Sunil Sharma, VP Sales & Operations, India and SAARC, Cyberoam talks about network security and wide range of security offerings of the company. He also discusses about the future plans of the company.
- Cyberoam has long been in the security business with its wide range of products like UTMs, Firewall, Network Security, Computer security, etc, how has the business been so far?
– India indeed is our home-ground and we have done exceedingly well while also branching out successfully in nearly 150 countries around the world. I would attribute this YoY impressive double-digit growth of 35%-40% to our steadfast focus on innovation and R&D efforts, our business focused marketing and sales strategy & our channel centric partner program.
While we are leading in the SME and SMB space, we have strengthened our foothold in the Pragmatic Enterprise segment and are very positive on the opportunities that lie ahead of us in FY 15-16. Our efforts to tap the potential SMEs and SMBs in tier II & III cities and towns have also paid off very well.
Through our growth journey, we have created win-win opportunities for our partners, customers and investors too. And now, having joined forces with Sophos, we are yet again set to disrupt the network security market and are poised to break into new emerging opportunities.
- How is the Indian unified threat management market different from other markets?
The SME sector is driving India’s growth and contributing to about 40% of the exports, generating 45% of the revenue and creating 1mn jobs every year. Also India as a country has embraced the UTM technology and at the same time we also have enterprise class of customers who are using UTM solutions for their Class B & C operations.
The Indian network security market of the Class A cities can be compared to several developed countries. This is primarily due to the improved state of security awareness among Indian businesses in the metros.
Moreover, unlike Class A cities or the metros, Class B & C city customers need to move beyond the traditional antivirus solution. With the presence of local channel partners and our sales and pre-sales team members we are working towards bridging this gap.
- What are Cyberoam’s future plans and what all products are in the pipeline for 2015?
Having joined Sophos, the canvass has got bigger for us, our customers & partners alike. This is set to catalyze greater opportunities for all at Cyberoam. In addition to our comprehensive portfolio of network security appliances, we are also going to add world-class innovations in end-point security as well. Together we are eying new opportunities and shall disrupt markets in network security, cloud, BYOD, encryption and more.
How vigilant are the SMBs when it comes to security and how much do they contribute to your business?
The impact of technology driven change has reached businesses of all size and scale, including SMBs. These businesses have also experienced concepts like virtualization and cloud as business realities and are eager to leverage ICT innovations to create competitive advantage. With this, they are also advancing their learning curve in security and demonstrating better readiness and focus on securing their users, data, IT infrastructure and networks. As for their contribution, nearly 60% share of revenue comes from SMBs and SMEs.
- Which of your security solutions has been a hit amongst enterprises?
When we launched Next-generation firewalls, we ensured they are crafted for enterprise networks. This product line with its advanced threat management capabilities and high-performance capabilities has allowed creating significant in-roads into large organizations and government establishments. These customers also require Centralized Security management and advanced Monitoring & Reporting capabilities for their remote locations, branch offices and road-warriors. This is where our upgraded CCC-NM and iView NR series of appliances have provided much needed capabilities to security managers in enterprise segment, making network security management, monitoring and reporting much simpler while also enabling them to integrate other third-party solutions seamlessly with Cyberoam security solutions using Cyberoam API.
- How important is network security according to you?
We are at a stage where concepts like Internet of Things have begun prevailing as reality. The world is becoming increasingly digital and IT driven. However, as a flipside to this, evolution in security has also met with evolution in cybercrimes and emergence of new, skilled threat actors and cyber adversaries. Today’s business networks have changed from yesterday’s isolated, clunky silos. IT and network integration convergence is at its peak. This is where we see CXOs struggling to harmonize security, productivity and compliance. So when some malware author succeeds in drilling a hole in a network of a world-leading business, we tend to ask ourselves – what happened to all next-generation firewalls. I guess this answers your question.
Security ties so inevitably with business and technology decisions and it has to do more with best-practices and a code of conduct than few appliances stacked inside a data-center. Saving the day against skilled hackers takes deeper understanding into both external threats as well as insider risks. And there’s a greater need to revisit security posture, find out latent gaps and vulnerabilities. Only with capable, high-performing and secure networks, can businesses connect to new opportunities, deliver customer-focused business and remain compliant.
- What are the challenges that you face while designing the perfect security solutions as per the industry needs?
Firstly, no vendor can say that they design perfect security. Has anyone filed a patent for designing perfect security? I am sure there’s none. We believe in making security simple for the customer by reducing the complexities involved in the functioning of the solution and making it as robust as it can be to combat today’s threats as well as tomorrow’s.
We simply continue to deepen our understanding of customer needs and invest more focus and R&D efforts in analyzing the present and imminent environment in IT, technology trends and threat landscape to come up with better products and solutions.
- What are your expectations from the Indian market in the year 2015?
Indian market is set to become a billion dollar opportunity, growing at a double digit figure YoY. Businesses are going virtual or digital and so are the threats. Hence we expect the growth momentum to continue in FY 15-16 as well.
In fact, after having joined forces with Sophos, the canvass has got bigger for us, our customers & partners. We are looking at providing end-to-end security solution to our customers and partners which definitely translates into bigger business opportunities.
To sum it up we are looking at a good buoyant market and aiming for new opportunities while strengthening our ties with existing customers as they transform their businesses with IT.
- How much does the Indian market contribute to your global business? How do you plan to accelerate it?
As far as India’s share is concerned, we gain nearly 25% revenue contribution from India and allied regions. We want to penetrate deeper into the customer accounts and provide holistic security solutions. With this in mind we are increasing our presence in tier II & III cities and towns. With a strong channel presence and local sales and pre-sales representatives we are looking at addressing this growing market segment in the next fiscal.
- What kind of threats business should anticipate this year and how Cyberoam will help them counter that?
Cyberoam continues to invest and focus on product innovation and development with important releases and updates to ensure continued protection for its customers. With our in-house expertise i.e. Cyberoam Threats Research Labs (CTRL), our team of vulnerability researchers and threat analysts invest colossal efforts in studying emerging new threats and enable proactive protection, IPS defense, security advisory and hot-fixes whenever required. Recently, with UTQ, Cyberoam extended its own innovation of Layer-8 technology and turned over a new leaf in user-identity focused security. Observing a spate of data breach incidents at world’s best guarded enterprises, we could elicit that insider threats or users remained a key vulnerability in compromising network security. To this end, we see a growing need to focus on internal threats or risks from users. As a result, many CXOs now identify analytics and actionable security as a key investment area besides cloud, virtualization and mobility, to leverage security analysis that enable faster decision making. Cyberoam’s UTQ aims to bridge the gaps where many security paradigms fall short in combating insider threats and user-triggered risks.
As for the threat landscape in 2015, I recommend inputs from Cyberoam’s Security Predictions for 2015.