[Interview] Archzilon Eshun-Davies, CISO/CEO, TAISE, Ghana
Would you please introduce your company?
TAISE is a cyber-intelligence company that aims to counter cyber attacks with actionable intelligence and awareness.
What would you say gives your company a competitive edge?
We have world-class analysts and we employ Machine Learning as a tool for detecting attack patterns, this makes our solutions much more effective than most. We also have been working with different companies around the world and that gives us a global understanding of the threat surface we deal with.
Who are TAISE clients?
Our clients cut across all industries and fields, we have clients in the financial sector like GN Bank Liberia, IFS Ghana and in the telecoms space we have SwilliamTel in Switzerland, in the eCommerce we have Mummy’s Boutique, eCampus, Groc Wheels Uganda, 509Host.com and we also have professional clients like bkc.name and many others.
What are the ambitions of the company going forward?
We want to eliminate internal threats for the financial sector by 15% in 5 years, we have seen internal threat as a major problem across Africa and Europe. We also want to be of great help to businesses that want to focus on their business without fear of losing it all in a minute.
How has the market responded to your cybersecurity products and services?
The market has been quite responsive, we initially expected to have a hard time influencing C-level management of the threats and its impacts but we have seen a complete opposite. The need for our penetration test has also been very consistent across the board. When we pre-launched our flagship product the “Webguard” we were very excited to receive support from some of our competitors who now advocate for their clients to use our solutions. Overall we are very happy with how we have been received so far and look forward to more.
How is the competition in the cybersecurity space? How are you insulating yourselves from the competition?
As can be expected when a new niche is in town, we have been facing fierce competition on the field but we have curtailed this by focusing on our strengths which is intelligence gathering, analysis and our own in-house solutions that are developed on what we know works based on our years of working against threat actors in the past and what the intel tells us. When TAISE secures your business, website, phone or smart home, we provide an SLA with insurance that we pay you if you are hacked within the period for which we secure you; we do this because we are highly confident and we are tested and proven.
Africa is still lagging behind when it comes to cybersecurity, digital security is in its infancy. Why do you think this is the case?
I believe the relationship between a mouse click and an attack is not really appreciated in Africa yet, its easier for most to understand that when you leave your door unlocked you get robbed than when you leave your corporate network or your smartphone with weak passwords or broken software you get attacked and robbed. Another reason is; most businesses believe they do not have enough data or money to be a target, but in an attacker’s mind “No target is too small”. I believe sharing awareness tips like we do at TAISE helps to change the mindset and people can relate attacks more to lack of adequate security and monitoring.
What shift in cybersecurity is currently happening in Africa?
Africa is growing economically and its infrastructure is rapidly expanding, this has forced a new look at everything, we see now that more and more businesses and governments are going beyond anti-virus and firewalls and are asking the real questions of why attacks occur and how do we not fall victim.
How real are cyber threats for companies not typically targeted by cybercriminals?
If your company is small or doesn’t really fall in the general scope of what is expected to be a cyber criminal’s target, know that you interact and offer services to other businesses. Most cybercriminals would just attack large corporations but well advanced and more patient threat actors known as APTs(Advanced Persistent Threat) would use consulting businesses, cleaning services and various others as pivot points to attack their main targets. Your business is attacked to compromise and that leaves a sour taste which can lead to no business in the future for your business because you are seen as untrusted.
What is the latest news from your company?
We are preparing to launch a new product for detecting and categorizing internal threats before they become a problem. This has been a solution that most of our clients in the financial industry have been asking for and we have listened, so look forward to that and stay safe with TAISE.
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