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Start-up of the Week: COGNNA is here to level up MENA’s cyber policing game

COGNNA identifies and isolates suspicious cyber indicators, while leveraging its advanced threat-hunting functionalities

In today’s episode of the start-up of the week, International Finance will enlighten its readers about the Saudi Arabia-based COGNNA, which was founded in 2022 by Ibrahim Alshamrani and Ziyad Alshehri.

Apart from being one of the emerging local businesses that participated in the inaugural ‘Cybersecurity Accelerator Program’ launched by the National Cybersecurity Authority in August 2022, recently concluded the successful closure of its Seed investment round, exceeding USD 2.25 million. With this, COGNNA became the first cybersecurity start-up in the Middle East to secure such investment.

Talking about COGNNA’s specialisation, the venture utilizes artificial intelligence and advanced data analysis to detect threats in customers’ systems and networks, while aligning with regional and global regulatory standards on the subject.

Knowing The Venture In Detail

By deploying advanced algorithms and machine learning, COGNNA provides robust security solutions across endpoints, networks, clouds, and cyber behavioural patterns.

COGNNA’s solution suite includes ‘Threat Hunting Services’ and ‘Compromise Assessment Services’.

‘Threat Hunting Services’ is operated by the Saudi venture’s team of experienced and highly-trained cybersecurity professionals, who meticulously analyse the client’s systems, networks, and data to identify any signs of compromise and potential vulnerabilities.

“We leverage cutting-edge technologies and advanced tools to perform thorough scans, collect relevant data, and employ advanced analytics for accurate threat detection and analysis,” remarked the venture, which claimed to be equipped to respond quickly to any identified compromises, while taking immediate steps to mitigate risks.

Apart from actively searching for indicators of cyber compromise and proactively identifying any suspicious activities/potential breaches through continuous monitoring and real-time threat intelligence, COGNNA conducts regular check-ins to provide updates on the assessment progress, following which the start-up’s team shares its findings with the concerned client, apart from recommending the tailored security enhancement measures.

COGNNA identifies and isolates suspicious cyber indicators, while leveraging its advanced threat-hunting functionalities. Deviating from the ‘One Size Fits All’ approach, the Saudi venture studies its client’s cyber architecture first, before implementing tailored detection rules to track advanced adversaries, thereby helping the client to be proactive, when it comes to identifying and responding to sophisticated threat actors.

COGNNA has established its expertise in utilising data exploration tools and skills to study the overall cybercrime landscape and the fast-changing trends in it, thereby making sure that the solutions it is providing to its clients, remain future-proof, when it comes to analysing and hunting the threat down.

The venture is known for providing detailed and actionable threat reports that even detect the tools, techniques, and steps used by the threat actors, while committing the crime.

“We conduct an in-depth discovery process to understand your organisation’s unique requirements and define the scope of the compromise assessment. This includes identifying critical assets, determining authorised points of contact, and establishing clear objectives for the assessment,” COGNNA commented, while explaining its ‘Compromise Assessment Services’.

Talking about the above solution, the start-up’s advanced sensors get strategically deployed across the client’s digital architecture to collect comprehensive security data, apart from monitoring and analysing network traffic, endpoints, and system activities, to capture signs of potential threats.

“We analyse the collected data, including network logs, system events, and user behaviour, to identify any signs of compromise or suspicious activities. This thorough analysis helps uncover hidden threats and potential security breaches. Our expert team prepares a detailed and comprehensive technical report, presenting all findings and recommendations. This report provides you with actionable intelligence, the following steps for remediation, and strategies to contain malicious actors if detected,” COGNNA commented further, while adding, “In this phase, we collect and analyse additional forensic artefacts to further validate the findings from the assessment. This meticulous analysis helps confirm the presence of compromises and ensures the accuracy and reliability of our assessment results.”

COGNNA In The News

Since its formation in 2022, COGNNA has partnered with regional and international cyber security giants like the Saudi National Cyber Security Authority (NCA), Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), National Technology Development Programme (NTDP), King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Plug and Play, and Alibaba Cloud.

In 2023, the venture concluded its Seed investment round, which came at a crucial time, with MENA (Middle East and North Africa) economies, in their pursuit of diversification, becoming the new hubs of digital innovations. Also, one cannot dismiss the apprehensions of cyber threat actors to divert their attention in this part of the world. Expect COGNNA, in the coming days, to lead MENA’s transformation as a ‘Digital Safe Haven’ for businesses.

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