Idex 2017: UAE’s DarkMatter to boost headcount amid expansion

About 90 per cent of the cybersecurity company's customers are in the UAE government sector, such as Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority. But it is targeting more private sector oppotunities.

The UAE cybersecurity company DarkMatter plans to increase headcount by 35 per cent amid expansion plans.

Currently employing 480 people, it is looking at a total of 650 by the end of the year as it targets more government clients as emphasis is put on data protection.

About 20 per cent of its staff is employed overseas. A majority of DarkMatter’s research and development takes place within the UAE with the rest at its offices in Finland, Canada and China.

“The UAE leadership is pushing towards smart cities and the leadership in the country is extremely conscious of the safety [of the data],” said Faisal Al Bannai, DarkMatter’s chief executive. “The investment in technology will continue to happen and so will investment in cybersecurity as it goes hand in hand.”

He was speaking on the sidelines of the International Defence Exhibiton (Idex) in the capital, where DarkMatter launched its jamming solutions and showcased its big data and analytics platforms. Both the solutions are expected to be deployed in the UAE by the middle of the year in civilian and military sectors.

DarkMatter also invests “hundreds of millions of dirhams annually” in research and development, Mr Al Bannai said.

About 90 per cent of its customers are in the UAE government sector, such as transport authorities and law enforcement authorities. Banks and telecom companies are among its clients in the private sector.

This year the company expects to pick up more business from the private sector.

“In terms of managed expansions we will start growing in the Middle East this year, and beyond that globally from next year,” Mr Al Bannai said.

At the Mobile World Congress starting on February 27 in Barcelona, the company will launch its secure communications suite.

DarkMatter is wholly owned by Al Bannai Investments and was founded in 2014.

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Published: February 22, 2017 04:00 AM

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