Cybersecurity to drive growth this year: Sabhlok


MANAGEENGINE President Raj Sabhlok, while highlighting the need for its Middle East User Conference, spoke to Saudi Gazette on the signature event in Dubai, emerging technological trends and how his company is positioned to help its customers in cybersecurity and in the ongoing digital transformation. Here are the excerpts

SG: Please give us a brief on your Middle East User Conference.

A: ManageEngine’s Middle East User Conference is a yearly signature event conducted in Dubai to facilitate knowledge sharing, IT best practices and ManageEngine product training. The conference is centered on major IT management disciplines, including IT operations management (ITOM), IT service management (ITSM), Windows and Active Directory management, and IT security. Beyond the formal sessions, networking with IT colleagues from various industries has become a highlight and trademark of the conference.

SG: Why do you hold these conferences? How does it help your customers and your company?

A: Our Middle East User Conference gives us an opportunity to build close, personal relationships with our customers and prospective customers. We also look forward to meeting our resellers, channel partners, and potential partners at the events. Our ManageEngine technology experts give group presentations as well as one-on-one demonstrations of how our products surpass the competition. So the event is a great opportunity to showcase the superiority of our solutions for the people who are evaluating us as a strategic vendor and partner. Likewise, our product teams get direct feedback from users about what works, what needs to be improved, and what they’d like to see in future releases.

SG: Can you elaborate on some of the technology trends that will drive growth in 2018?

A: Given recent trends in malware, breaches, and other security threats, we expect cybersecurity to continue to drive growth this year. Similarly, tighter data protection laws such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, South Africa’s Protection of Personal Information Act, and the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme in Australia will also drive adoption of IT security and reporting solutions. Look for blockchain to start playing a role in enterprise security, in particular in identity access management. And beyond security, there’s the cloud. We believe cloud adoption will continue to grow as more companies grow more comfortable with that computing model.

SG: How will artificial intelligence impact IT Service Management?

A: We believe the biggest, most immediate impact AI will have on IT service management will come in the form of AI-powered chatbots to more convincingly simulate human conversation while providing front-line support. With AI, chatbots are learning how to respond to users’ requests and predict what they want. Depending on the users’ history or points they raise during a chat session, AI-powered chatbots can ask users what they need and even ask leading questions, all to improve the support experience.

SG: Saudi Arabia too has been the target of cyber-attacks in the past 12 months. How can ManageEngine help customers in Saudi Arabia protect their organizations from these cyber-attacks?

A: We offer a number of solutions for securing IT, from the routers, servers, and other devices sitting at the heart of an enterprise network out to the desktops, laptops, and mobile devices found at the network’s edge. If an organization has invested in the cloud, we can secure the activity happening on public cloud platforms such as Amazon and Azure. For instance, our security information and event management solutions handle security auditing, threat detection, incident management, user behavior analytics and forensics and post-breach analysis. And organizations can use our endpoint management solutions to automate patching for Windows and third-party applications, encrypt enterprise data on mobile devices, and remotely wipe data from mobile devices that are lost or stolen.

SG: What does the digital world look like in the Middle East and how can businesses address digital transformation security risks?

A: Today, the best practices in IT security — in the Middle East and elsewhere — involve specialization within IT security teams, with some members specializing in internal security threats and other specializing in external threats. The goal is two-fold. First, you want a full-time, dedicated IT security staff to stay ahead of security threats and to respond swiftly in case the organization comes under attack. Second, you want to ensure that all departments are adequately protected and operate under appropriate security protocols, whether the departments are customer-facing or not.

SG: Can you tells us why/how technology will be a key enabler and driver in Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030?

A: One of the most ambitious, most laudable goals of Vision 2030 is the plan to diversify the economy. Given the ubiquity of IT today, it’s reasonable to assume that IT will play a crucial role in driving and managing economic diversity and plan for the future. Whether Saudi organizations are seeking to deliver superior customer experiences or create unrivalled product offerings, the underlying IT will need to be effectively managed and optimized to drive the Kingdom forward. We look forward to be part of the successful journey. - SG