Group-IB opens MEA Threat Intelligence & Research Center in Dubai
Group-IB has officially announced the opening of its Middle East and Africa Threat Research and Intelligence Center in Dubai. The grand opening, held at Habtoor Palace Dubai, brought together representatives of local financial organizations, government institutions and guest of honor, Mr. Craig Jones, director of INTERPOL Cybercrime.
Group-IB management views the opening of its MEA Threat Intelligence & Research Center as a crucial step towards achieving the strategic goal of creating the world’s first decentralized cybersecurity company with fully operational R&D centers in main financial centers.
Group-IB’s office would function not only as a sales hub, but also as a large-scale regional headquarters, providing all the core technological skills and bringing the cutting-edge skills found in its global headquarters in Singapore and in other offices.
The new center, located in the Dubai Internet City, will accommodate 18 employees from the main units of Group IB: high-tech criminal investigations, Digital Forensics and Incident Response Laboratory (DFIR), Threat Intelligence, Security Assessment, Security Team IT Emergency Response (CERT) -GIB), Threat and Fraud Teams, Digital Risk Protection Department and other major divisions.
“The threat of cybercrime is global, with regions affected differently,” noted Craig Jones, Director of Cybercrime, INTERPOL. “By understanding first-hand how threats evolve and what impact and damage they cause in the region, I know that together we can mitigate these far-reaching threats and reduce the damage more effectively. Covering a wide range of expertise, experience and skills, this headquarters will play a central role in Groupe IB’s research on the regional threat landscape and the on-the-ground support of its clients and partners.
“INTERPOL’s Global Cybercrime Program looks forward to further strengthening our partnership with IB Group and increasing operational cybercrime activities in the region in collaboration with this office.”
Dubai is one of the regional strongholds for the coordination of cross-border efforts against cybercrime and research on threat actors and their techniques. All-new Threat Intelligence & Research Center enables the local community to take advantage of Group IB’s in-depth knowledge of criminal schemes and close collaboration with international law enforcement and cyber police around the world .
The company’s battle-tested experts have conducted more than 1,200 successful investigations in 18 years around the world, enriching Groupe-IB’s technology ecosystem with first-hand understanding of intrusion tactics used in cyber attacks. the most sophisticated.
Knowledge transfer and the hiring of local talent are other key elements of Group-IB’s strategy. The company plans to have more than 50 team members in the UAE over the next 18 months. Leveraging its e-education branch and successful track record with universities around the world, the Dubai team will be responsible for investing in local talent by working closely with UAE higher education institutions.
Initial recruitment will focus on digital forensics experts, investigators, and cyber threat attribution and intelligence specialists expected to join the IB Group MEA Threat Intelligence & Research Center.
“Zero tolerance towards cybercriminals has brought us to the forefront of the global fight against online crime,” said Ilya Sachkov, CEO and Founder of IB Group, commenting on the opening of the office. “Dubai is an ideal place to carry out this mission with local institutions and international law enforcement. As part of our contribution to building a vibrant cybersecurity ecosystem in the UAE, we plan to develop world-class research, surveillance, incident detection and response capabilities here in Dubai and adapt them to market needs, ”he added.
Group-IB’s newly inaugurated Threat Intelligence and Research Center will serve the company’s existing customer base, which includes more than 30 customers in the MEA region in the banking, government, insurance and retail industries. energy. More local businesses will now be able to benefit from Groupe-IB’s distinctive organizational structure and technology ecosystem, which includes equally powerful products and services.
According to the annual “Hi-Tech Crime Trends report 2020/2021”, at least 18 state-sponsored threat actors, including APT33, MuddyWater and APT41, were targeting the MEA region only. The Middle East has been a testing ground for piloting tools related to attacks on the energy and ICT sector from the days of Stuxnet until today. In this context, robust monitoring and response for IT and industrial OT networks play a central role in protecting critical assets of smart cities, ICSs, public and private enterprises in the UAE.
In his keynote address, IB Group CTO Dmitry Volkov highlighted other underlying regional cybernetic trends such as ransomware attacks and the sale of access to corporate networks. According to Group-IB data, at least 12 victims suffered publicly known ransomware attacks in the Middle East in 2020, most of which took place in the UAE.
To this end, Group-IB brings to the region a portfolio of products and services that includes a very first all-in-one Threat Hunting Framework solution for the protection of the IT and OT segments. Another innovation that is becoming more accessible to local customers is Group-IB’s Threat Intelligence & Attribution (TI&A), a system designed to create and customize a cyber threat map for a specific business.
Every analyst who uses TI&A now has access to the largest collection of data on the dark web, an advanced hacker group profiling model, and a fully automated graphical analysis tool that allows data to be correlated and analyzed. assign threats to specific criminal groups within seconds. Group-IB’s TI&A has been found to meet industry recommendations for the collection of cyber threat intelligence data, issued by the United States Department of Justice for cybersecurity companies, by a Big Four accounting firm .
Industry heavyweight Ashraf Koheil is the newest addition to the Group-IB team in the UAE. Mr. Koheil brings over 25 years of entrepreneurial experience in the IT and ICT security field. He will lead the regional business development team of Group-IB.
“The UAE is one of the most progressive and demanding markets that strive for continuous improvement in all aspects including government, services, banking with cybersecurity at the forefront,” comments M . Koheil. “This makes Group-IB a perfect solution because our mission is to eliminate all facets of cybercrime, whether it is for financial reasons, nation-state activities or social engineering scams. We expect that much of our growth will come from the true partner-friendly ecosystem that we have created in the region.
“We are also planning joint research and development with key government institutions in the financial sector and law enforcement to provide more localized solutions and develop local expertise.” Mr Koheil noted that Group-IB’s investment plan in the MEA region also includes a stronghold in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where the company has already built its MSSP hub.