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The lockdown has shown how vulnerable many companies’ computer security systems are. Although many of them solved their problems in a short time, the risks of cyber attacks reappeared after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In May 2021, the largest oil pipeline in the United States was the target of a cyber attack. The ransomware attack was organized by a group of hackers called DarkSide, which infiltrated the network of its owner, Colonial Pipeline, and took control of about 100 GB of data. The pipeline, with a transport capacity of 2.5 million barrels per day, provides almost half of the East Coast’s fuel needs.
The American press reported five days after the attack that the hackers had received a ransom of five million dollars for not publishing the stolen data on the Internet. Following the attack, several East Coast gas stations recorded supply syncopes and congestion.
This is just one of dozens of such examples in recent times, especially since the outbreak of war in Ukraine has increased cyberattack alerts. This has led IT companies to take action and improve their customer service.
In early April 2022, local cybersecurity company Safetech announced the signing of a partnership with Fidelis Cybersecurity, a US cybersecurity company focused on detecting and responding quickly to cyber threats and data security breaches.
“Every year we have improved our portfolio of solutions. This year we decided to sign this partnership just to come to the Romanian market, and not only, with a new innovative cyber security solution that addresses today’s threats “, says Victor Gânsac, founder of Safetech.
According to him, following the partnership with Fidelis, Safetech will be able to attract new customers and, implicitly, will be able to increase the company’s turnover. Safetech is on an upward trend in terms of turnover – almost 23 million lei (4.66 million euros) in 2021, compared to about 14.7 million lei (2.98 million euros) in 2020. “In recent years, growth has accelerated, both from the measures applied at the company level, and due to the increase in attacks and the need for cyber security,” adds Victor Gânsac. The company is listed on the AeRO market of the Bucharest Stock Exchange starting with January 29, 2021, its shares being included from October of the same year in the BET-AeRO index.
Fidelis solutions are provided through the Fidelis Elevate XDR platform, specifically designed for proactive cyber defense and to help Safetech’s SOC (Security Operations Center) analyst teams combat cyber attacks from an early stage, company officials said.
Victor Gânsac says that the dangers in the virtual space have started to increase since 2018, with the appearance of a malware that encrypts the data of companies and individuals. The founder of Safetech says that this is practically the moment when modern hacking appeared. “If until then hackers wanted to prove their abilities, we can say that today we are in a cyber war,” said the entrepreneur. He adds that if in classic conflicts the attackers can be located, in case of war in the virtual space they cannot be detected before the attack is initiated.
Under these conditions, Gânsac adds, the solution is for organizations not to limit themselves to the classic antivirus solutions, but to implement a protection system that allows them to act as soon as possible to limit or even block a possible cyber attack. “We have groups of hackers, we have organized crime that now seems to be making more money from cyber attacks than from drugs or other illegal acts,” Victor Gânsac details.
The businessman adds that with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to an acceleration of digitization and online work, the risk area has increased. Basically, as the number of multi-connection IT systems increases, so do the risks and vulnerabilities of cybersecurity.
Victor Gânsac says that many computer incidents are possible due to vulnerabilities generated by the actions of their own employees: “About 80% of security issues come from within.”
The entrepreneur says that, in the case of financial-banking institutions, external attacks favored by vulnerabilities generated from within lead not only to the loss of money, but also to the loss of trust, which translates into the loss of some customers. In the case of utility or industry companies, such an attack can lead to imbalances in service delivery or downtime. The result is the same: losing customers.
A graduate of the Faculty of Automatics, Victor Gânsac declares himself passionate about IT. He grew up in this environment, his parents being part of the first generations of computer scientists in Romania. During his general school, his parents worked at the Bacău Territorial Computing Center. “And now I smell like a card,” the entrepreneur recalls, explaining that a type of card with a specific smell was used to start a server in the 1980s.
Victor Gânsac says that he has been working since college, even though he started working from below. “Initially, I worked as an apprentice in an investment fund. At the end of college, I got involved in the networking area, and in 2007 I switched to the cyber security area “, details the founder of Safetech.
He decided to enter entrepreneurship in 2001, when he founded Safetech Innovations. From the beginning, the company offered solutions in information security and cyber security, but also focused on consulting services. At the beginning, a line of business was also dedicated to the sale of IT equipment and services.
Over time, Safetech has also formed an ethical team of hackers who participate in cyber security exercises organized by NATO. And as the competition is quite tight in all areas at the level of large companies, Victor Gânsac intuited that a business like his must go on as narrow a space as possible. This changed the company’s strategy completely. Safetech has become more selective in its choice of projects, so that in 2018, it gave up the line of business represented by sales of IT equipment, solutions and services, focusing on cyber security.
And the business was strengthened on this principle even after the company went public. Next, starting from the new dangers in the virtual space, he wants to focus on the area of customer advice, which should understand that a more complex package of security solutions strengthens the defensive lines of information systems.
At the end of last year, Orange Business Services reported in the report “Business Internet Security 2021” what are the main threats, risks and predictions of cyber security identified locally.
DANGERS. The cities most affected by cyber attacks in 2021 were Bucharest, with a monthly average of 600,000 incidents detected and prevented, Iasi, with 400,000, and Timisoara – with 370,000. INCIDENCE. Against the background of the increase in the number of online stores, last year, 29% of all incidents were detected in the e-commerce area, and another 27 percent – in the field of transport.
This article appeared in issue 138 of . magazine.
PHOTO: Laszlo Raduly