The call by US lawmakers on 15 December to renew sanctions on Israeli cyber firms NSO Group and Candiru has not deterred their co-founders Omri Lavie and Isaac Zack to pursue their plans for development in Latin America. With their new company Orchestra, the entrepreneurs are hoping in particular to break into the Mexican and Colombian markets.
Orchestra has picked the Mexican company Nekt Group, owned by Manuel Rivera Raba who also runs several Canadian mining companies and the Mexican newspaper Expansion, to help it set up in the country. Through its cyber arm, Nekt Cyber, the company aims to become the partner of choice of Israeli cyber companies in the region. In addition to Orchestra, Nekt Group, which was founded in 2017, already distributes cyber security tools from CYREBRO and the Israeli-US SentinelOne.
Nekt also distributes Pentera (ex-Pcysys) technology, a company that specialises in automated penetration testing (Pentest) technologies funded by the Awz HLS Investment cyber-intelligence fund, which is run former Shin Bet officer Yaron Ashkenazi .
Aims in cyber-intelligence
In addition to cyber security, Nekt is also keen to import Israeli expertise in the field of interception. While Israeli interception specialists have on the whole received a favourable welcome from the region’s intelligence agencies, a recent arrest in Mexico has put a damper on their reputation.
Omri Lavie’s previous company, NSO, has found itself embroiled in a dispute in the country after the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) arrested Juan Carlos García Rivera, an employee of the group’s previous local resellers, Proyectos y Diseños VME and Grupo KBH, in November. The arrest was carried out as part of the investigation into the acquisition of Pegasus spyware by the local intelligence agency Centro de Inteligencia y Seguridad Nacional (Cisen).
The region has long been a market of choice for industrialists active in cyber, including Verint .