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India is a high growth market for Symantec: Shrikant Shitole, MD, Symantec

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Smita Vasudevan
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Shrikant Shitole Managing Director India Symantec

In an interaction with Dataquest, Shrikant Shitole, Managing Director, India, Symantec reveals why India is key to the company's plans to be the global leader in cyber security, and what will be the most relevant trends to watch out for as the IT security market continues to evolve. Excerpts

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Can you share some insights into the growth and evolution of IT security market in India

A report by Markets and Markets predicts the cyber security market to be worth $170.21 Billion by 2020. It also states that among the services, managed security service is rapidly gaining traction covering 40% of the security market in 2015.

As per NASSCOM the demand for security workforce will rise globally to six million by 2019, up from four million currently, with a projected shortfall of 1.5 million. As companies continue to modernize their infrastructure, the need for more unified and robust security framework is becoming pertinent. By mid-2016, we expect to see corporations using enterprise data hub approaches to enhance agility and decision-making which will lead to market dominating strategies.

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How strong is Symantec’s position at present?

Symantec is moving beyond traditional software to help customers protect against a wider range of threats.  With the acquisition of Blue Coat, we are well prepared to define the future of cyber security and set the pace for innovation industry wide. We are equipped to create the industry’s largest pure play cyber security company. We have consolidated our portfolio to cover all aspects of what a digital enterprise now require. With the companies together, we will have over 385,000 customers worldwide. It is also an opportunity for us to provide growth for our partners with a combination of the Symantec and Bluecoat portfolio, thus giving our customers’ a more robust solution.

Can you outline some of the most significant trends taking shape in India’s security market?

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In India, as IoT becomes the bedrock of smart cities, it would require greater security challenges to grapple with. The market for IoT–ready devices is growing but is still very frag­mented, with a rich diversity in low-cost hardware platforms and operating systems. As enterprises move farther away from traditional endpoints to IoT, the whole security framework will become increasingly important.

The skills gap in the cybersecurity field is unsustainable and thus needs more industry leaders to come together to not just recognize this problem, but also collaborate to use the knowledge, skills and resources to address the gap.  In India, Symantec partnered with NASSCOM in 2015 announcing the intent to train over 50,000 cyber security professionals over the next few years.

Data Breaches are driving the need for cyber insurance as breaches cause reputational harm and business interruptions. Relying on IT defences alone can create a false sense of security; however, no organization is immune from risk. Cyber insurance is hence evolving as fast as technology.

Can you share key highlights of Symantec India performance in the last one year and factors influencing growth?

Globally, we recorded a revenue of $ 3.6 billion at the closure of FY 16. Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) region, including India is traversing on a strong pace of transformation, fueled extensively by technology. As initiatives like Digital India and Smart cities are flourishing in the country, it is resulting in an influx of digitization, mobility and Internet of Things enabled devices, which in turn is opening up avenues for vulnerabilities and advanced threat attacks. India continues to be a high growth market for Symantec, a key strategic hub and a key engineering center. Symantec also has key security intelligence installations like Security Response Center in Pune and Security Operations Center in Chennai servicing customers globally.

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