Group-IB Cements Foothold in Europe: European HQ in Amsterdam Opens Its Doors

13 ноября 2020 г. 13:07

Image: Group-IB.

Amsterdam, 12.11.2020Group-IB, a global threat hunting and intelligence company and Skolkovo resident, has opened the doors of its European headquarters in Amsterdam, which will serve as a central hub for the company’s research into the European threat landscape. Having been operating on the continent for years, the company is now formalizing its operations by inaugurating its new HQ that will be consolidating and maturing the expertise gathered in cyber investigations, incident response and threat hunting activities across the region under one roof.

The Amsterdam office, located at Prinsengracht 919 (1017 KD Amsterdam), is set to intensify the strong European cyber threat knowledge Group-IB had previously, broaden the company’s global threat hunting infrastructure and strengthen the on-the-ground support for the company’s customer base in the region, which, among others, includes major banks of the Netherlands. In the spirit of its global strategy to develop a distributed international network of autonomous cybersecurity centers with a deep grasp of the local cybersecurity environment, the initial team that settled in Amsterdam includes the representatives of Group-IB’s key business units. These are Сyber Investigation, Digital Forensics, Incident Response, Security Assessment, Anti-Piracy and Brand Protection teams, paired with frontline Threat Intelligence analysts who honed their skills in studying the most notorious threat actors targeting companies across the globe.

The choice of host for the European HQ comes as no surprise: the Netherlands, which is home to Europol, the Hague Security Delta, NATO Cyber Security Agency, and European Network for Cyber Security, has been one of the key players of the European cybersecurity world. According to Group-IB experts, the exodus of global tech and financial companies from London to Amsterdam is likely to escalate the city’s attractiveness in the eyes of cybercriminals, which will inevitably lead to an increase in the number of cyberattacks there.

According to Group-IB Hi-Tech Crime Trends 2019/2020 report, the Netherlands is one of the rare victims of banking botnets, including infamous Dridex, Qbot and Trickbot. Europe in general provides a far more diverse threat landscape, being a target of at least 16 APT groups, numerous ransomware operators and online scammers.

The above determines the density of cyberspace in the area, which, to be protected duly, requires thorough exploration. Thus, the short-term objective of the Amsterdam team will be the in-depth examination of local cybercrime with the ultimate goal of rendering a strong regional angle to Group-IB products and solutions and creating a map of online threats menacing this specific district. Group-IB also plans to cooperate closely with law enforcement locally in order to disrupt cybercrime for the European region and build resiliency.

“Banks in the Netherlands and financial organizations in Europe were among our first customers to purchase Group-IB attribution-based Threat Intelligence, which indicates the market’s high level of maturity,” comments Group-IB CEO and founder Ilya Sachkov. “Our team is scattered around the continent being on guard for our clients in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and other states. We were consistent in our development on the European market and today have the expertise to scale up the installations of our products and to continue aiding European companies in fighting cybercrime, now being close by when needed. Without even officially announcing our Amsterdam office opening, we received several cooperation requests from our potential partners. Our short term in the region is the active recruitment of cybersecurity experts. We’ll be using this challenging time to capture the opportunities. Thanks for the warm welcome and stay safe!”

The Amsterdam team plans to strengthen its expertise not only in depth but also in width by actively engaging local talents, with cyber investigation and threat intelligence experts being in the focus of the current recruitment policy in the region. The close cooperation with European universities is yet another dimension of this mission, with Group-IB seeking to provide gifted youngsters with a chance to try their hand on the forefront of modern cyberwarfare by taking an internship at the company, which has been fighting online crime worldwide for nearly two decades. Group-IB has already tried its hand in the country’s educational activities and trained corporate security teams of banks in the Netherlands as well as local law enforcement, including those employed with EC3.

It is expected that the collaboration with universities in the region will give an impetus to Group-IB’s initiative for fostering so-called future professions. Its main idea is to fill the gap between the enduring educational programs and the constantly evolving needs of the cybersecurity labor market by grooming professionals with a foundational skill-set, allowing them to jump-start their cybersecurity careers. Group-IB leadership has stated on numerous occasions that they cannot fully rely on academic knowledge alone and have been actively investing resources in newcomers. Given the above, Group-IB has been actively developing its partnership network with universities to provide young talent with internship opportunities.

“Instead of uniting people with the same profession, Group-IB unites people with the same mindset,” commented Sergey Lupanin, the Group-IB Chief Operating Officer, European HQ. “Intolerance toward cybercrime lies at the core of our company, and it is not always easy to find people of like mind. That is why we grab every chance to find people with this sense of social responsibility and spare no effort to share our knowledge with them. In Europe, we see many opportunities to find those who will embrace our global mission to make the world a safer place to live in.”

As part of its regional engagements, Group-IB plans to occupy itself with pro bono activities facilitating the access of socially important facilities in the region, like hospitals, charities, and educational organizations, to proactively enhance the level of security in the region.