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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

Kaspersky optimistic about growth of its business in Middle East, CEO says

Cybersecurity firm is eyeing more sales of its products in the region

The report also showed there were more than 3.7 million attempts to obtain people’s personal data through fake social media pages in the first four months of this year. Getty Images
The report also showed there were more than 3.7 million attempts to obtain people’s personal data through fake social media pages in the first four months of this year. Getty Images

Kaspersky Lab, who is relying on global markets for growth to offset the impact of a ban in US government departments, sees the Middle East a potential market for cybersecurity as the region develops smart cities.

The Moscow-based company, most known for its anti-virus software, is seeking opportunities in the Middle East for securing critical infrastructure in industries ranging from energy to water desalination, Eugene Kaspersky, chief executive and co-founder of the company, said in an interview in Abu Dhabi.

“It’s a very promising market,” Mr Kaspersky said. “We had very stable and very good growth for last year and this year.”

The company’s top market is Europe, followed by North America, Russia and the CIS, Latin America, and followed closely by the Middle East and lastly Asia. The oil-rich region, specifically the Arabian Gulf states, has been vulnerable to cyber-attacks on the oil and gas sector in the past and there’s growing awareness about the need for cyber security.

Kaspersky Labs is in talks with customers in the region about securing their industrial sectors and critical infrastructure in areas including power plants, transportation, telecoms, and power grids, Mr Kaspersky said.

“We’re very optimistic about these projects, it seems to be very, very positive,” he said, declining to reveal potential customers or timeline for deals.

The process is slow-paced as it takes time to create awareness, develop a plan and implement solutions.

“Maybe within some next years we’ll have contracts but there is very few cases where we can publicly say this,” Mr Kaspersky said.