With the gradually increasing influx of technology, the entire nation is making itself prone to vulnerabilities, there is a need to protect individual layers of IT systems in our smart cities at the same time analysing the risks that they’re prone to individually, and vis-à-vis, their role as part of a broader network arrangement.
“Businesses are displaying more interest in understanding network vulnerabilities and how individual network elements, including surveillance devices, change the network arrangement and contribute to the overall threat.”
F-Secure Head Asia Pacific and
Japan for Corporate Business
How big is cybersecurity market in India?
India is a fast-digitizing country where the digital infrastructure is booming and its adoption is rapid. But, as more people go online, their limited awareness about the dangers that they’re vulnerable to puts them at considerable risk. Fresh entrants to the digital domain are not aware of even the most basic cyberattacks, including phishing and credential theft, which increases the onus on cybersecurity players to protect them. This makes the Indian cybersecurity market, which is yet to reach its true potential, a growth-intensive industry. At present, it is pegged to be worth$1.5 billion and is expected to grow with a CAGR of19percent till 2023. However, the true figure could fall well-short of the current estimates as new dynamics get introduced to the cybersecurity domain and contribute to the market growth.
How is it different from other developing markets in the world?
India is actively applying digital technologies across all walks of life. We are on a mission to build smart cities where state-of-the-art technologies will play a pivotal role in making us, as a nation, more efficient. We are simultaneously increasing the reach of digital technologies by not only using and promoting smart devices and solutions, but also by integrating them into our daily lives. The Aadhaar-based digital payment system is one such example.
However, with the gradually increasing influx of technology, the entire nation is making itself prone to vulnerabilities in technology. For instance, if you’d ask any cybersecurity professional, he or she would inform you that there is no IT system that is impenetrable. With the right approach and resources, any system can be breached. The only way to keep our systems intact is by constantly looking for and fixing weaknesses.
We also have to protect individual layers of IT systems in our smart cities with cutting-edge cybersecurity solutions. We have to analyse the risks that they’re prone to individually, and vis-à-vis, their role as part of a broader network arrangement. Adopting this approach will provide significant benefits to us in the long run.
What are the major trends?
Businesses are quite apprehensive after last year’s global ransomware attacks and have increased their focus on cybersecurity as a result. They’re displaying more interest in understanding their network vulnerabilities and how individual network elements, including surveillance devices, change the network arrangement and contribute to the overall threat.
We are observing a strong demand for advanced AI and big data-driven solutions and believe they will observe wider deployments in the near future. Similarly, average users are also gradually becoming cognizant of the digital threats and are readily accepting antivirus and antimalware solutions and cybersecurity products.
What is the relevance of endpoint protection?
Today, a majority of companies have a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) mandate for their working professionals. You can protect your critical IT infrastructure with state-of-the-art cybersecurity solutions, but endpoints can still be compromised and used to penetrate crucial parts of a network. The network endpoints are prone to a range of susceptibilities, including CVEs (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures), human errors, and malicious insiders. Critical IT infrastructure, however important it is, isn’t the first line that needs to be protected, as they are seldom targeted directly by attackers. So securing that first line of defence – the vulnerable endpoints – needs to be as big a priority as critical IT infrastructure.
Businesses are also introducing IoT technology for across-the-board applications. According to Hypponen’s Law, if something is smart, it is vulnerable. Last year, we discovered Web Server Directory Traversal vulnerability within a smart dishwasher that can be used to get network passwords. Considering the number of smart devices that we’re using at offices and households, such CVEs pose a considerable risk. All of these endpoint devices need to be analysed and protected to make them as secure as possible.
What is the opportunity for F-Secure in India?
The cost of cyberattacks in India, at present, is estimated to be greater than Rs. 25,000 Crore ($4 billion). And you need to keep in mind that this is with many cyberattacks going undetected or are unreported. The figure is expected to become four to five times larger, or about Rs. 1.25 trillion ($20 billion), within a decade. These estimates are based on current cyberattacks. But, in the future, we’re going to start dealing with big data and AI-based attacks that will render current cybersecurity infrastructure less effective.At F-Secure, we’ve adopted a prudent approach to tackle these imminent challenges by preemptively using a range of cutting-edge technologies.
Considering this, and since the company provides security for both commercial and residential purposes, it has a huge market to cater to in India. We have global leadership and a proven track-record of catering to the most dynamic cybersecurity needs at macroscopic and microscopic levels. Our diverse experience across most industries, as well as both developed and developing markets, adds to the overall edge that F-Secure has as a cybersecurity leader.
What is your plan and strategy to grow your wallet share?
F-Secure has greatly expanded its product portfolio over the past couple of years, and considers different attack vectors and trees used on different network arrangements. And by doing so, we have increased the overall use cases that our solutions cater to. This will, in time, substantially increase our wallet share within the market. Further, beyond our best-in-class endpoint protection offerings, we now also offer products such as our vulnerability management solution F-Secure RADAR to help customers identify potential weaknesses in their infrastructure that could leave them vulnerable to attack. We also have endpoint detection and response solutions that alert our customers about ongoing breaches employing “fileless” attacks. Rather than employing traditional malware to gain a foothold in the victim’s network, these attacks often utilize standard tools (such as PowerShell) to help them stealthily compromise their victims.
What would be your vertical market focus and why?
As mentioned, both residential and commercial users are our target audience. So, we are targeting both, i.e. residential and commercial markets. We don’t target specific vertical markets, as security is required by all. However, we do have strong footholds in the financial, aviation, manufacturing, and energy, maritime, automotive and aerospace industries.
What would be your geo expansion strategy within the country?
We are primarily targeting urban geographies, including tier-I and tier-II cities and commercial hubs. And we are going to make inroads toward tier-III and tier-IV cities as digitization increases in the country.
What kind of growth are you expecting during this year?
Over the last few years, we have seen remarkable growth in our business in India, thanks to the efforts of our channel partners and our sales team. This year we continue to expect F-Secure to continue to grow faster than the market.