When Raheel Qureshi envisioned heading up a cybersecurity firm, he was driven by a relentless passion to protect organizations from cybercrime and data theft. This was in 2010. Fast forward to today and iSecurity has grown from a staff of two to 200+ team members. Whether it’s large or small financial institutions, insurance companies, hospitals, or government and defense organizations, he and the team at iSecurity Consulting work tirelessly with every client to ensure their critical technology infrastructure is safe from hackers and other outside threats. “It’s every entrepreneur’s dream to be able to grow the talent in their team and provide the best client experience,” Raheel shares. “I feel privileged to guide our team, and in the process, I learn a lot. It is all about the collective to keep our clients protected.”
With a minority of organizations having the capability of shielding themselves from a sophisticated cyberattack, Raheel and his team spend a lot of time building the client relationship to define a solution. It’s an integral part of their approach that combines a deep understanding of the client’s environment as a precursor to presenting a cybersecurity and technology strategy. “In short, we listen, we assess, we act, and we protect. Our ideal situation is to be able to identify a threat before it penetrates your digital walls. This allows us to rectify weakest links prior to carrying out any ongoing monitoring and detection services.”
We spoke with Raheel about his background, what differentiates the company from others, and what his hopes are for the future generation of cybersecurity professionals.
What makes iSecurity Consulting unique from other cybersecurity companies?
We think of cybersecurity as a lifecycle covering 4 phases: assess, build, detect, and protect. Assess an environment based on the operating business, build or deploy a custom cyber solution, monitor threats, and detect them. When a client comes on board, we encourage them to let us take care of the entire lifecycle, providing a holistic approach to cybersecurity. Many organizations in this field simply provide an evaluation, but we go way beyond that. We gather critical information about the problems they are having and the challenges they face, compliance and cyber insurance needs. We do a thorough assessment, then build a roadmap to prioritize what needs to get done, and in what timeframe and budget. Then, we make our recommendation. It might be for a CISO (Chief Information Security Officer), or for virtual cybersecurity architects and personnel, or a combination.
Tell us more about how you help companies counter cyber-attacks.
We offer round-the-clock managed services to actively monitor threats, i.e., tracing hackers and going into the Dark Web. We anticipate attacks while keeping our clients informed of emerging and imminent threats. In the case of a breach, we perform incident response that includes forensic analysis and pinpointing the source of the breach to safeguard the organization going forward. Our approach is extremely proactive. We outsmart the hackers.
How did you get into cybersecurity and how has the industry evolved?
My background was in computer engineering, so the transition to data protection and cybersecurity seemed natural. My initial focus was on the health care industry. With health care being a prime target for hackers, I wanted to create an ‘ecosystem’ that would allow medical professionals access to patient records in a secure environment and ensure patient safety.
Looking back, it seems like the more we expanded, the more need arose. More people were contacting us because they were in critical situations and couldn’t solve issues internally — systems down, inaccessible data, demands for financial ransom into the millions. Where digital warfare is concerned, people need fast and efficient assistance to recover swiftly with minimal loss. This will always be a crucial service because, as technology evolves, the threats become more sophisticated, and you have to be on top of your game to deliver real and lasting value.
Recently, your company went through a successful acquisition. Tell us about this.
Our concept was well-perceived in the market. We were able to grow the company to a certain level and wanted a strategic partner who could help expand our vision further. This allowed us to sell iSecurity Consulting to a broader, publicly traded company. The benefit of this acquisition is that we now have global reach and have been able to tap into multiple new verticals overnight.
What are your hopes for the next generation of cybersecurity professionals?
We need to give future generations more opportunities to train in the areas of digital cybersecurity. This includes developing an educational framework for advanced cyberthreat risk management. Cybersecurity leaders also need a trusted forum, where they can collaborate and exchange information at a continental and global level.
Partner, Cybersecurity, Risk & Advisory Services
LinkedIn: Raheel Qureshi