Cyber security company that protects $20 billion of assets expanding its Vilnius team
photos by S. Žiūra
Global cyber security provider Arc4dia is to expand its division in Lithuania in a move that is set to create up to 50 highly-skilled positions for qualified cyber security specialists. The combined value of the assets and critical infrastructure protected by the Canadian company has been estimated at $20 billion.
For Lithuania’s capital Vilnius, the news of Arc4dia’s expansion serves to bolster the cities burgeoning reputation as a regional leader in the IT sector. “Vilnius is a perfect location for innovative businesses like Arc4dia,” says the city’s Mayor Remigijus Šimašius. “The establishment of the research centre strengthens the position of Vilnius as a regional centre for the IT industry, and will open up new opportunities for skilled professionals here.”
According to Arc4dia’s director general, Pierre Roberge, the company chose to set up and then expand its operations in Lithuania primarily because of the top IT talent the country has to offer. “We were prompted to settle in Lithuania by the business ethics we found, the IT infrastructure available, and in particular by the level of expertise of the IT specialists here,” explains Mr Roberge. “Since we create products whose success depends on employee competence, this was the main factor that encouraged us to further expand in Lithuania.”
The company’s headquarters are based in Montreal, Canada, and it has a sales division for Europe in the United Kingdom. The cyber security specialists in its Vilnius team will be performing the same functions as their Canadian colleagues, namely conducting cyber security research, developing products, and providing services to clients in both the public and private sectors. The company’s main client base is in North America and Europe. Last year Arc4dia provided cyber security software and training to the Ukrainian Government in a project funded by the Canadian Government.
Arc4dia protects the computers, servers and smartphones of its clients from cyber attack using its specially designed SNOW system. Unlike many similar systems, which simply serve as protective shields, SNOW operates as a detective, enabling Arc4dia’s cyber security experts to detect hackers, identify their type, analyse their behaviour, and then use this knowledge to control risks. At industry exhibitions this year, the company has already showcased an extra safe phone with a SNOW application that tracks the activity of hackers.
For Lithuania’s Economy Minister Evaldas Gustas, alongside the usual benefits foreign investors bring companies like Arc4dia have additional value as they create new niches in the Lithuanian economy. “Every investor coming to Lithuania not only creates jobs and pays taxes, but also brings certain competences. Cyber security is one of the areas in which Lithuania has the potential to create and develop high quality products and services that are interesting to the global market”, Mr Gustas said.
Mantas Katinas, director general of the foreign investment development agency Invest Lithuania, agrees with the Economy Minister that Lithuania has the right attributes to become a key regional player in what is a rapidly growing market sector. “The global cyber security services market has been growing for several years in a row,” points out Mr Katinas. “The industry’s value was estimated at $77 billion last year, and is forecast to rise to at least $170 billion by 2020. We can see from countries like Israel and the US that cyber security services can be provided not only for the local market, but can also be successfully exported. So, by attracting companies which understand the challenges of the modern world and create products which help their clients to deal with these problems, Lithuania will also be nurturing its intellectual potential and improving its economic indicators,” believes Mr Katinas.