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    Encirclement Brothers // Who might be interested in Russian cybersecurity

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    In the coming years, domestic software and services for protecting IT systems will be in demand in 18 friendly countries – from China to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, the Center for Strategic Research Foundation (CSR) expects. But so far, favorable conditions for exporting IT, even with friendly diplomatic relations, remain with Russia only in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Belarus, Bangladesh and Egypt, and the obstacles lie not in the technological, but in the political plane, experts say.

    Kommersant” got acquainted with the forecast of the export potential of Russian solutions in the field of cybersecurity, which was prepared by the CSR (a non-profit organization that develops strategies for the long-term development of the Russian economy).

    But 8 out of 18 countries have high risks, both political and economic. Thus, in Brazil the market is not saturated, but the competition with global vendors is high. In China and Vietnam, Russian IT solutions may be replaced by local products, while in Turkey there are “high political risks,” writes the CSR. The list of the most favorable countries for export includes Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Belarus, Bangladesh and Egypt.

    According to the CSR forecast, China is the largest market that is interested in buying Russian cybersecurity solutions by 2026 In 2020, this entire market in the country will reach $24.2 billion. In last place is Kyrgyzstan, where sales of cybersecurity solutions by 2026 will amount to only $9.8 million. 30–40% for services.” According to Allied Market Research, cited in the study, by 2030 the global market will reach $478.68 billion.

    The Russian cybersecurity market may grow from RUB 186 billion to RUB 469 billion by 2026. (up to $7 billion at the rate of the Central Bank on September 5), predicted earlier by the CSR (see “Kommersant” dated August 2). Now its largest (in terms of revenue) participants are Kaspersky Lab (13%), Positive Technologies (9%) and InfoTeKS (9%). After the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine, some experts estimated the losses of the entire Russian IT industry in foreign markets due to sanctions at 300 billion rubles, about 50% of the previous export volume.

    Each foreign market has its own features, such as regulatory issues in the field of cybersecurity, approaches to protecting personal data, the competitive environment, says Andrey Efremov, Director of Business Development at Kaspersky Lab.

    Russia today is a “cyber-polygon” for the whole world, according to Positive Technologies. “Our defenses are developed under the pressure of a large number of attacks, and we work them out in real conditions and in a short time,” they say. Russia can offer its solutions as a “third opinion” and a guarantee that the security of information resources will not depend on one manufacturer, “Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia may be interested,” Positive Technologies adds.

    It is important to move away from the sale of individual licenses towards a platform approach, says Lev Matveev, Chairman of the Board of Directors of SearchInform. “We need to bring complex solutions to foreign markets, open information security outsourcing centers, train specialists on the ground, as well as expand the powers of ambassadors and their work with digital attachés focused on promoting Russian IT products,” he says. While this method is very poorly developed, and there is no single approach to strengthening exports, the expert believes, “it is necessary to adopt a road map and make IT exports a priority at the level of national programs.” But the payback horizon for such activities is at least three to four years, warns Lev Matveev.

    The main obstacles to exporting cybersecurity solutions in the near future will lie in the political realm, says PIR Center consultant Oleg Shakirov. Due to military actions in Ukraine and confrontation with the West, it is harder for Russian companies to do business abroad, “now it is easier for foreign counterparties not to take risks and choose a non-Russian vendor,” he notes. It is also clear from the actions of a number of companies with Russian roots that they want to distance themselves from Russia in reputation, adds Mr. Shakirov. This does not mean, he clarifies, that foreign markets are closed, the expertise of Russian companies is still competitive, but “now they need to make additional efforts and put up with uncertainty in the form of possible new restrictions.”

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