Video-Interview with Serguei Beloussov, CEO Acronis

Video-Interview with Serguei Beloussov, CEO Acronis
Serguei Beloussov, Gründer und Chief Research Officer von Acronis. (Foto: pd)

By Helmuth Fuchs

Serguei Beloussov, CEO Acronis, talks in the interview about

  • the reason to move to Switzerland and the future expansions he plans

„We wanted to find a globally accepted location from which we can do business with any country and which allows us to optimize our corporate structure. Switzerland is very transparent, very stable, very safe, very secure. There is a good airport connection and a beneficial tax regime. And there is a good access to high quality talent.“

  • the availability of talents in Switzerland

„When we established the office 11 years ago, we didn’t need so many people, so we could find the people we needed. We are feeling the pressure of lack of talent now that we are growing. But the lack of talent is not specific to Switzerland, it’s very universal, it’s very similar in Singapore and the US.“

  • the new Schaffhausen Institute of Technology

„We started the university a year ago. Our full time students study the first year abroad. The second year, they study two thirds abroad, the third year one third abroad and the forth year they will study fully here.“

„The focus of the university is not just software and quantum technology but also engineering, computer science, advanced materials and technology transformation in different areas of human activities such as business, health care, education, law, arts, or sports.“

„We are very focused on this very specific goal of building the next generation of computing and solving human problems with it. We also want to do it in a very different way, we want to play, have interdisciplinary degrees. We want to have people who are able to get a master in physics and computer science and business at the same time.“

  • the developments Acronis is working on

„We are ultimately focused on one thing, and one thing only: It’s cyber protection. Protecting your data, application or system from the standpoint of safety, accessibility, privacy, authenticity and security.“

„We also provide the cyber infrastructure which is very important for us to make cyber protection cost efficient and easy to use. And with our cyber platform we enable our partners and customers and extend our cyber protection offering, to integrate and customize it to their needs.“

„The number of workloads, the number of types of data, the number of applications is growing at all times, it’s virtually impossible for us to provide all types of protection. Wherever we can not do that, we expect our partners to be able to augment it. That’s a very important part of our company strategy.“

„We believe the traditional backup solutions are dead. Without security, privacy, authenticity and accessibility, you can not have actual safety anymore, it has to be integrated.“

  • crucial technologies for realizing Acronis› plans

„One of them is artificial intelligence. In the past, everything related to protection was created manually. This is no longer possible, because the number of threats is extremely high. Things need to happen in real time. Your infrastructure needs to operate like an immune system so it can react to threats which it has never met before. That is done by artificial intelligence.“

„The second area which is critical is the area of authenticity. This is based on distributed crypted architectures. The popular name for it is blockchain. What they ultimately provide is the ability to digitally sign your data to insure that it was not modified and to store the signature in such a way that it is virtually impossible to modify the signature.“

„There is a need in the future to take any digital piece of content, any application and any system to sign it and ensure that it is original.“

  • the biggest threats to the economy and the role of governments

„You should think about the digital ecosystem to some extend becoming alive. Some parts of the threats are made by bad guys, but some threats are just made by the fact that the infrastructure exists.“

„You can also have the automated social engineering threats. Most of the complicated social engineering threats are very expensive for the criminals because they take a lot of coordination and time. Now you can actually automate them. You can male a social engineering threat where the machine will pretend to be human.“

„There a three thing which I think governments can and shall do: One is a general education of the population and the Small Business Community that security is important. We are very well educated that physical security is important. But we are not necessarily educated about cyber threats. The second one is standards. In Europe there is a good progress in standards, but a lot of those standards are focused on governments and large businesses, but SMB (small and medium sized businesses) and consumers are forgotten. Finally: Investment in research is not great, it’s more of a complementary area. Again, compared to physical security where countries spend trillions of Dollars on tanks, aircraft, anti-aircraft missiles, stealth airplanes. In my opinion, the danger of cyber attacks is much higher and much more likely than threat of the need to use tanks.“

  • information integrity and what that means in our daily life

„In our opinion, if you want to protect your data, one of the things you need to protect your data against is unexpected modification.“

„We live in a world where the biological and physical world is mixing with the digital world. If we suddenly see a crocodile flying out of the Rhine into this room, we would not believe our eyes, but computers don’t have common sense. In the future, when we have autonomous machines, they make all of their decisions based on data. If the data is modified, they will make their decisions this data. So if there is a crocodile coming out of the Rhine (based on modified data), the computer might think that there is a new rule and we now have crocodiles living in the Rhine.“

  • the choice and location of secure data centers

„We have a very specific strategy in that we offer a choice. We have our own data centers which are built in 17 places in 14 countries. But many of our customers use the data centers of our partners which are in more than 300 locations, they use large cloud data centers or they use their own data centers.“

„You need to insure that by offering your services you don’t limit the customers freedom. Part of it is allowing the customer to choose where the data center is. We definitely build a network of cyber protection operating centers, called CPOCs. “

  • what he would do with unlimited resources, on what he would focus

„We are very focused on just one problem: On providing protection for all data, applications and systems. Lucky for us, it’s a huge problem, it’s a 250 billion Dollar market which is growing ten percent per year.“

Serguei Beloussov
SB is a Singapore citizen, the founder of more than two dozen companie around the world, CEO, founder and Chairman of excessive Acronis Boar of Directors of the data protection company Acronis, Chairman of the Board of Directors and founder of Parallels, Senior Founding Partner of Runa Capital, Phystech Ventures and Qwave Capital venture funds. In 1995 he left Russia to Singapore and became a prominent Singaporean Technology entrepreneur. D. Sc. h.c. in Computer Science, Ph. D. in Computer Science, M. S. in Physics and Electrical Engineering cum laude, B. S. in Physics cum laude. SB has filed 200+ (USPTO) patents. Full biography

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