CSO Needs To Be More Loud About Security Breaches

by Sandhya Malhotra    Jun 26, 2015

Shrirang Bapat


Uniken, a cyber security company, has been developing solutions for the future of networking technologies as the current connectivity and access technologies have not been able to keep pace with the rapidly evolving digital age and the threat landscape. The company feels there is now a need for a total paradigm shift that can help the institutions infuse the real world trust into the digital connections.

Uniken provides a digital connectivity and access platform, REL-ID, which enables rapid growth of digital connections, securely. It creates a scalable digital trust dome – a private digital network which enables secure communication and secure access to the digital services and authenticates everything - users, apps and devices - to protect digital interactions and data from sophisticated cyber-attacks.

Since the initial funding, Uniken has grown substantially in India and made a successful foray into Israel. Uniken recently launched its flagship ‘Make in India’ product, REL-ID in Israel, and garnered over 2 million users in India who actively use this platform across 23 different installations, including banks like Axis bank, Bank of India and State Bank of India.

Uniken’s technology has also been adopted by Indian Defence organizations like WESEE and NSG. In Israel, Uniken has set up an office in Tel Aviv, and has partnered with a leading Israeli system integrator Bynet.

The company has been making new investments in further cementing its position in the Indian digital security space and establishing itself in the US market by investing in people, technology, brand and infrastructure.

Speaking on the sidelines of the recently held 5th Top 100 CISO Awards & Decision Summit, Shrirang Bapat, President & Head, Business Operations for APAC region for Uniken, said there are three mega trends that are changing the digital business as working styles are changing. People work from home and home has become office and vice a versa.

The second change is enterprise is extending, which means in the past PC in the enterprise was within the wall, it had never reached shops, factory and to end customers, but with IoT and cloud the enterprise is reaching to end customers with devices like wearable watch.

The third big trend is networks are merging, in the past the corporate LAN was different and internet was different. Now the LAN and internet are mixing together, there are companies using internet as corporate backbone and they do not invest in the rolling of networks. These trends are redefining the way digitization and IT is happening in the world. These trends are aided by mobility, social, cloud and analytics.”

According to Uniken, each of these trends is not a latest one, but the combination of all these three coming together is a recent phenomena and when they come together the impact is 30 times on the enterprise.

Everything is changing, in the past people would have a specific way of allowing the vendors, partners and customers to work with them, but today with the ability to work anywhere and anytime network computing it allows people to work together. These three trends create a big question as whether companies should be locked up or opened up. Most companies want to open up as the businesses want to do business from anywhere and anytime. But the security restrictions and fear of losing data or the fear of being compromised due to unauthorized access holds the companies back. 

Uniken’s REL-ID technologies allows companies to use the internet as a backbone. Internet is everywhere, it can be used as your enterprise backbone of the internet without investing heavily on hardware and  distribution tokens.

Bapat explained, “The current approach is of blacklisting, while our approach is whitelisting. When you have access only then you can see somethings and use it. We work on ‘Dark Internet’ approach which is not to lock the devices down. We lock the access from the device to the application. We will allow when you access you have clean access without downloading any data.”

Presently, Uniken has about 20 customers and 20 lakh end users. Banks are using this technology for providing secure access to internet and mobile banking. Today, a bank is not building a new infrastructure to allow end customers to access the banking.  They rely on the internet and software device which are downloadable and work seamlessly on desktop, mobile, tablets be it Android and iOS. 

Make-In-India Technology

Uniken is among the few start-up companies which are building enterprise security platform from India. In the last two years, it has added more customers, and is focusing on customer satisfaction. “Our REL-ID is a complete make in India, and it’s a four-year-old technology. Bank of India was our first customer. Over the last two years we have done several implementations of this. We also have taken this technology and got it validated from Israel.  We are probably the few or only  security companies from India to sell it in Israel,” he said. 

Funding helped Expansion

Uniken raised Rs 12 crore from Exfinity Venture Partners for international expansion and to establish market leadership in India. “The funding helped us in building and investing new products. Over the last year we are building new solutions where funding comes in hand, the additional funding helps us in expanding sales and marketing. We have expanded in hiring new team small team in Delhi and south. At our Pune Cyber Security Innovations Lab, we are building REL-ID based solution, and other solutions like REL-ID DataSecure.Vault. It’s a hardware device, which has a hidden partition to store the data . Moreover, we are building future-ready solutions and devices which support IoT.

Banking more on IoT, Cloud and Mobility opportunities

We see IoT as the future, while mobility and cloud are now. In mobility, Uniken’s software can secure the connectivity of mobile devices. On the cloud front, the company has launched its secure connectivity platform on the Amazon web services(AWS).

As enterprises embracing  internet, mobility and cloud, security is something required for everything, the need for security will go higher. Today, every bank and financial services and defence establishments need security. Hence, we feel, the opportunity as large as internet for Uniken.

The company is looking to make partnership in the areas of privacy and financial transaction. It has intent to work with mobile apps like mobile wallet, which store value and personal data.

Security related worries for CIO/ CSOs

Today CIOs is pulled between the two segments one is faster business and the second is the security threats. As the cost of attacks have gone down,and the numbers of attacks have increased. In most of the cases, some of these low value cyber attacks do not get reported and since they don’t get reported, we don’t know how we can solve them. There is a need for the  CSOs community to come together and share this kind of knowledge.

The more the CSOs share the better it will be for them to have a concerted efforts against the attackers. The attackers do not have rules, attackers are together and share between themselves. CSOs do have rules, but they don’t share among themselves. Once they start sharing more they would be better prepared for such attacks.

Security in Wearable

The wearables are disrupting the way data is collected, analyzed, used and delivered. One can not control how these devices will be used, but you need to control the data and share it. “We see that smart devices and NFC would be the biggest trends. As more and more devices are going to be connected the  probability of fraud and malicious  intent being used by people through these connected devices is going to increase. We want to prevent such by ensuring authorized way of access,” concluded Bapat.