The Need for Cybersecurity Solutions Will Continue to Grow in 2017: Mimecast

mimecastBrandon Bekker, the Managing Director at Mimecast MEA, speaks to Channel Post about new opportunities in 2017

How has 2016 been for your company and business?
2016 was an incredibly exciting year for our business and we have been working with strategic partners to build up very good brand presence throughout the Middle East. With the ever-increasing levels of cybercrime and ransomware effecting organizations across the world, many have turned to Mimecast for support which has resulted in a meaningful increase in our customer base worldwide and across almost every vertical.

What were your major achievements in the year 2016?
We have formed partnerships with two channel organizations in the Middle East, Bulwark and Nuvias. Both will help us gain more reach into the region through their strong and strategic networks of resellers.

Finding the right partners is important to Mimecast as we are a high-touch service and maintain an exceptionally high standard when it comes to customer experience. In December 2016 we also reached a new milestone for Mimecast Middle East and Africa: we now secure more than a million mailboxes across our territory which adds to our global footprint of end users.

Did you enter / expand your operations into new markets in 2016?
Apart from expanding our reach in the Middle East, we also entered new markets in Africa. We already have a very strong position as market leaders in South Africa and in 2016 we formed strategic partnerships in Kenya, Ghana, Botswana and Namibia to further our reach into the African continent.

How was the technology and telecom market in general in 2016? Was there any increase in business?
This past year we’ve seen how cybercriminals continue to become more sophisticated and insidious by constantly revising, updating and re-inventing their tactics and technologies to launch attacks. We’ve seen our share of DDoS attacks, key political figures emails hacked, and ransomware attacks.

Recently, we saw cybercriminals target the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority with a ransomware attack. Free rides for all! And, that wasn’t San Francisco offering an early holiday gift to locals.

Knowing 100 percent protection against today’s cyber threats is not realistic – cyber resilience becomes the name of the game. Building a cyber-resilience strategy that layers state-of-the-art preventative systems, point-in-time recovery measures, and a means to maintain continuity during an attack can make a significant difference in fending off the myriad of sophisticated threats. We can’t predict all the attacks coming but we can build in cyber resilience and learn from what we have already seen.

What are you expecting for the next year for the economy and the markets?
Something we caught a glimpse of in 2016 was cyber espionage with the intention to disrupt political and economic activities. It’s very likely that we’ll see nation states and their sponsored operatives using cyber espionage more and more to cause political shifts, disruption, and to gain economic advantage. This will involve, but will not be limited to, email hacking and disclosure of other forms of intercepted private communications, disruption of and interference with critical national infrastructures.

How do you foresee opportunities for 2017?
The need for cybersecurity solutions is growing worldwide and 2016 saw not only a spike in data breach activity but an additional layer of malevolence in the form of ransomware. We’re working to help organizations build a strong cyber resilience strategy, by offering solutions that spans security, data protection, business continuity and end-user empowerment.

To add even more value to our customers – and help drive discussions in the industry — we formed the Cyber Resilience Coalition which is a community of businesses in the security industry and can help build out organizations’ cyber resilience strategies to keep their entire organization safe. In 2016 we welcomed PhishMe and ZeroFox to this Coalition and are in the process of bringing more organizations into this network.

With a firm focus on cyber resilience, we will use 2017 to seek our opportunities to expand our Cyber Resilience Coalition, as well as evolve our solutions to support and protect customers and prospects against some of the new cybercriminal trends we are anticipating. We foresee a continuation in sophisticated threats with the likes of cyber gangs, macro malware, cryptolockers in ransomware attacks playing larger roles.

What sort of strategies do you have in place for 2017?
In 2017 we will continue to grow our brand presence and customer base in the Middle East by enabling and supporting our channel partners in the region, as well as being involved in major IT events like GISEC and GITEX. Our Africa teams will also be working closely with our partners to grow into our new markets on the continent and help educate organizations about the importance of a cyber-resilience strategy.

Can we expect further investments from your company in terms of expansion of your market reach, channel programs and general marketing?We expect a significant investment in our channel programs and marketing initiatives in 2017. We are in the process of meeting with our partners to better understand their plans for the year so that we can align and maximise the opportunities in these markets for brand exposure.