“Our goal is to place Greece high on the world map of cybersecurity, among the leading countries, such as Israel, Great Britain and the USA. This is a basic goal of the company but also my personal vision for the future.” stressed in an interview with Capital.gr its CEO and co-founder Obrela Security Industries, George Patsis.
In a full-length interview, a few weeks after the acquisition of the company Encode, who is also very successful in the field of cybersecurity, Mr. Patsis talks about Obrela’s future plans for its expansion into new areas and markets.
By investing in Encode “we are growing even faster, we are becoming even more competitive in the market and at the same time we are even better positioned in the field of cybersecurity, which is the fastest growing technology market in the world”, Mr. Patsis emphasizes.
Interview with Costas Ketsietzis
Mr. Patsis, tell us a few words about Obrela Security Industries, how it started and what new it offers in the cybersecurity industry.
Obrela Security Industries, a company very specialized in the field of cyber security, was founded in 2009 in Greece, by Greeks abroad, a small group of scientists and professionals, with several years of service in large multinational companies. However, the idea was conceived a few years ago, when the team realized the lack of human resources, market specialization, the complexity of the issue and the inability of companies to meet this need internally. Since then, at Obrela, we have not stopped evolving and pioneering. Today, through our specialist business centers and state-of-the-art Swordfish platform, which has been developed internally after years of intensive research and development, we provide our customers with complete digital protection against cyber threats and real-time risk management.
We are constantly on the lookout 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to ensure the timely detection of cyber threats and to effectively protect our customers’ critical infrastructure, their information, their business and business interests, both preventive and corrective.
Obrela provides cybersecurity as a complete outsourced service to its customers. The companies that outsource their cyber security to Obrela receive the highest possible standards of resilience, security and protection, while the response time to a security incident is set at 20 minutes, when the corresponding time in internal management can reach up to 6 months. It is worth noting that Obrela business centers manage more than 18 billion critical events every day.
What does the acquisition of Encode mean, what is changing in your size and what are the next goals?
This acquisition comes to further strengthen our market position, creating one of the largest companies in the cybersecurity industry. Our goal at Obrela is to place Greece high on the world map of cybersecurity, among the leading countries, such as Israel, Great Britain and the USA. This is a basic goal of the company but also my personal vision for the future. With the unified scheme, the support of our people and our investors, but also the utilization of our complementary forces, we have all the necessary conditions to implement it. With this move we are growing even faster, we are becoming even more competitive in the market and at the same time we are even better positioned in the field of cyber security, which is the fastest growing technology market in the world.
What are your future plans for expanding into new markets? Where are most of your customers and how many people do you employ?
Our business plan is in any case ambitious, in the context of the planned investments, for our further development and expansion into new markets. With the acquisition of Encode, our position is further strengthened. At this stage, the priority is the integration actions of the people of Encode with the aim of the uninterrupted operation of the services we provide to our customers internationally, the strengthening of the dynamics, but also the smooth operation of all points of physical presence of the unified scheme, ie Greece, London, Frankfurt, Riyadh and Dubai. We maintain three business centers in Greece and a very sophisticated center – business room, which we call Resilience Operation Center, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Our immediate plans are to further strengthen us with the appropriate human resources for the staffing of business centers and in order to frame the expanded services that we will provide as a unified scheme to our customers. Of course, it is also important to strengthen our infrastructure and of course to ensure the continuous evolution of technology, which is one of our main advantages as a result of many years of R&D, which will now be done in collaboration and in combination with Encode technology.
The integrated scheme employs about 200 people worldwide, we operate in 17 countries, while our main and strategic countries of activity remain Greece and Cyprus, London as the largest market in Europe and a major business center for large companies, the German market as well as the markets of Saudi Arabia and Dubai.
The next step is the further consolidation of the Obrela brand and the claiming of even larger shares in these countries where we have a physical presence and which are crucial for us. Our activity in other countries will also continue on an even more dynamic basis, as well as the gradual development of new markets both geographically and at the customer level. Specifically, we are preparing the approach of the small and medium business market, a market which is estimated to exceed 1 trillion. dollars over the next four years. Our ultimate goal, of course, remains to expand into the US, the world’s largest market, which holds 60% of the world market.
What part of the work is done in Greece and how many people are employed in our country?
With two business centers in Greece and the business chamber maintained by Encode, we now have three very sophisticated business chambers through which we serve our customers. Greece is home to most of our human resources, ie about 90 people, as the country hosts the company’s research and development center (R&D), but also the main business center, the mothership as we call it, which operates as a hub business liaison and coordination.
It is worth noting that for the next 12 months our plan is to strengthen with 50 new specialized jobs, most of which concern Greece.
The company includes as investors EOS Capital Partners And the LATSCO family office of Mrs. Marianna Latsi, what does the participation of these names in the company mean for you?
The strong shareholder structure of EOS Capital Partners Led by Apostolos Taivakakis and the investment arm of the Latsco Family Office allows for large-scale business moves, such as the recent acquisition of Encode, but also our even more dynamic growth at the organic level. Investor trust is a form of reward, practical recognition and support. We are particularly pleased that both sides have identified Obrela’s strong prospects and given us new impetus, not only to make our dreams come true, but also to see things from a different perspective, to realize our capabilities and of course to redefine our strategic aspirations for even more ambitious growth in the coming years.
Can a company from Greece play a leading role in cybersecurity worldwide, especially considering that Israel, which is considered a superpower in this sector, is located in our wider region?
Obrela Security Industries is active in the rapidly growing market of Managed Detection and Response Services (MDR), with annual growth rates of over 20%, which are expected to accelerate. This MDR Services market is the strongest sub-sector of the global Cyber Security Services market (totaling $ 64 billion for 2020, according to Gartner). By 2025, 50% of organizations will use MDR services for monitoring, threat detection and response features that offer threat mitigation capabilities. As a company, we are already very high in this area, which is the next day of cybersecurity, as Obrela was categorized and recognized by the leading American technology research company Gartner as one of the 30 most specialized companies in this field.
Now, through the unified scheme and with the vehicle of our dynamic development plan, we create the “national champion”, but also a strong and reliable European and international player who can reach the country high in the very critical field of cybersecurity. Also, do not forget that we Greeks have a talent for what is called cyber security and it is no coincidence that in Greece we have the most cyber security engineers in proportion to our population, throughout Europe.
Is there adequate human resources? How easy is it to find employees with the necessary knowledge and skills?
The unified scheme already has one of the most remarkable and trained teams in the field of cyber security, a fact that counts on our main advantages. The human element is, as you realize for us, the cornerstone and one of the most important elements of our success. Certainly, it is not easy to strengthen the team with newly trained staff, however we have developed a very strong internal human resources department, which comes from Citigroup and other large companies in Greece and abroad. At the same time, we have given a great basis to the attraction and utilization of talents but also to the formation and existence of a strong and unified corporate culture, which promotes open communication and innovation. As an attractive employer in the field of technology in London and Germany but also in other countries, we try, indirectly or immediately, to reach Greeks who want to return to Greece, thus acting as a lever of the brain regain initiative.
We believe that the better we can find the right people and the more effective we become in keeping them interested, giving them opportunities for growth and development, and the opportunity to participate in high-profile projects around the world, the easier it will be to bring them back the world in Greece and consequently, the easier it will be to achieve our goal of promoting Greece as a pole of innovation and growth in cybersecurity.
I am Derek Black, an author of World Stock Market. I have a degree in creative writing and journalism from the University of Central Florida. I have a passion for writing and informing the public. I strive to be accurate and fair in my reporting, and to provide a voice for those who may not otherwise be heard.