Multifactor Authentication is Essential Not Just For Cloud But For all Environments

In an exclusive conversation with Dataquest, Anjali Arora, SVP and Chief Product Officer, Rocket Software, talks about data privacy and the challenges faced by the company while protecting data on the cloud.  Excerpts:

Q. The cloud market has grown quite big in the country and several established players in the market. How has your company been able to carve a niche for itself? What are the strategic decisions that differentiate you from others?

In 2018 “the cloud” is so ubiquitous that the term itself is rapidly losing meaning. Think of it like “cyberspace” or the “information superhighway” – at one time these phrases were important, but as the online world grew, these concepts went from being exotic to being the norm. Cloud is the same way. Five years ago, it was still somewhat unique, but now just about everything we do lives in the cloud. At this point, companies that aren’t in the cloud are behind the times.

What Rocket has done is help people use platforms such as mainframes and technologies like data virtualization on the cloud. A lot of people forget that most major banks, governments, logistics companies and other large organisations rely on pre-cloud technology. Our niche is helping them use these systems through modern interfaces and modes – including the cloud.

Q. Data privacy is the trending topic nowadays with several IT majors falling to cybersecurity hacks. What were the challenges faced by the company while protecting data in the cloud? 

The cloud presents a number of security challenges, but the principles of security in the cloud are the same as any other kind of environment. There have been cybersecurity hacks, but those aren’t unique to the cloud. Good security is based on making sure that only authorized parties can access information, whether it’s in the cloud, inside a network, or on devices. Multifactor authentication is key, not just for the cloud but for all environments.

Q. According to you, what are the trends that you see in the cloud security industry?

Multifactor Authentication is essential. Passwords and firewalls aren’t good enough – they need to be part of a holistic system that constantly monitors and verifies users and keeps data safe. Companies like IBM are leading the way on this, and it really needs to become the industry standard. Technologies like facial recognition and geolocation need to be part of every cloud security protocol.

This will necessitate fundamental changes in how privileged users – people with higher levels of access and clearance – can access information. That’s because most breaches and data threats come from within an organisation rather from outside hacking. Elevated levels of access are necessary, but in a cloud-based world, there are serious risks that need to be addressed to prevent authorized users from abusing their positions.

Q. What is Rocket Software’s GTM strategy for the Indian market?

At present, our presence in India is focused on R&D and innovation. We are not a service provider to the Indian market. We are establishing R&D Centre of Excellence in India.  Rocket Software is about 1500 people worldwide today. We are spread out in different geographies. We are trying to bring a critical mass of engineering talent to Rocket in India. We focused on Bengaluru and Pune as our two locations.

Q. What kind of security products do you provide to your clients?       

Our security portfolio is pretty broad. Multifactor Authentication and Key management are two things that large global enterprises are challenged with. We are building technology for them.

The technology that we build at Rocket brings Multifactor authentication capability to banks, large retailers, large manufacturers, and insurance companies etc. allowing them to deploy different multifactor solutions to their mainframe users. That’s one area that we do really well. Another area is around key management. Encryption is very critical to protecting data. You have so many different encryption keys that have to be managed within an enterprise.  So we are developing technology to have one stop for key management across an entire enterprise. 

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