Priya George: Harnessing AI to Power Security Testing

Priya George
Priya George | CEO Co-Founder

Data is the new gold. The connected world generates huge volumes of data used by enterprises across the globe. Given the sensitivity of the information being procured and processed, it is essential that information be kept safe and secure. As security technology advances, cybercriminals are not lagging behind. Our data is under constant threat.
Financial institutions, corporations and other organizations are working to stop hacks, spending a large chunk of their budgets on cybersecurity. They are faced with increasingly complex issues, particularly as banks add new ways to interact with their customers. Assisting them in their fight against such security threats is Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cybersecurity, and a FinTech company ‘NIMIS Cybersecurity’. Their security testing, called ‘NIMIS’, helps financial institutions and other enterprises conduct security testing with the scale and accuracy required to match the current threat environment.
A Transformative Leader
Priya George is the CEO and Co-founder of NIMIS Cybersecurity, a Techstars backed company. Based in Melbourne, Australia, Priya is a pioneer in machine learning business applications. Prior to NIMIS, Priya was the CEO of Necessary Security & National Cybersecurity Institute; a security consulting company focused on security architecture and evaluating emerging cybersecurity technology solutions. However, cybersecurity wasn’t Priya’s initial career choice. She started in business strategy, consulting within M&A and significant enterprise-wide transformations. Priya led significant transformation projects in technology, organizational restructuring, and people engagement. These large-scale projects were drawn from industries such as mining, energy, water, financial services, technology and government.
Her first entrepreneurial endeavour was a machine learning and video software company that came out of two years of technology research and development (R&D). She has founded other innovative companies with her business partner, Daniel Johns, Chief Technology Officer (CTO), NIMIS Cybersecurity. He previously worked in Defence Intelligence in Australia; at the National Security Agency in the U.S.; and built AI systems for Defence companies.
Finding the calling
For Priya, the move to Cybersecurity was driven by her intuitive understanding of complexity. She says, “I am comfortable challenging status quo and this is one of my strengths. Status quo is the way things are done, legacy products, outdated values and systems. In my early twenties I realised I am more suited and interested in the complex matters, so my career showcases this with initially M&A and transformation projects, then moving into technology applications, and in the last 7 years Cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence (AI).”
She believes Cybersecurity is essentially a mission. A mission to protect the data of companies, and thereby protect them and their customers from financial loss and harm. She is – advancing cybersecurity and serving humanity at large.
More about NIMIS
NIMIS is a next-generation penetration testing platform that uses advanced artificial intelligence. It enables enterprises to conduct security testing with the scale and accuracy required to match the current threat environment.
She understands that enterprises have reached a tipping point whereby the increasing volume of security data can no longer be handled effectively by available tools. To add to this problem, there is a global shortage of cybersecurity professionals. NIMIS is able to replicate tasks currently completed by people, enhancing security teams in order to increase security, and provide a cost reduction for clients. NIMIS is built to match the speed and scale of technology growth.
Priya and her team see Artificial Intelligence as the key to web application security. This has a significant application in banks, financial institutions, and any sector conducting online transactions. She says, “The cybersecurity community is increasingly turning to AI and machine learning in its search to improve detection and response capabilities to security threats.”
Seek, Learn, Cultivate
As a founder of multiple businesses, Priya advises the entrepreneur to “start your business in an industry you know a lot about, build a team and suppliers you trust and who share your work ethic.  Seek and learn from the best mentors you can – who have experience doing what you aim to do. Apart from that cultivate consistency, resilience and patience in the face of challenges would be my advice to budding entrepreneurs.”
Facing the Future
In November 2017 NIMIS completed Techstars Adelaide Defense and Security accelerator and since then spent some time in San Francisco. The company attracted mentors with experience in building fast-growing technology companies in the U.S. It is also speaking with a range of partners on opportunities in Asia, particularly Singapore with its increased focus on ‘virtual banking’.  The complexity involved means script-based solutions can’t stop the breaches; AI has reached the capacity to solve the problem. Priya is all positive when she says, “My team and I are excited to be at the forefront of this exciting era, so we can make a significant contribution to the security of our clients and the community at large. We expect to expand into the U.S. in 2020, with a foothold in New York as a global hub in financial services.”

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