Complete cyber resilience
The UAE has strong potential to accelerate the cybersecurity industry with Help AG, explains Nicolai Solling, Chief Technology Officer
Do you see the threat landscape widening with more digital channels of business engagement, as a post-pandemic impact?
Yes. As organisations digitalise and begin doing business in new ways, they must adapt to an increase in their attack surface and risk profile.
The Covid-19 pandemic rushed businesses into accelerating their digital transformation initiatives, expanding their digital footprints. This in turn left security gaps that attackers took advantage of, as we observed in our Digital Risk Protection Report. Our security analysts found a 500 per cent increase in risk alerts for carding - the unauthorised use of a credit or debit card - at the beginning of the pandemic. These alerts were typically related to the online channels of organisations that didn't handle credit card information correctly. We also observed tremendous growth in DDoS, ransomware, and remote access attacks during this period.
As the cybersecurity arm of Etisalat Digital, what is the biggest advantage for your customers when they opt for Help AG's cybersecurity offerings? How different are you from the other players in the market?
Being the cybersecurity arm of Etisalat Digital, we have managed to unlock additional value related to scale. Today, we process around six billion events per day in our Security Operations Center. This enables us to spot important regional trends, and we use this knowledge to best advise our clients on how to stay secure.
We have also developed an outstanding incident response team through strategically investing in talent and technology.
Additionally, we utilise Etisalat's infrastructure to deliver innovative services, such as our anti-DDoS and SASE services, with higher quality, better performance, and stronger capabilities.
We also offer our clients flexible payment models (OpEx instead of CapEx).
What is the biggest challenge among CISO's in the region, from a cybersecurity standpoint, especially for the region's banking sector?
CISOs have had to adapt to the accelerated move to the cloud and its accompanying risks. While most cloud providers supply the building blocks and toolkits, it's been up to organisations to put it all together and hope the result will hold, signalling a desperate need to simplify the networking capability in single and multi-cloud environments.
Both regionally and globally, another major problem most CISOs grapple with is insufficient budgets, which explains the cybersecurity skill shortage. Another challenge among CISOs has been maintaining the same level of security during this era of a distributed workforce.
What is Help AG's focus for 2021 for the Middle East region?
The aim is to accelerate the business through organic growth. In addition to significant investments and growth plans in KSA, we also plan to expand to Egypt this year, then to Morocco, and more markets to follow. Another important development would be leveraging the Security Operations Center (SOC) federation to establish a new state-of-the-art SOC in Riyadh, where we will be hiring well-qualified, cyber defence experts to strengthen our on-ground presence.
What are some of the notable achievements of Help AG when it comes to cybersecurity integration?
One of our most evident measures of success is the continuity of our business relationships with our clients, who keep coming back to us. We are always delivering honest and transparent advice, ensuring they purchase the correct solution to address their requirements. This takes our customer satisfaction scores from high to higher.
With best-of-breed security technologies from Help AG vendor partners, our team can design, implement, and configure complex end-to-end security architectures unique to each customer. Thanks to our unmatched level of technical competence, we can even build upon our vendors' solutions to further enhance their capabilities. In addition, we are well-positioned to validate the security capabilities of any deployed infrastructure.
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