donations are still being counted and have so far amounted to more than SAR 5.3 million. Aramco will match all donations 100%, doubling the impact of employee generosity.

During the year, the Citizenship Division also provided opportunities for employees to volunteer in preparing Ramadan food baskets for families-in-need across different regions, in cooperation with the Eta’am Charitable Association, which is currently responsible for distributing food and supplies across the Kingdom.


Starting ahead of the Holy Month, the initiative supports society’s most vulnerable people, sending care boxes to orphans, widows, and families-in-need.


A refresher on iktva: Building resilience through localization

Our in-Kingdom Total Value Add (iktva) program shows the benefits of localized supply chains that support energy security.


As part of our efforts to support global energy security, we invest in the technology, programs, and ecosystems that can boost the resilience and reliability of our delivery.


There is limitless potential in the development of commercial ecosystems to support these efforts. Since its launch in 2015, our in-Kingdom Total Value Add (iktva) program has been working towards building world-class supply chains to help develop a more resilient and reliable energy sector that can meet the world’s demands for secure energy. 


One of the keys to achieving energy security is resilient and reliable supply chains, and to achieve this, we deploy a strategy of localization. Localizing products and services will help strengthen the existing energy infrastructure, create new opportunities for innovation, and expand the local commercial ecosystems — all of which help ensure the resilience of energy supply chains, and our ability to provide the world with a consistent and reliable supply of energy. 


Our iktva program aims to achieve 70% local content, and so far, it has already reached 63% localization of products and services in Saudi Arabia.


The iktva program is opening up investment opportunities that can help drive the creation of products and innovations that are not only in demand, but can also play a role in lowering the carbon footprint of the industry. 


These include helping establish a hub for the manufacturing of nonmetallic commodities, and a hub for the development of 4IR technology solutions at King Salman Energy Park (SPARK). The hub for nonmetallic commodities aims to localize nonmetallic manufacturing in oil and gas as well as in the building and construction, renewables, packaging, and automotive sectors. The technology hub will aid the development of technology solutions focused on artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, and robotics, among other 4IR sub-sectors.


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