As enterprises globally step into a digital age, the threat landscape continues to haunt them. With terabytes of data now being stored at multiple locations and in the Cloud, the security risks are more complicated than ever. While companies around the Globe recognise the need for tighter cyber security and Governments too are playing their role in ensuring that user data is not misused, cyber security continues to be an urban legend for them.
There is a need to dismantle all the myths around cyber security being a technical domain, which only a handful of certified data experts can understand.
Sequretek, a Mumbai-based cyber security company, has built its entire business proposition on the pillar of ‘Simplifying Security. Take Control’ The Company is leading a mission of sorts to educate its customers and the industry CEOs in general to understand how cyber security needs to kept less complicated in order to give impactful results.
No surprises then they have launched just 2 security products since they started in 2013 because they believe that their 2 products pack the power of 10 security products which are being forced on the customers and even then performance is not guaranteed as they work in silos.
Techiexpert caught up with Pankit Desai, Co-founder CEO, Sequretek to understand how they are approaching security in the ever-changing threat landscape.
- The idea behind the startup and a problem it solves
We started Sequretek in 2013 with an aim to make cyber security a boardroom discussion topic. We would achieve this only by simplifying security and telling the CXOs that security is supposed to work around your company’s process, policies and people and not the other way around. Till now and what still continues in our industry is that many hi tech security products are being launched and sold to the customers. It has led to a common belief that more security products mean more security. This is untrue because if your multiple security products are not communicating the threats to each other then they are likely to be breached from one end or the other. For eg: if firewall is blocking a virus then the same virus can enter through another back door or an email attachment and infiltrate the system. Thus, approach to security has to be 360 degrees and not just buying products.
Such an approach would mean deploying a security strategy, which monitors the moving parts in an organization. For eg: if employees join or leave a company, the access governance product should be able to flag this in the system and open or block privileges for the users. In a large organization set up, multiple external vendors form a critical part of the business operations. For them to do their jobs effectively, they are given select access to the main system. Of late, hackers are using such value chain partners to mount an attack on the organization as vendors have low or no security in place.
Companies are now beginning to ask these questions from their external partners and there are talks to conduct regular training for internal employees in order to prevent any internal data leakage.
- Background of founders and the story behind the development.
Sequretek is founded by Pankit Desai and Anand Naik. Both the founders come with over three decades of experience in the tech domain. Pankit has worked with top-notch companies in India and the US where he was leading large teams who were essentially selling tech products to tech companies. Anand, who is former India and Saarc head Symantec is the cyber security expert. Both the founders have known each other for years and were discussing on how approach to cyber security needs a complete makeover. This thought process triggered an idea to launch Sequretek, which would use cutting edge tech to respond to threats in near real time. Not only respond but also proactively seek harmful elements in order to stop an attack from happening in the first place.
- How did the company started working on this idea
Sequretek is built on the foundation of simplifying security, which means less complexity and driving down the cost of ownership. Many companies even today shy away from investing in cyber security because they believe it to be an expensive proposition. However, as they embrace digital transformation, security is no more a choice but a must have in the portfolio. Our 24/7 security surveillance infra known as MDR is one of the most successful service from Sequretek’s stable. Large banks and organisations have emphasized on the need to be on alert 24/7 in order to know of any attacks that may be coming towards them. We use AI algorithms to study global trends in the hacking space and identify similar incidents in our customers’ environment if any to understand if there is an attack in the offing. Our AI algos are also designed to learn from the virus or hackers behavior to flag anomalies. We believe this kind of an approach has resulted in making Sequretek a security partner of choice for some of the top companies in India today.
- Struggle in the early days
Since both the founders come with a proven track record, they didn’t face typical startup teething troubles like signing the first client or raising funding. Being in the security space, the keyword is trust. An organization has to trust its security partner to share data with them. You can win the trust if you show how well you can protect their data or how proactive you are when an attack has happened. Both Pankit and Anand have deep industry contacts and thus they were able to sign some of the best-known names in the business world to provide Sequretek’s suite of services. Their continued proven track record has also established trust as the Company currently works with over 60 enterprise clients.
- EDPR and functioning
EDPR is an AI platform built end point security product. It comes with the features of multiple end point security products like anti virus, anti phishing, app whitelisting etc. Currently, one needs 8 – 9 different end point security products to reasonably secure the device. We look at this problem different. We believe it is the user who is the end point and not the device. A decade ago, it was true as people were using a single device like a desktop to access official information and in a protected office wifi or broadband network. But now same info is being accessed through multiple devices sometimes even through public networks. Thus depending where the user is accessing the data from, the end point should be able to react to any incoming threats. EDPR being AI powered can do that. It can activate different feature depending on the nature of threat that is trying to breach the system.
- What is the startup’s USP
Our USP lies in the fact that we understand cyber security and application of latest tech in order to bring out the best results for our customers. Our business practices are unconventional; we proactively seek notorious elements to weed them out. Our frequent technical advisories are also being appreciated not only by our customers but by our peers too.
- Funding Details
We have recently raised close to $4 million in a bridge round from our existing investors – Unicorn India Ventures and GVFL. We will be raising a Series A in the next quarter.
- Current User base
We currently work with over 60 customers spanning BFSI, retail, insurance, manufacturing and many other major segments known in the industry, involving both small and large organisations in count.
- New Areas to expand
The company looks forward to focus on Managed Detection and Response(MDR) that monitors complete security at all times and leverages next generation AI. Hence, these series of innovations would come down the path of the startup that people will soon witness.
- Futuristic plans of the startup
Sequretek has launched its operations in the US. For this year, the focus would be scale up in the North American market and build the base further in the Indian market.
- Final Word
We would like to tell the organisations that security doesn’t have to complex. There is a need to step up your game in the cybersecurity space and at the same time train your human resources to understand that every action of theirs can have an organization wide impact.