As part of our pre-GITEX feature, we spoke with Mareva Koulamallah, Head of Marketing and Communications Middle East & Africa at Acronis, to learn about Acronis’ expectations from the event this year as well as the latest trends in cybersecurity and the solutions Acronis has to offer organisations. Take a look at the replies we received.
TECHx: How excited are you for GITEX Technology Week? What are your hopes for this year’s event?
Mareva: This year’s GITEX Technology Week takes place again within a state of a pandemic even if in the United Arab Emirates the authorities have managed to control the spread of the virus quite well allowing life to be as normal as it can be since last year already. It was always important for us to be represented at GITEX before the pandemic but it is even more true now. The shift to online work has resulted in the number of cyberattacks exploding, so we feel that our technology and expertise are needed now more than ever.
Our first goal for this event is educative as it is to showcase the latest in innovation in the cyber protection space and explain to visitors how to protect themselves from cyber risks. As part of the new normal, the online space has now become the main channel of communication for most organizations and by doing so, all of them have been exposed to new threats and risks.
The GITEX Technology Week is, therefore, the ultimate platform for us and other key stakeholders to show what the cyber-protection industry is doing to support other industries and keep data safe from criminals.
Then, we also expect a decent number of enquiries from our target market on a variety of cybersecurity and data protection concerns for which we already have solutions. We are also looking forward to hearing direct feedback from our channel of partners, especially those that are based in the GCC region. This is information that we will use to continue to deliver on our customer service.
Finally, we hope to find new partners that we can help grow their business and revenue.
TECHx: How are cyber protection solutions evolving in the market today? What are the most significant trends you see emerging in the region?
Mareva: Cyber security is constantly evolving with new threats appearing every day. Cyber-protection solution providers have now been on constant alert as organizations increasingly become targets and a lot of them are unfortunately falling victims, losing millions of dollars worth of data to cyber mercenaries. By the close of 2020, organizations globally had lost a staggering US$ 1 billion to cyber criminals who exploited the pandemic to target unsuspecting companies and individuals.
Regionally, the Middle East region also had, and still has, its fair share of cyberattacks. For instance, ransomware, phishing and other forms of data breaches became prevalent in the region during 2020.
This has obviously triggered a series of trends that will likely shape cyber-protection for the region including a surge in the demand for the right tools in the region with financial institutions and banks leading the way by spending over US$1 billion in digital transformation.
TECHx: How is Acronis assisting enterprises in achieving relevant business objectives through the use of its solutions?
Mareva: The GCC region has always been an important market for us but we really have increased our local investments in the last two years through multiple recruitments, relocations and various Marketing activities with our distributors. For us, it is key to be able to empower our channel, helping them reach their business objectives, and generate revenue.
When the pandemic hit last year, we put a global relief plan in place for our channel partners by advising them and helping them to find the right financial support. With Acronis #CyberFit Financing, we joined multiple lenders all around the world to connect service provider partners and customers with aid programs. We also launched a cloud security-focused partner program earlier this year with additional advantages for our key partners. We now offer more marketing support to Platinum partners, on top of the technical support and we have additional training programs available. We have expanded the financial incentives to cater to any partners with cashflow issues as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. We also have doubled technical support to help partners deal with increased workloads.
We are really glad to see that the regional governments, led by the UAE, are well-informed around cyber protection needs and making this topic a priority by laying the foundation for a safer cyber world through relevant cybersecurity policies.