Educating Customers Is Our Priority

Subela Bhatia, Founder and Managing Director of IMPERIUM Middle East, talks about her company’s role in introducing new technologies and educating her customers to address their cybersecurity concerns.

How would you describe the cybersecurity landscape in the Middle East, and how is it evolving?
Cybersecurity is no longer in the evolution stage in the Middle East. The landscape was always fragmented, but now it has been disrupted by Generative AI, which is both a bane and a blessing for cybersecurity. The sophistication of attacks is going to increase due to AI and connected devices. What this means is big bucks are at stake, and the centre of cybersecurity has moved from IT to the boardroom for enterprises, thus leading to more investment in cyber protection tools.

What role does your company play in cybersecurity, and what kind of solutions does your company offer?
IMPERIUM Middle East is a security enabler, i.e. we are focusing on partnering with leading industry experts and ex-CISOs to work on projects in the government and private sectors for security solutions, especially on the dark web and threat mitigation.

Currently, we offer anti-phishing, anti-fraud SMS, WhatsApp, Vishing, and Application Security solutions.

How are you incorporating emerging technologies like AI and Blockchain into your cybersecurity solutions?
We were an early adopter of AI, as Immuniweb is an AI-based Pentest tool. It has the capability of non-intrusive domain testing against dark-web attacks. Blockchain is again a loosely used term which did not deliver the promises made early on. However, it has come of age, and we are looking to evaluate a new solution in this space.

Do you offer user training and awareness programs to help prevent social engineering attacks?
IMPERIUM has its USP in bespoke training and upskilling in cybersecurity, Data analytics and now AI because of our strong background in providing vendor-neutral training and certifications by EC- Council, CompTIA, ISACA and Cyfinity Global, focused on security awareness, prevention of cyber-bullying and social engineering. We offer user training for KnowBe4, AWARE, and Immuniweb.

How do you educate and empower users to contribute to the overall cybersecurity posture?
The education of customers is a priority with IMPERIUM. We encourage users and all levels of employees and the youth to experience the latest trends, and we partner with new disruptive vendors in technology, especially cybersecurity. On the customer side, we take continuous inputs and collaborate with them on different social forums and communities so they are able to share their knowledge base.

What new features or capabilities will you introduce in the next 12-24 months?
We plan to introduce DevSec Ops in upskilling as security no longer rests with the IT team; it is teamwork with different departments in a company.  We will scout the market for new vendors in AI-enabled anti-phishing solutions.

The plan is to offer DDos solutions and Cloud security.

I must add here that I have co-founded The DigitalGate, a marketplace for talent and employability in the Middle East. The focus is on testing and verifying youth skills for intrapreneurship in cybersecurity, HR, Healthcare, Supply chain and Healthcare.

How do you ensure that your customers are updated on new features and best practices?
Customers are updated on new trends and best practices by sharing information about new solutions and the threats they address on LinkedIn and regular meetups with other technology startups.

We plan to reinforce this digitally through campaigns and offers on the importance of creating a   secure cyber culture within an organization.

What are your growth plans for 2024?
The company saw growth in 2022-2023 in terms of customer base and revenue. However, the goals for 2024 are not only revenue-focused. Instead, the focus is to understand the customer’s security posture and then evangelize to move them towards best practices and compliance. The team is growing in baby steps.

IMPERIUM is pivoting to join forces with business partners, who are security and risk assessment consultants to government and large enterprises, and advise them in the security strategy stage, not the purchase cycle and implementation. We will focus actively on bringing new vendors for areas of technology in Threat Advisory and brand protection.