Spearheading AI adoption in cyber security

Channel Post speaks with Amit Roy, Executive Vice President and regional Head for EMEA at Paladion about their new initiatives, expansion plans and strategies for 2018.

Amit Roy, Executive Vice President and regional Head for EMEA at Paladion

What were the major security trends that you witnessed in 2017?

The biggest cyber security trend we witnessed this year in security communities in the Middle East was Incident Detection and Response. Security professionals are moving away from prevention and alerting systems to proactively hunt threats and respond to them before they can cause a catastrophic breach. However, not all enterprises can afford such capabilities in-house, so they turn to managed security providers that can offer this as a service. This is what Gartner terms as Managed Detection and Response Services or MDR. We have seen a lot of inquiries coming our way for MDR this year. This is a trend that will continue to have a strong hold in enterprise cyber defense.

Apart from MDR, Digital Transformation in enterprises created a stronger need for cloud security in 2017. We also saw some demand for DevSecOps or security for DevOps operations.

Do you believe any technology buzzwords from 2017 will really kick-off in 2018?

If I must choose one technology buzzword that has really taken off in 2017 and something that will bud in 2018 as well, it will have to be Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. Enterprises all around have begun adopting Machine Learning in all spheres of IT to streamline operations and improve efficiency.

Cyber Security has also adopted Machine Learning and AI in a huge way. Paladion is spearheading this growth by combining 4 different security analytics in a single AI platform to deliver Managed Detection and Response. I am proud to say that no other cyber security organization in the region is doing this right now; others either offer one or two integrated security analytics with the service.

What major milestones did Paladion achieve this year?

Paladion is the first MSSP to offer mature Managed Detection and Response Services in this region. Our MDR offering is recognized by several independent advisory firms for its advanced machine learning and security automation capabilities. This recognition from multiple neutral advisories meant a lot to us and our garnered customers trust in our MDR capabilities.

Our MDR platform and service has advanced even more since the time we received this recognition; we have added several new machine learning algorithms, grown our team of threat hunters, incident responders, malware engineers, and ethical hackers to advance our AI driven MDR services.

Earlier in the year, Paladion had announced that it will be setting up the SOC in Dubai, what is the current status and when will it be operational?

Paladion has been servicing customers in the Middle East since 2005. We have a strong presence in the region and have several consultants that work from our local offices. The regional SOC will consolidate our workforce from different regions in the Middle East and streamline our efforts. We are in the final stages of setting up our 1st Regional Managed Detection and Response Command Center (SOC) in Dubai, which would be operational from the 1st Quarter of 2018. The regional Command Center would become an active part of our Global network of SOC’s providing 24/7 AI Driven Managed Detection and Response Services combining global threat intelligence with a regional outlook.

How is Paladion looking to expand its presence in this region?   

Paladion’s biggest focus is “No half measures in defending a customer’s cyber” – this is the principle our AI driven Managed Detection and Response service is built on. We are first focused on delivering highly agile and custom services that make our customer resilient to the latest, sophisticated cyber threats and then comes expansion. Our growth plans for the region are based on this foundation. Our presence in a few verticals like Health Care, Retail, and Education has been lower, so that will come to the fore next year. We are also extending our presence in the Africa region.

What sort of strategies do you have in place for 2018?

For the geographical expansion I just mentioned, we plan a direct as well as partner network outreach for our full range of AI Driven MDR services on cloud and hybrid models. These services will be delivered from our global and regional network of Command Centers for all key industry verticals.

How has 2017 been for your company and business? What kind of growth have you witnessed in the region?

We have seen a huge surge in demand from all verticals for our MDR services, which was launched in the region in early 2016 to combat key industry challenges:

  • To detect unknown threats and low foot print attack campaigns
  • To reduce the time to respond to threats by quickly analyzing incidents and acting
  • To prioritize vulnerabilities which needs to be remediated using contextual data
  • To provide expert assistance to organizations that have experienced a breach

We signed several large annuity contracts with large enterprises (Banks, Government and Private Sector) in the region who were early adopters of our AI driven MDR Services. We also witnessed enormous success in our Cyber Security Assurance services like Breach Retainer, Vulnerability Management Program, and Compliance Services such as PCI-DSS/SWIFT CSP/NESA, and ISO 27001 apart from undertaking complex security integration projects for some of our marquee customers. We were happy to witness double digit revenue growth in the region.

What are you expecting from the next year and how do you foresee opportunities in 2018?

In 2018, we expect organizations to embrace digital transformation in a bigger way. At the same time, we will see cyber adversaries using AI in cyber-attacks. This would require organizations to adopt and implement stronger security strategies such as, increased focus on detection than prevention, speed of response and containment, adopting cloud security and moving towards DevSecOps – apart from strengthening foundational security.