Exclusive: Interview with Art Gilliland, chief executive officer at Delinea
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Exclusive: Interview with Art Gilliland, chief executive officer at Delinea

Exclusive: Interview with Art Gilliland, chief executive officer at Delinea

Gilliland explains why cybersecurity solutions must be powerful to use, yet simple to understand

What does Delinea stand for, and what was the idea behind the name change from ThycoticCentrify?
Our goal as one of the top cybersecurity organisations is to educate our clients about the importance of cybersecurity and support them on their road to a safer cyberspace. We assist them in differentiating between who should have access to vital corporate resources and who should not. In a nutshell, Delinea means delineating between what you should and shouldn’t have rights to.

Having been in the cybersecurity industry for over a decade, how have you witnessed its evolution?
We looked at the world differently back then because the lens of our lives was different. But, over the years, crime has raced into the digital space. For instance, you could sit in your home or office and attack another country’s IP and steal billions of dollars. So, that sort of relevance is one of the big things that has changed.

Another element is the talent we require to operate and our security infrastructure, which has improved. Although some organisations have a sufficient number of individuals with appropriate skill sets, we must consider developing ultra-smooth and simple solutions for businesses of all sizes and scales.

Businesses desire intuitive interfaces that are smooth and easy to deploy, and end unpleasant and problematic situations. As a result, the tools must be seamless while still being powerful. However, what if the sector becomes increasingly relevant and significant in boardrooms, but we end up lacking the necessary skill set to adapt to it? Therefore, the technologies we develop must be robust and simple to understand.

How has privileged access management (PAM) evolved in the Middle East?
When companies began implementing firewalls and endpoint protection on laptops, they discovered that hackers were still obtaining credentials. They realised that technologies like PAM were required to combat ransomware. I believe this realisation has happened quickly, especially after the pandemic.

The move to remote work and external access to all services needed more significant authentication and authorisation. The Middle East has recently adopted more cloud and software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions. The region outsources the product’s backend operations, so they don’t have to worry about maintaining and operating the infrastructure. Instead, they may take advantage of our expertise in infrastructure maintenance and focus solely on policymaking and operations. It also enables us to swiftly deploy more capabilities, such as analytics and other SaaS-delivered functions. I believe PAM is gaining a lot of traction, and Covid-19 helped accelerate some of that.

Do you see Saudi Arabia as one of your major growth markets?
We’ve dedicated significant resources to the Middle East, and we’ve just separated this emerging market from our Southern European operations. We see a lot of cyber espionage and cyber warfare in the Middle East, from not only outside but within the region too. As a result, there is a high degree of demand for cybersecurity services. However, the skill sets are more limited. Consequently, technologies like ours that are powerful but simple to use become increasingly vital.

What makes your company stand apart from the competition?
From the customer’s standpoint, it’s the promise of seamless integration and quick time to value compared to the other players in the area, whose products are far more challenging to use. And, while they may have strong capabilities, our focus is on the core area where customers use the product. In addition, for regional partners interested in collaborating with us, we would like to let them know that our solution effectively creates demand and discovers clients who desire our product. And it’s been one of the reasons why we’ve grown, three times as fast as our next closest competitor. Our technologies are more approachable, and that helps our growth rate.

What are your plans for the year ahead across your different markets?  
We are growing extraordinarily fast. Much of the reason for putting these two businesses together was to improve the pace of our portfolio. We’ve more than doubled our engineering talent. This year, we intend to increase the size of that team by 40 per cent. The same may be said about the Middle East region. In terms of investment in people and the expansion of our partner network, we predict a 40 to 50 per cent increase. Although North America is our stronghold, Europe and the Middle East are likely to be our most significant growth possibilities in the foreseeable future. But we’re also looking to grow our Asian teams. Right now, the Middle East is probably as massive as our Asian business. As a result, I anticipate us to continue to make strides in this region, gaining new customers and forming new collaborations.

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