Cybersecurity is going to be complex in the next decade, even for India, because there are so many solutions that are available right now. So for the next ten years, platform play will be important because that will ensure the return on investment (RoI), said Adrian Hia, Managing Director for Asia Pacific at Kaspersky, a global cybersecurity and digital privacy company.
In an exclusive interview with BW Businessworld, he delved into the pivotal role played by the company in securing critical infrastructure and its expansion plans in India. He said that India is the most exciting place for everyone right now. There are so many manufacturers who are moving to India.
When things move this rapidly, many developing economies become developed powerhouses in a decade’s time. So in order to get the best RoI, there is a need to invest in technologies because when one grows rapidly then the people also need to catch up and follow, he stated. Edited excerpts:
India is going through a rapid digital transformation right now. So, what role do you see Kaspersky playing in securing the country’s critical infrastructure and ensuring the safety of the citizens?
Let me ask you something. Imagine someone is trying to hit you. Won’t it be nice if you know beforehand that someone is going to hit you? So you know exactly how to react before that person harms you. This is what we really talk about in track detection – how we detect and react early.
India has come up with so many good applications and this is where Kaspersky can help. Even at the time of coding, we want to be there to be able to protect the applications to make sure there are no loopholes.
Secondly, there are still vulnerabilities at the infrastructure level – whether it’s cloud or on-premises data centres. That’s where we come into the picture. Even for enterprises that are opting for hybrid cloud or multi-cloud, we can help to secure and protect the data in the cloud.
And lastly, Kaspersky is focused on investing in educating people. We can have the best technology and resources to secure things but at the end of the day, people still click on malicious emails or phishing SMS. So for that, we are partnering with universities and corporations and investing in educating people about cyber security.
With artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (MI) taking over the globe, how do you envision Kaspersky adapting to stay at the forefront with all the developments?
Machine learning is something that has always been embedded in Kaspersky’s solutions. Look at the number of threats that the company has detected or prevented in the past as we are able to do early detection or pre-mediation and all these are possible because of the way that we’re using AI/ML.
Obviously, there are two sides to the coin and there are bad guys who are also using AI/ML to their advantage. According to many recent reports from across the globe, many bots are being used for hacking. So again, this is where we’ll need to do major countermeasures as this is inevitable. So it becomes more important that all adopt technologies that are far more advanced.
The world is completely interconnected through technology. So how do you see the cybersecurity landscape in India evolving in the next decade?
India is the most exciting place for everyone right now. There are so many manufacturers I know who are moving to India. When things move this rapidly, many developing economies become developed powerhouses in a decade’s time. So in order to get the best RoI, invest in technologies because when one is growing rapidly then the people also need to catch up and follow.
Cybersecurity right now is going to be complex in the next decade, even for India, because there are so many solutions that are available right now. So for the next ten years, platform play is going to be important because that will ensure a return on investment.
When it comes to your company’s expansion plans in India in the next financial year, do you have a certain figure in mind?
The company is doing extremely well globally. We don’t have to break down by specific region or country. But definitely, India is showing strong growth right now and it’s an important market. We have got our new general manager in India and plan to invest in growing the team here. So, we’re looking to work with top banks, top telcos, and even state governments.
Right now, we already have more than 1,000 partners in India. But yes, we are definitely looking for more strategic partnerships in the future and doubling down the business. The idea is to make the world a safer place for everyone.
As someone operating in the cybersecurity field, have you personally experienced any cybersecurity incidents or been a target of cyber-attacks?
Nothing really big but there are many spam emails that claim that they know me and they are my friends. They share pictures and videos with me which at one glance looks so real that I start wondering if I really knew them 20 to 30 years back. But if you look closely, you can differentiate between real and fake. So, one really needs to be alert and observant. This is called “cybersecurity awareness”.