Another great interview! Emilie Philippe leads our Cybersecurity group at La French Tech Singapore, and we thought it would just make sense to learn more from her about the trends in this area. Read on and be ready to be surprised.
Hi Emilie, so what do you do and what brought you to Asia ?
My Singaporean adventure began in 2013. I came here with my husband as he relocated at the French Embassy after an assignment in Libya. Between 2003 and 2016, I worked with BNP Paribas in different roles and places.
I started in the IT security in Paris then moved to Legal in the Caribbeans, Risk Credits in Marseille and back to Paris in Compliance (Anti money-laundering, counter terrorism financing, head of investigations).
I carried on to work in the Compliance team when I came in Singapore. In June 2016, UBS chased me for a role of Regional Head of AML after the MAS inspection to roll-out the remediation plan and I joined them.
Working in a multicultural environment gave me great opportunities and insights to learn more about how I could challenge the scope of my work and enhance my agility.
After 15 years in the Banking industry and also in my Legal and Compliance comfort zone, I needed a change. I decided to dive in the cybersecurity startup ecosystem and joined Webdrone. I aligned very well with my adventurous mindset. I considered that it was not a risk but more a trigger to move forward.
How did you decide to jump into the startup world?
I place trust in life and magic of human encounters, even more so since I met my husband. It was in a very unlikely place…a police station, and he was the Chief of Police!
During the French Tech Tour in 2018, a friend of mine met the two founders of Webdrone (Hervé Putigny and Gérald Poitevineau) and shared with me how she was impressed by their expertise, true passion and clear vision.
It was fun and their project fitted perfectly with my aspirations so I was curious to learn more about them. As a proactive and enthusiastic woman, I met them in Paris then in Dijon and we got along right off the bat (not only because I am a Burgundy wine lover 😉). After an hour of discussion, it was obvious that we were like minded people. I wanted to create the Asian entity from scratch, develop the business and support them in the innovation new compliance features.
I embarked on their cybersecurity journey as Board member and Managing Director for
APAC . The take-off from the corporate to the start-up world was instantaneous.
The heart of Webdrone activity is “fighting against cybercrime”. It is in line with my life values and willingness to impact the world. We support institutions and companies be more secure, protect their intellectual properties of products and services and improve Web quality.
Why do we need cyber security in business?
Today, you can find everything and anything on the Web. Guns, drugs, fake medicines, illegal software, untrusted individual or company profiles, environmental crimes, counterfeiting of food, sport accessories or luxury goods, you name it.
For example, medicine trafficking is an estimated USD200 Bn worldwide. It is 20% of the whole Pharma market. I let you imagine the consequences on health.
So you need cybersecurity solutions in business to sign ‘clean’ deals, choose the good business partners, protect your reputation, your clients and your product/service.
In short, it is strategic for the value and potential of each company. If a crime online is done under the name of your company/Individual, it will be discovered, it will impact your business and the reputation of your entity.
How is Webdrone helping ?
Things are moving fast on the Internet and the needs to automate online investigations is key. You need to do it across the whole web (clear – deep – dark) and detect any piece of information, anywhere, in any language.
Our virtual drones act and think as super cyber investigators. They do it extremely fast and they can crawl a huge volume of data to provide a customized operational report on the target (e.g. product, individual, etc.)
Our technology was recognized for its performance and won two iconic Awards in 2018: Global award anti-counterfeiting and Security Brand & consumers protection award.
We hear a lot about the dark net. What is it?
The famous picture given is an onion with several layers, it is a small part of the Web less than 5%.
In the dark Net environment, you can find heterogeneous bubbles which are not indexed by search engines. One of of the most-used method to reach hidden data is the TOR web browser based on Mozilla Firefox. For each connexion, after retrieving listing of network nods, a build of a random loop through 3 nods from the network is achieved with an encryption layer between each node. This process ensures anonymity of information and users navigation. DarkNet is used by OCG (Organized Crime Groups), sexual predators, drugs, guns, counterfeited goods dealers etc.
How dare you to be a women in cybersecurity?
For me, it is not a question of gender. I am a strong believer in collaborative intelligence and “Medici Effect”. We can do bigger things if we are different people from different cultures with different backgrounds around the table. I love challenges and accept to be challenged to enhance my skills.
“They didn’t know it was impossible; So they did it”, wrote Mark Twain.
How do you bring more diversity?
Well first I am part of the cybersecurity ecosystem as a woman 😉🙋. I also co-created the cybersecurity chapter for the French Tech here in Singapore. Several ladies attend our events and I am sure you will read their interviews soon! Together we can achieve more, so join us on our WhatsApp group!