BFSI is one of the most attacked sectors in the world: Shrirang Bapat, President, Uniken

The emergence of new technologies like IOT, BYOD, etc, opens up a plethora of security issues making all organizations vulnerable to new age cyber-attacks. Dataquest spoke to Shrirang Bapat of Uniken, the company's newly appointed President to understand the gravity of the situation and how enterprises can deal with it. Excerpts

Can you briefly tell us about your flagship product REL-ID?

In this digital age, CXOs are currently being forced to constantly balance between increased security controls and rapid digital business growth. It is also very clear that the existing technologies have failed in providing either.

To put it simply, we securely connect any device to enterprise apps in premise or in cloud using commonly available Internet.

Uniken provides a digital access platform REL-ID which provisions mutual trust in the digital relationships and protects digital interactions and data. REL-ID with its breakthrough end-point digital access technology creates a massively scalable digital trust dome – a private digital network which provides secure access to the digital services and authenticates everything – users, apps and devices – to protect digital interactions and data from sophisticated cyber-attacks.

REL-ID uniquely blends security and usability without compromising on either. It is an easy to use solution for end users and easy to implement platform for enterprises. It provides a single unified secure digital access solution for varying requirements across users, apps, devices and networks.

What will be your role at Uniken?

I am very happy to join Uniken and excited about this new role. At Uniken, I will be responsible for overall market strategy and business expansion for digital security products. I plan to drive growth and profitability in line with Uniken’s strategic direction. My mission is to help our customers focus on business agility by providing them the confidence that their information security needs are taken care by Uniken.

Uniken is at the acceleration point where the technology we’ve built is ready for massive adoption across the world and my role is to enable the highly passionate Uniken team achieve this.

What are the emerging and future technologies that we will have to worry the most about from a security perspective?

We live in a hyper-connected world influenced by the now ubiquitous Cloud, the rapidly transforming Internet of Things, the proliferation and emergence of new device form-factors and improved connectivity.

With the rapid evolution of new-age technology and connectedness, comes the emergence of new security blind-spots, in the way this data is accessed. Being at the edge of Technology is a double edged sword. The emerging technologies which makes the end user’s life easier also needs to be secure to be able to have an enterprise value. Every new device coming up on the internet, be it a human operated device or a machine that comes up inside a factory which is accessible over the internet introduces new threats which can compromise us.

Who matters more to the Internet’s future – states or individuals?

Security matters to everyone. Their focus is different and their roles are different – but the goal of secure network is important to both. While individuals need a medium which allows them the freedom with the confidence of complete privacy, states require a secure infrastructure over the current internet to be able to keep their virtual national boundaries intact.

Which are the industries most exposed to cyber-attacks and why?

All organizations and industries are currently exposed to cyber-attacks but the repercussions for Government, BFSI, Media, Pharma and Medical devices industry are higher compared to the rest of the industries. Any breach of a financial organization results in damage to enterprise as well as end users. Targeting a government and a financial organization is a higher motivation for hackers. The BFSI sector is one of the most attacked sectors in the world. The potential “promise” of gaining real money gives the attackers a huge motivation to invest real efforts in the attacks and become more innovative. But we have recently seen that media enterprises like Sony have been breached multiple times to prove a point. So today none of the industries are completely secure.

What challenges do you foresee for enterprises and end-users?

With the emergence of newer technologies like internet of things, concepts of BYOD and mobility – enterprises will have to work on providing user convenience without compromising on security. Enterprises are still relying on age old technologies of 1980s to protect against the threats of this digital decade. They will have to look at a fundamental shift in the security approach if they want complete security as no amount of patching of current technologies is going to help.

End users will have to be more aware and cautious about the basic security hygiene factors. Current technologies provide higher security at the cost of degraded user experience which ultimately drives end users to skip the security controls.

The battle will be between convenience and security. Between trusted nothing to mutual trust models. Between blacklisting and whitelisting approaches to digital internet.

How can India build a safer cyber world?

India needs to encourage the IP creation to emerge as a hub for security innovation. There has to be a sustainable business ecosystem which allows the freedom to invest in long term innovation. India should leverage its global competency in IT to create an economy that can retain, consume, and export its IP led products and services.

The government should also commit itself towards upgrading the legal framework for digital transactions, and bring it up to global standards. This would lead to greater adoption of tech driven business models, thereby promoting industries such as ecommerce.

The surge in cyber-crimes and recorded enterprise breaches in India can dent consumer confidence in the digital medium. In addition to a better legal framework, government efforts to secure state-owned infrastructure such as SDCs will prompt India Inc. to follow suit. We recommend increased grants/investment in bodies such as CERT that are working towards enhancing security standards of Indian ICT.

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