Russian cyber titan Group-IB makes Singapore home

Plans to invest $30 million into Singapore’s threat-hunting infrastructure by 2022

Group-IB has opened new global headquarters in Singapore amid an in-market hiring spree for the cyber security vendor.

Located at Fragrance Empire Building, the business has been operating in Southeast Asia since 2015, and as reported by Channel Asia, had originally planned to make Singapore home at the end of 2018.

As part of the move, plans are also in place for the Russian-born vendor to invest $30 million into Singapore’s threat-hunting infrastructure by 2022, alongside moving intellectual property to the region.

“Singapore is at the heart of the Asia Pacific region, which is a priority destination for the company’s business development: 29 per cent of Group-IB’s international revenue comes from the APAC region and Singapore in particular,” said Ilya Sachkov, CEO and founder of Group-IB.

“We are expecting this number to grow exponentially as we continue to invest in local talent and build close ties with the Singaporean business community.”

Group-IB has already began working closely with Singapore-based universities and educational institutions to find and help develop a local talent pool of cyber security specialists.

“Singapore was also chosen due to its favourable location and conditions for business development,” said Sachkov. “The Singaporean government aims to create a safe and secure ecosystem for everyone - the people and public and private companies.

“Most importantly, unlike any other country in the world, Singapore understands the importance of staying up to date with the latest cyber security technologies and trends, which is exactly what we are bringing to Singapore.”

Security talent

The vendor’s key talent from its Moscow head-office have already made the move to Singapore, and will also be tasked with finding and grooming local talent to join the expanding business.

Such experts come from a broad range of cyber security disciplines, spanning digital forensics lab, cyber investigations, brand protection and threat intelligence departments.

They have also been tasked with creating a digital forensic laboratory in Singapore and a cyber investigations department, together with a Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-GIB), and an R&D department.

In effect, the aim is to recreate the same organisational structure of the vendor’s Moscow-based Eastern European HQ in Singapore, in line with its global strategy to have a chain of offices in the world's key financial centres.

Group-IB has already hired local talent Shafique Dawood as business development director of APAC, bringing more than 15 years of experience in cyber security to the role.

From a recruitment perspective, recruitment will focus on cyber threat intelligence specialists, digital forensics experts, anti-fraud analysts, and reverse engineers.

“Highly skilled employees that meet Group-IB’s high standards are not easy to find, be it Europe, Americas or Asia,” said Nicholas Palmer, vice president of international business at Group-IB.

“That is why the crucial element of our strategy is to work hand in hand with leading universities in Singapore to develop highly skilled cyber security experts through joint educational programs and training courses with leading Singaporean schools.”

Group-IB is already taking proactive steps in this direction, recently signing an MoU with the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) and is currently working on a cyber security program at the same institution.

The vendor also has a network of channel partners across the region, among which are private companies in Vietnam and Thailand, which offer products and solutions in respective markets.

Group-IB also works with regional universities, and international organisations, such as Interpol Digital Crime Centre located in Singapore, with which Group-IB has been cooperating since 2017.

These partnerships offer the vendor value when it comes to collecting data on hacking groups that operate in the region to fight against cybercrime and ensure a strong and sustainable digital economy.