Ashley Madison, Sony, the US government, Iran Nuclear Centrifuges and ARAMCO facilities in Saudi Arabia. These are just a few of the high profile targets that have been hacked in the past and that reminds us all how vulnerable the cyberspace is. But asides from the stories that make it to the front page of the New York Times, there are billions of hack attacks taking place all year long, every hour, every minute, every second.
The Middle East, and the GCC specifically, are not immune from such a trend. In a region where political and military conflicts are rampant, and where multibillion dollar companies are flourishing, there are plenty of incentives for hackers, political groups and states to get involved in the cyberspace.
Attacks cost businesses in the region [GCC] up to Dh1.5 billion, with most of the attacks originating from China and Eastern Europe. – The National
From Houthi rebels taking down Saudi based governmental sites, to Chinese hackers launching coordinated attacks against large banks, anything with a presence online is a potential target. The costs usually quickly add up to billions of dollars, and the repercussions of a hack attack against nuclear facilities or oil plants can be catastrophic.
The protection of the critical national infrastructure involving oil, gas, water and electricity in the UAE is lagging. The result is this could cause major disturbances to key services,” Maj Almarashda.
Based on the spiralling increase of cyberattacks in the region, new breeds of cybersecurity startups are hopping on the train to carve a market for themselves, one of which is VUL9 Security Solutions. VUL9 is a unique startup since its staff includes a mix of White Hat hackers and IT experts who share one thing in common: They are all listed in the Hall of Fame of all major tech companies for their contributions in finding vulnerabilities in their systems and sites. These include Facebook, Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Twitter, Nokia, Paypal, Samsung, Sony and others.
VUL9 Security Solutions brings an unparalleled expertise to the table, and has already gained major clients in the region as a result. The vision of the founders is to make the cyberspace in the MENA region a safer landscape not only for the private sector, but also for governmental institutions and national infrastructure operators. Covering a wide array of services both commercial and military, VUL9’s growth path is set to position the company as a leading cybersecurity provider in the MiddEast.
We want to become a leading cybersecurity provider in the region, and our goal is to make this amazing startup a billion dollar company in the long run. If we can make the cyberspace in the region safer, and make money at the same time, then everyone wins. – VUL9 co-founder, Mohamed Amine Belarbi
What’s next for the founders? The company is already finalising its new financing round and opening a branch in the US, Delaware in order to compete for lucrative defence contracts there. The silver lining in the increasing hack attacks in the GCC is that urgency and demand is leading bright young people to launch innovative solutions and cutting edge tech startups to tackle challenging problems.
Interested in reaching out to VUL9 Security Solutions? Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org