Ashraf Daqqa, Regional Director for META at Illumio, talks about their participation at the forthcoming cybersecurity event in Saudi Arabia, Black Hat MEA, where the company will highlight its Zero Trust Segmentation (ZTS) platform
Can you provide an overview of your company’s operations in Saudi Arabia?
Illumio has been established in KSA through our partnership with CyberKnight. However, our first regional team in Saudi Arabia and the rest of the GCC were established in 2022. We are recognised in the region as leaders in the microsegmentation space among the security community due to our experience in this growing market and serving government and enterprise businesses across the Kingdom.
What motivated Illumio to participate in Black Hat Riyadh?
Saudi is an exciting market for cybersecurity due to its ambitious digital transformation efforts. The Kingdom’s recent investment of SR750 million ($200 million) to proactively support local and international high-tech companies is a testament to their mission of diversifying their economies and leading the fourth industrial revolution. They are also leading the way when it comes to Zero Trust adoption.
We are seeing massive growth in the cybersecurity market in the KSA, particularly regarding cybersecurity tools. There’s a big focus on improving resilience, and Zero Trust is an established and proven security for achieving this.
Microsegmentation is a crucial pillar of Zero Trust, so we feel we have a tremendous opportunity to be part of that conversation and help organizations reduce the impact of breaches.
Gartner also states that by 2026, 60% of enterprises working toward a zero trust architecture will use more than one deployment form of microsegmentation, up from less than 5% in 2023.
What are your main goals and objectives for the event?
The rapid evolution of tech, AI and cybersecurity in the region is among the fastest in the world, but with this comes a hot bed of potential threats for hackers and malware. Our goal is to show how and why Zero Trust with microsegmentation is the best way to achieve cyber resilience.
Black Hat MEA is another opportunity for us to reinforce Illumio’s commitment to Saudi. It is one of the biggest global cybersecurity events worldwide, and the fact that it is being hosted in the Kingdom only exemplifies the nation’s focus on cybersecurity.
It also presents a critical platform for learning, exchange of ideas and knowledge, and bringing to light our efforts in cybersecurity – in a nutshell, Zero Trust Segmentation and our thorough belief in it as a technology that corporations in the region need to adopt and embrace to stop the spread of breaches.
What does Illumio plan to showcase at Black Hat?
Our booth will be the place to learn about Illumio’s Zero Trust Segmentation (ZTS) platform and the invaluable added boon it can bring to maintaining an organization’s cyber hygiene in a space crawling with potential threats.
Visitors to our booth can learn how ZTS can work alongside detection tools like Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) to boost cyber resilience in a way legacy security tools alone cannot. For example, tests conducted by Bishop Fox showed how, when combined with ZTS, EDR can stop ransomware in less than 10 minutes, which is 400% faster than on its’ own.
We will also be joining an exclusive summit panel on November 15th called “Understanding The Expanding Influence of Cybersecurity Across The Enterprise and Business Functions.” This is really exciting as it will be attended by industry experts from giants, Noon, Zscaler and Veracode.
Will there be any product demonstrations?
Yes, we will be hosting multiple live demos of the Illumio Zero Trust Segmentation Platform. This hands-on experience will allow you to see firsthand how Zero Trust Segmentation can empower your organization to:
- Contain ransomware threats, reduce the risk of cyber disasters, and preserve customer and stakeholder trust.
- Significantly bolster your organization’s overall cyber resilience, ensuring that you are well-prepared to stop and contain breaches and ransomware attacks.
- Safeguard critical resources across various environments, including cloud, IT, and operational technology (OT) domains.
What sets your company apart from other cybersecurity vendors in terms of the solutions you offer or the approach you take?
First and foremost, Illumio is a Zero Trust Segmentation company. We are not focused on preventing and detecting attacks – the way we work is both pre-emptive and realistic. By sealing off your organisations critical assets and systems into segments, ideally facilitating a Zero Trust model, we work from within to contain attacks quickly in the event of a security breach.
Unlike traditional segmentation solutions, we decouple segmentation from the network. This enables organisations to keep enforcement close to the workloads and reduces the risk of applications breaking. Our platform is the industry’s first for breach containment and was purposely developed to fit easily into the hybrid, modern enterprise IT architectures. Our primary goal was always to make Zero Trust Segmentation easy, accessible, and highly scalable for enterprise organizations of all sizes.
What specific cybersecurity challenges do you address, and why should organisations in Saudi work with you?
Ransomware remains the most significant threat globally and is particularly prevalent in Saudi Arabia. These attacks primarily have two motives – stealing data or causing maximum disruption, which is more likely to drive a quicker payout. So, the focus for businesses must be on building a security function that can maintain operations in the event of an attack. Ultimately, the best way to boost resilience is through a unified risk-based approach to cybersecurity, like Zero Trust.
As well as ransomware containment, we help organisations with security challenges, including cloud migration, IT and OT convergence, and asset mapping and visibility. The latter is critical for all organisations and environments because you can’t protect what you can’t see!
What message would you like to give potential customers and partners attending the exhibition?
It’s no longer a matter of if but when a breach will occur. And there is nothing more devastating than an attacker allowed to roam free within the network. At Black Hat MEA 2023, our message to visitors & partners is that ZTS is necessary for any organisation on its Zero Trust journey, and its introduction into your cyber arsenal significantly improves your cyber resilience.
Where can visitors find you in Black Hat?
You can find us at Booth H4.C31