London-based cybersecurity start-up Barac appoints first global head of sales and moves into the US market

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Pioneering cybersecurity start-up, Barac, today announced it is ramping up operations with the appointment of Peter Christou as its first EVP Global Sales and by expanding into the US market with the opening of a Boston office. Christou, an experienced cybersecurity professional, has been appointed to drive growth through increased sales, new partnerships and further international expansion through 2019.

 

Barac is a highly innovative cybersecurity company that enables organisations to identify and stop the growing problem of malware hidden in encrypted traffic – one of the biggest challenges in cybersecurity today.

 

“More than 80 percent of all corporate traffic is now encrypted, driven by the increased adoption of cloud services, IoT and onerous compliance requirements, such as GDPR,” said Omar Yaacoubi, Barac’s Founder and CEO. “Growth in the use of encryption represents a huge problem for organisations. Existing cybersecurity solutions leave organisations vulnerable to malware attacks because they are simply unable to protect against threats hidden in encrypted traffic.”

 

Using its expertise in AI and behavioural analytics, Barac has developed a platform that detects malware hidden within encrypted traffic without the need for decryption. Its approach has received widespread industry recognition with Barac selected to join GCHQ’s prestigious Cyber Accelerator programme. The programme, run by GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre, provides support to companies that GCHQ considers ground breaking in improving the UK’s cyber security.

 

Christou has more than 25 years’ experience of helping innovative security firms grow across EMEA, APAC and the USA. He has previously driven sales and marketing for companies including Accelops, Securonix, NitroSecurity, Breach Security, Open Environment Corporation and Gradient Technologies.

 

“Malware hidden in encrypted traffic is one of the biggest threats organisations are facing today,” said Peter Christou, Barac’s EVP Global Sales. “Our ability to solve the problem gives us tremendous growth opportunity as we scale up the business both in the UK where we are headquartered, across EMEA and now in the US with the opening of our Boston office.”

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Peter Christou Barac – EVP Global Sales

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Repstor Wins Over the US Legal Sector with its No-Fuss Transformation of Matter Management Using Everyday Software

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Repstor, the ECM software and matter management specialist, has announced two new strategic appointments in the US to capitalise on high demand for its legal sector solution, custodian for Legal™, in the Americas.

Repstor has expanded its sales team in the region with two established names in legal content management software, Robert Swan and Robert Scroggs. Robert Swan, who joined Repstor as VP Sales, Legal Solutions for the Americas in late 2018, and is based in the Greater Atlanta area, will focus on building the company’s legal market penetration in the region. He is assisted by Robert Scroggs as pre-sales technical consultant, who is based between Tampa, Florida and St Petersburg.

Robert Swan was previously VP of Legal Technology at IST Management Services, and his career to date has spanned a range of content management and legal technology roles with major industry players. Robert Scroggs is an experienced business analyst, who has also amassed enviable experience at document management and workflow technology companies, including iManage.

Repstor’s latest strategic recruitment drive follows the appointment of Dr. Petri I. Salonen as General Manager for the Americas, a year ago. Over the last 12 months he has been building a channel for Repstor in the Americas region and growing enterprise sales. Robert Swan and Robert Scroggs will extend that effort specifically to the legal sector in the region.

Custodian for Legal, Repstor’s Office 365-based matter and knowledge management system, has struck a chord with legal teams on both sides of the Atlantic. Its collaboration and document management capabilities, optimised for legal users, harness the powerful and familiar interface of Microsoft Outlook and other Office applications, reflecting the way people instinctively interact and share information and documents with clients and colleagues.

The software is used worldwide by law firms and internal corporate legal teams, and by 5 of the top 10 global management consultancies. Recent new wins include law firm McAllister Olivarius, and the legal department of medical device manufacturer Terumo Europe.

Repstor’s legal matter management business is growing globally too. Last summer the company appointed a new Principal Consultant for its Legal & Professional Services division in Europe. Leigh Smith joined from global law firm Eversheds Sutherland.

To capitalise on Repstor’s growing profile in the Americas, the company will be exhibiting at the LegalTech Show in New York later this month. Repstor will join 9,000 industry associates and 400 exhibitors from January 29-31 at the US’s largest and longest-standing legal technology event. Repstor will host booth #119 at the event at the New York Hilton in the centre of the city.

The announcements are the latest in a run of achievements for Repstor which made the top 10 listings in the 2018 Deloitte Technology Fast 50. The annual awards celebrate indigenous Irish technology companies that have demonstrated exceptional growth.

Commenting on Repstor’s continued plans for international expansion, especially in the legal sector, Alan McMillen, the company’s CEO, said: “We’ve optimised solutions for this market, which we know well. It has been clear for some time now that, by harnessing legal teams’ existing software platforms rather than expecting them to implement completely new systems, we have met a previously untapped need. With a focused team in place, we foresee enormous potential.”

The latest career opportunities at Repstor are detailed on the Careers Page of the company website. For more information please contact [email protected].

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Teleopti Listed as Fastest Growing Workforce Management Vendor in North America in Pelorus Associates’ Market Report

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Cloud-based offering and international customer support underpin Teleopti’s growth in workforce management market across North America and EMEA

Teleopti appears as the fastest growing Workforce Management (WFM) vendor in North America in the 2018 World Workforce Management Systems Market report, published by Pelorus Associates. The report stated that Teleopti has seen the value of its total market share more than double between 2015 and 2017, with a 40% growth rate in its share of the North American WFM market, as well as particular growth and success in EMEA.

Dick Bucci, Principal of Pelorus Associates said, “Our research of the Workforce Management System Market revealed a number of critical success factors for vendors in this growing industry. Those companies that have shown significant growth in recent years are those that address these key factors. One being that superior service is as important, if not more so, than offering more technologically advanced products. Teleopti’s focus on customer support and service delivered through its international offices plus an extensive partner network gives customers, across the world, confidence they can fully utilize the solution from the outset.

“Applications also need to be easy to use and quickly deployed via a cloud model. Teleopti’s success can be attributed in part to its design of an exceptional interface. Software that is intuitive and fun to work with provides users greater flexibility in staffing assignments and reduces training costs.”

Teleopti now has over 1000 customers in 90 countries across the world. Demand for cloud-based solutions over recent years has played a large role in this growth with 80% of Teleopti’s new customers choosing SaaS for its flexibility, security and reduced infrastructure costs. Pelorus Associates’ report highlights that a cloud-based model is a significant success factor in terms of WFM enabling scalability and economical viability as operations grow. The cloud also enables faster innovation and Teleopti has released a new feature every day since 2017.

David Pahlman, President of Teleopti Americas said, “According to Pelorus Associates’ latest report of Workforce Management Systems, the WFM industry has grown by an average of 6.8% each year since 2015 and we are proud to say our growth has hugely exceeded the average and that the value of our market share has increased by 129%. Over recent years, as the challenges for contact centers and companies have broadened, WFM is even more important to customer success and profitable customer engagement.”

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Excel Now Available in the USA

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Excel Networking Solutions, the infrastructure provider that offers: Copper and Optical Fiber, Pre-terminated Solutions, Racks, PDUs, Voice and a full range of accessories, is pleased to announce that our products will be available in the USA starting in January 2019 through a distribution agreement with Sonepar USA.

Excel is a brand that is 21 years old. We are established as a market leader in the UK and our products are widely sold throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, with numerous high-profile reference sites including: The Ritz Hotel in Paris, News UK in London, Emirates NBD Bank in the UAE, and Granada University in Spain, to name but a few.

Excel’s range is extensive and covers: Copper, Fiber Optics, Pre-terminated Solutions, Residential, Wall Boxes, Racks, Voice, and will be launching a PON (Passive Optical Networking) solution in Q1 2019.

Paul Mills, Excel’s Director of Sales for North America, said “We are delighted to bring Excel to the United States and we believe the partnership with Sonepar USA, through its operating companies Codale, OneSource Distributors, Viking Electric Supply, World Electric Supply, and Cooper Electric Supply, will provide a great quality and innovative solution, delivered through an experienced and professional distribution channel. To start, we will focus on the Category 6 and 6A Copper solutions and, over time, we will introduce a wider range of products.”

Mills continued, “For contractors that choose to partner with Excel and become an accredited Excel Partner, they will be able to offer a 25-year warranty on their installations, providing their end user customers with further peace of mind.”

Mills concluded, “We will be exhibiting at the BICSI 2019 Winter event on the 21st and 23rd of January in Orlando, Florida at Booth No. 124, where we will have products on display and experts on hand to talk through the features and benefits of Excel.”

The Excel brand is supported by a multitude of marketing and technical collateral including a detailed Encyclopedia , “How to” videos, and each product has an individual specification sheet that can be downloaded from our website – www.excel-networking.com. Where applicable, an independent verification certificate is also available to prove that the products meet the required industry standard.

To find out more about Excel Networking, please visit our website at www.excel-networking.com.

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Rubik’s Brand Ltd Partners with Bancroft Investment and Appoints Christoph Bettin as CEO

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Rubik’s Brand Ltd (RBL), the London-based company that owns the rights to the world-famous Rubik’s Cube, has sold a minority stake to Bancroft Investment, a European Private Equity firm. RBL was established by the founding families of the original Rubik’s business in 2013 to focus exclusively on the Rubik’s Brand.

The company has seen multiple growth in revenue and net earnings in the past five years. It launched a global merchandise program and fostered partnerships with corporate giants like Google and Red Bull. Most recently Rubik’s announced a worldwide cooperation with McDonald’s Happy Meal Campaign.

The investment by Bancroft is to fuel an ambitious growth strategy utilising Rubik’s unparalleled global brand-recognition to focus on growth through new channels, products and markets. RBL and Bancroft have recruited a new CEO, Christoph Bettin, to help realise the great potential of the Rubik’s Brand.

Inventor Professor Ernő Rubik welcomes the Bancroft partnership and the new appointment. He said, “The Cube’s impact on the world and humanity is even more interesting to me than the puzzle itself. I am confident that the support of Bancroft and Christoph Bettin’s energetic leadership will expand the brand firmly into new areas including education, entertainment, or mind-sports.”

David Kremer, the largest owner of RBL stated, “I am delighted with the recent and ongoing growth of this unique brand both within the toy industry and now increasingly into new business sectors. I fully expect the Bancroft support to accelerate that process.”

Monika Lukacs, the partner leading the deal for Bancroft said, “This investment provides a unique opportunity to create value due to the strength of the Rubik’s brand, its multiple positive connotations and the several growth potentials that the company has successfully developed in the last five years.”

Christoph Bettin founded the leading toy distributor Marbel Ltd which was sold to Hape Holdings AG in 2017 after 15 years. He started his educational journey at Oxford University in the world of Geology and Earth Science and then spent the majority of his career in finance at EY in London and then GE Capital in Munich, Hong Kong and the USA where he took on a two-year internal MBA and became European CFO of their largest business segment.

Rubik’s Cube

What started out in 1974 as a puzzle created by Professor Ernő Rubik to teach his architectural students has evolved into the world’s most successful toy, perceived globally as an art form and the ultimate symbol of intelligence and problem solving. In 1979 the ‘Magic Cube’ was demonstrated in Nuremberg and spotted by the toy specialist Tom Kremer whose vision was to commercialise the Cube and sell it to the world. Retail sales reached $250 Million in 2018. Within the USA, You can Do the Rubik’s Cube program places cubes into the hands of 800K students, helping them learn critical STEM/STEAM concepts. Now, 45 years after its invention, the Rubik’s Cube has become a global consumer brand, merchandising and licensing company that is now heading to expand into vast new areas. The Rubik’s Cube has become one of the most instantly recognised symbols of fun, aptitude and creative endeavour due to its iconic, colourful multidimensional design that continues to appeal to people of all ages and cultures.

For further information please visit the brand’s website, https://www.rubiksbrand.com/, Twitter at https://twitter.com/Rubiks_Official or YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/RubiksTV.

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Cyber Security Predictions 2019

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Consumers will need to be extra vigilant in the New Year as established threats like ransomware and email phishing increasingly target individuals, while web skimming hacks grow, and new automated attack methods emerge using off-the-shelf artificial intelligence and machine learning tools.

The cost of cybercrime incidents climbs each year with unerring predictability. While 2019 will inevitably see a further rise in staggering losses – an estimated $2 trillion globally according to some sources – the New Year is also set to herald some unique cybercrime developments as technologies like artificial intelligence become increasingly accessible to cyber criminals, says BullGuard, a leading provider of consumer cyber security.

Ransomware is also to make a comeback but attacks will be targeted rather than using the common 2018 scatter gun approach. Web skimming will continue to be a serious problem while email phishing will, like ransomware, increasingly target individuals. We can also expect wide reaching attacks on consumer Smart devices.


Artificial intelligence and machine learning
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are already widely used in cyber security to predict and counter emerging threats. However, it’s likely that cyber crooks will begin to take advantage of these technologies as they become increasingly accessible. In short, we can expect to see attacks that are faster, more adaptive and more difficult to capture. For instance, targets could include customised social network attacks designed to steal user data for identity theft, as well as specific attacks on companies.


Internet of Things
As Internet of Things (IoT) devices become increasingly popular we’re likely to see wide scale attacks on Smart devices. To date, attacks have largely focused on individual devices or compromising specific devices to create botnets. In turn the IoT botnets have been used to launch attacks on websites to take them down. These attacks have largely focused on Internet infrastructure and service providers but in 2019 consumer-based attacks will emerge with hackers choosing to focus on home Smart devices.

On the flip side Internet Service Providers across Europe are also likely to begin incorporating IoT device security into their services by providing protection at the network entrance where the router sits. This protection will be cloud-based so the detection of attack signatures detected at one location can be quickly and effortlessly transferred to homes in other locations.


Web skimming attacks
In terms of specific attacks and malware there will be an increase in web skimming attacks. These have been very prominent in 2018, for instance, the attack on British Airways’ website in which 380,000 payment card details were stolen as people made purchases. These types of attacks have taken place all over the world and have proven to be lucrative for fraudsters. In 2019 they will continue but attacks are likely to become even more sophisticated by also stealing log-in credentials and other sensitive information.


Ransomware
While ransomware may have slipped out of the headlines it will still pose a threat during 2019, although the manner in which it targets computers will change. To date, ransomware attacks have largely been indiscriminate in their targeting, this is set to change as focused attacks become more common. SamSam ransomware, which has collected approximately $6.7 million over the last three years, has focused on targeting individuals, and other cyber criminals have taken note.


Financial services
The financial sector should also be bracing itself. New hacking groups that focus on European financial services outfits have emerged so there will inevitably be a ramping up of successful attacks. Banks face hundreds of probes, if not more, on their networks every day and successfully defend against them. But advanced social engineering campaigns targeting internal employees or third party companies connected to the bank are not as easy to detect and stop. Fraudsters will leverage the flood of leaked data from other organisations by identifying employees, to prepare and plot this new wave of attacks.


Email phishing attacks
Email spam and phishing attacks will also continue at a pace with incidents recorded every day. These are relatively old techniques but they are successful hence their continued popularity among attackers. That said, we’re set to see an increase in email social engineering attacks in which individuals are targeted. Once an attacker has chosen a victim they can craft personalised phishing mails that are extremely convincing. There will be a spike in these types of personalised attacks.


Privacy awareness
There is a wave of privacy awareness sweeping across Europe and the US following high profile revelations about how personal data is collected, used and sold-on by large organisations. As such, expect to see an increased uptake of the use of virtual private networks (VPNs) by consumers, who don’t want to be tracked on the internet, want to communicate with friends and family privately and want to access entertainment services wherever they are.

BullGuard advises that in 2019 new attack methods are set to emerge using artificial intelligence and machine learning. Yet malware will still be widespread and ransomware might just hit the headlines again. Those who have Smart devices in their home also need to be aware and smart about security.

Phishing emails will still cause lots of damage by exploiting the unwary. There is a huge underground industry dedicated to cybercrime with cyber fraudsters continually developing ever more sophisticated attacks. The bottom line is that consumers and businesses should be vigilant when online and protect themselves with good cyber security.

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