Aviva Zacks of Safety Detectives recently sat down again with Amir Levental, CEO of Cylus, and asked him to update her about what’s been happening with his company. He also told her how Cylus and other companies are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Safety Detective: Cylus recently announced some important partnerships with both Alstom and Egis Rail. Please share with us your view about that.
Amir Levintal: The rail industry experiences an increasing number of cyber-attacks. Since 2018, there has been an increase of more than 170% in attacks on the industry. As a company that focuses solely on rail cybersecurity, we believe that the best way to support the rail ecosystem and our customers, in protecting their mission-critical systems, is by joining forces with the rail industry and providing the best laser focus solution for the new cyber threats. I am sure that together we can lead the rail industry towards a cyber-safe future.
Recently, we joined forces with Alstom, to provide the cybersecurity solution for the rail operational systems, and with Egis-Rail, to provide cybersecurity professional services. These partnerships are very important pillars of our continuous partnerships strategy, and we continue partnering with prominent companies in the industry to provide higher cybersecurity value and better support our customers.
SD: Last month you launched a Center of Excellence for the railway industry, with Egis. Can you share with us some details about that?
AL: The Center of Excellence is a cooperation between EGIS, which is a prominent company in the domain of engineering and services for the rail industry, and Cylus that is the expert in rail cybersecurity. In our ongoing conversations with customers, we found that they are looking for cybersecurity services from domain experts that understand the rail business logic and unique constraints. It is important to understand that the nature of cybersecurity is services. The threat landscape changes over time and customers should manage their risks by implementing cyber risk assessments, design for security architectures, etc.
We partnered with EGIS which is, a market leader, and we built a new model that combines our unique knowledge and expertise in rail-cybersecurity with the huge experience and know-how of Egis in the engineering and services domain.
SD: How do you feel your company’s focus has changed now that we’ve been living through the COVID-19 pandemic?
AL: Since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic there has been a significant increase in cyberattacks almost on every industry. We’ve seen this trend also in the rail industry but this time it evolved much quickly. We believe that this trend will continue also in 2021.
One of the reasons we built the Center of Excellence is the huge increase in cyberattacks. The result of that was building such a model that allows us to provide for their unique needs. Together with Egis, we will support customers in different places in the world. It’s a way to manage the needs of the customers in such an environment.
SD: Do you think that this pandemic has changed the way enterprises are handling their own cybersecurity?
AL: Companies, also outside the rail industry, experience an increase in cyberattacks. In previous years, we saw that companies spoke about cybersecurity but only as something that they needed to do but they didn’t necessarily understand why. Nowadays, cyberattacks become tangible and they know that it won’t get better over time. Companies also understand that there is no silver-bullet solution that fits all. They need to implement a solution that fits their specific needs.
SD: Do you think the way we look at cybersecurity has changed forever because of what we’re dealing with now?
AL: Aside from the negative things the pandemic brought with it, there were also positive outcomes such as the acceleration of science and technology. Companies now understand the importance of being resilient to cyberattacks, and that there is no generic solution for cybersecurity. Companies are looking for solution providers that understand not only cybersecurity but also their specific business needs. They understand that generic solutions like firewalls are good for enterprise networks, for generic networks. But for the specific needs of specific industries or specific verticals, they understand that they need a specific solution. I assume that we’ll see more and more companies providing security that is narrowed down to the specific verticals’ needs. Cyberspace will become more segmented and more tailored to the needs of the customers.