Features, Insight, Interviews

Combating AI-based threats

Anita Joseph caught up with Alona Geckler, SVP of Business Operations & Chief of Staff at Acronis to learn more about the company’s presence at GITEX and its mentorship program for women that is helping to promote diversity in the cybersecurity industry.

Can you tell us what you showcased at GITEX this year?


This year, we dedicated ourselves to the theme of “Empowering Cyber Resilience with AI.” Our latest innovations have revolved around elevating cybersecurity and data protection, unveiling the most recent iteration of the Acronis Cyber Protect suite, designed to counter AI-powered threats proficiently. Alongside this, we introduced our next-generation cloud-based solutions and announced substantial partnerships aimed at bolstering their offerings. Our principal emphasis was on presenting the seamless incorporation of AI into our products, enabling proactive threat detection, and offering all-encompassing data protection solutions.

Additionally, we are proud to be the go-to solution for over 20,000 service providers globally. In our specific region, we work closely with over 300 service providers. GITEX serves as a vital gateway to the broader regional market.

What are your company’s global plans for the future, particularly in the region?

Our global plans remain steadfast. We are committed to enhancing our product to make it a complete, all-in-one solution. We’ve observed a growing demand in the market for a unified solution that service providers can integrate and offer to their customers, eliminating the need for separate backup, automation, and disaster recovery solutions. This is precisely what Acronis is dedicated to delivering. As an example, we recently introduced a new feature called EDR, which stands for Endpoint Detection and Response. In just one month, we successfully thwarted around 200,000 attacks with this feature. This showcases our constant drive for innovation. Furthermore, we heavily leverage AI in our products because cybercriminals are increasingly using AI. Only through AI-backed solutions can we effectively combat these threats, as manual intervention becomes both expensive and complex. Our goal is to offer our service providers, who are often smaller companies with 10 to 20 employees, a ready-made solution that evolves and adapts to meet their needs. This enables them to offer comprehensive services to their customers.

Can you share more about the mentorship programs you’ve initiated, and how they’ve benefited women?

In industries traditionally dominated by men, like technology and cybersecurity, it’s evident that the majority of participants are male. However, there’s a growing trend to attract and retain more women in the industry. One of the key elements of our commitment to promoting diversity in the cyber field is the Acronis mentorship program, which we call #CyberDiversity. Each year, we identify approximately 50 high-potential women and pair them with our board directors, CEO, and other top-level executives. These women have the privilege of engaging in in-person mentorship sessions with these high-profile individuals, gaining valuable guidance and support. The mentorship program not only kick-starts their professional development but also provides them with ongoing daily support. We’ve been running this program for two years now, and we’ve already seen remarkable examples of participants who have taken significant steps forward in their careers since joining the #CyberDiversity program.

What trends are you anticipating in 2024, especially in the realm of AI?

In 2024, we expect the trend of AI integration to persist and deepen. To that end, our engineers and product development are heavily focused on enhancing AI integration within our cyber protection solutions. We believe that AI will continue to play a crucial role in safeguarding organisations against cyber threats. Additionally, sustainability efforts, like environmentally friendly products, eco-conscious supply chains, and the embrace of renewable energy, will be vital for survival in the coming years. Furthermore, blockchain technology will also play an important role in Cybersecurity in the coming years. It has the power to transform various industries by boosting trust and efficiency through greater transparency and more robust security measures. It’s an exciting frontier with enormous potential for positive change.

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