Growth in Indian Market is Opening up a Completely Different Paradigm in Security

Ramsunder Papineni, Regional Director, India & Saarc, FireEye shares his views on the new age attack vectors and changing security landscape with growth opportunities in India

Security is a large market—where do you come in—in terms of expertise, focus, and the key differentiators?

The first and foremost key differentiator is that in security it is no longer about one product. It is about the technology, the intelligence, and the people. Services that you can have. All three things together can only help protect customers.

From a technology point of view, where we stand out is the MVX/Multi-vector virtualization engine which helps people in capturing every traffic that is moving in the organization and detonate the traffic in real-time. We do not depend on any signatures to help block/prevent/identify an attack. The other thing which is happening from a technology perspective is that the attacks are no longer single vector. The attacks are multi-flow and multi vector. So one could have an attack coming through the web or emails. There are a lot of attacks happening in the government and most of these attacks are coming as an attachment to emails. People are lured into clicking into those emails and the moment they click, the security is compromised.

The third vector is if I go to an organization and give a proposal on a thumb drive, this proposal itself could be a malicious packet. So if you end up copying the file, you actually unloaded a malicious code. India is no alien to these attacks and these are happening right here as we speak. That is where solutions like us come into play.

When we talk about technology it is all about a platform. It is not just about a product, we focus on holistic solution. We protect your organization from a 360 degree point of view and look at all your vectors— mobile phones, thumb drives that come into your organization, web downloads, and emails.

So far under technology there are two thingsone is the platform, the MVX engine. Because this MVX engine goes into each technology whether it is an email, thumb-drive solution which are content repository or a web download, the MVX engine is in the heart of it.

One more example is, consider you get an email, which says it is a book review. But actually it is not a book review, it is a malicious code. If you click on it, you get a code transferred on your desktop/into your organization. After that it will go laterally and spread. What will our box do is, before this mail comes to you this mail will hit our box. So the MVX engine will detonate the attachment, will actually click on the attachment, and open the attachment. Once it knows it is a malicious code, it will block the mail. This will ensure that your system doesn’t get corrupted. Now we will send this intelligence back to the web and say that a malicious code is coming in. And it will also go to your system IT manager.

Once this is done, FireEye Intelligence is provided, we have all the information gathered so now we can come back and say what could have happened and the possibilities. This includes intelligence of the entire attack: Where else we have seen this attack? What could be the depth of it?

How do you see the Indian market panning out and the opportunities you have here?

The Indian market is actually now growing. There is a lot of impetus on doing business from the outside world and the current government is pushing for that. We are seeing a lot countries wanting to do business with India. We are setting up a complete digital platform to do business. While we are doing all that, this is opening up a completely different paradigm in security and that is where solutions like this play a very important role.

So I definitely see a lot more importance in the security space. There is a strong need for a secure platform, with the outside world connecting with India. The organization sitting in India might be small but the systems are connected. Therefore, if the platform is not secure, there is a possibility of an attack. The attack won’t be targeted at the small organization because there is nothing to lose from here, but a lot could be lost from the big ones. So attackers can attack smaller organizations to get data out of the bigger organizations. We have had incidents like this in the past. It may not be in India but they are happening.

If you take a due diligence of the state of enterprise security, what are some of the biggest pain points Indian organizations face now?

If I do a due diligence, most of the organizations/enterprises in India today have a different defence in-depth story. They have spent millions of dollars in this. People are beginning to realize that defence in-depth strategy is not enough to help protect themselves from the large-scale attacks that are happening which are signature-less. Now current enterprises are getting geared to protect themselves from the new generation of attacks which are happening.

What is that one key message you are driving home here for the CIOs and CISOs?
Most importantly, any solution that is based on signatures or even trying to protect based on the intelligence of a signature is not good enough to protect your organization. Therefore, the need of the hour is to look at secure solutions that can help you protect against advanced adversaries, like zero-day adversaries. Look at people/organizations that have got good technology, support by the intelligence, and the people to help you with the immediate need.