As digitization has woven into our daily lives and work, the security risks associated with it has become unnerving and daunting. Hence it is imperative that organizations across the world embrace robust security measures and protections to ensure security of business operations. Just like its global counterparts, the Indian economy has witnessed radical enablers both from the public and private sectors playing an important role in taking digitization into a next level. Therefore, the sense of security is a prime concern with every click. In an exclusive interaction with CXOToday, Ramsunder Papineni, Regional Director-India and SAARC at ForeScout Technologies, explains how the company is keeping businesses, cities and agencies secure with its robust cybersecurity solution and strong distribution strategy. Excerpts.
CXOToday: What are the key areas you are looking at to expand their Business wing in India?
Ramsunder Papineni: BFSI, manufacturing, oil and gas, as well as healthcare are the key growth sectors for us, both in India and globally. We have secured several key customer wins within the BFSI sector over the last few years and have also made significant inroads in industries such as manufacturing, oil and gas, and healthcare. We expect these markets to continue driving Forescout’s business growth in India.
There is also a huge play for us in these industries in light of digitization and the growing convergence between the IT and OT infrastructures. While OT did not fall under the CISO’s purview in the past, the IT/OT convergence is making it essential for CISOs to have a clearer view of the end-to-end enterprise ecosystem. This convergence will drive greater traction for our state-of-the-art agent-less security solutions.
Forescout integrates with 70 different technologies to automate the threat response and remediation process. We plan to capitalize on the business opportunity and make deeper inroads in the aforementioned verticals by establishing ourselves as the preferred security partner for both existing and new customers.
CXOToday: How does Forescout explain the agent-less visibility and security to its customers?
Ramsunder Papineni: The number of connected devices in the enterprise space has grown exponentially in the last couple of years, thanks to the increasing BYOD adoption and IoT-led interconnectivity. This growth will only accelerate in the future. Different IP-addressable devices come with different operating systems. Enterprises choose the systems and devices that are best suited for their requirements, both from an operational and a financial standpoint. Not all such devices and OS support an agent-led security approach. The sheer number of connected devices within the enterprise ecosystem today also makes the cost of agent-led security extremely prohibitive. This is where agentless security offerings, such as those offered by Forescout, step into the picture. By facilitating real-time visibility into the complete universe of devices and networked operations, Forescout enables organizations to enhance their security robustness while minimizing the cost of their enterprise security operations in the era of digitization.
CXOToday: What is your current growth strategy and in which pockets do you foresee growth in the next 12 months?
Ramsunder Papineni: While we don’t disclose country specific financial information, we have acquired many new customers in 2018 in India and have been tapping into emerging business opportunities in newer segments. We have also significantly expanded our pan-India channel network. Last year, we also made heavy capital investments to train our human resources – an investment that we have prioritized in 2019 as well. While acquiring new customers remains important to our growth strategy, I believe that it is our ability to deliver superlative service and support to existing customers that drives the maximum value for the ForeScout brand in the market.
Training our in-house resources and channel partners ensures that all end-customer deployments take place seamlessly, without any hassle. This 360-degree focus has put us in a strong position to drive accelerated growth in the current financial year.
CXOToday: How Forescout shares their expertise in IoT security for the enterprises?
Ramsunder Papineni: Providing the right security solution is all about understanding what the customer’s exact pain points are. We never walk up to potential customers with what we have. Instead, we analyse – in painstaking detail – their various stated and unstated business challenges in the age of digitization. This allows us to identify the right solution and deployment strategy for every customer.
CXOToday: According to Forescout which are the key areas prone to cyber-attacks in smart city?
Ramsunder Papineni: Smart cities, by design, operate on interconnectivity. Connected devices are an integral part of the ecosystem. Most smart cities, however, are not designed to gain visibility over these devices. Forescout addresses this pain point through its agentless visibility solutions. We follow a simple security philosophy: you can’t secure what you can’t see. Gaining visibility over devices connected to the smart city infrastructure can help stakeholders improve their security readiness.
CXOToday: What are the networks of distribution Forescout is maintaining in India for their products?
Ramsunder Papineni: We follow a two-pronged go-to-market approach in India. Apart from our channel ecosystem, we also have distributors to market ForeScout offerings across the country.
CXOToday: In a country like India where Smart Cities are slated to develop at a rapid pace, how is Forescout offering cybersecurity solutions to make cities safe and secure?
Ramsunder Papineni: Forescout focuses on enabling visibility, facilitating seamless technological integration, and delivering security automation. Through our cutting-edge offerings, we provide smart city stakeholders with in-depth, real-time insights into each connected device and its behavior. We also automate and contextualize the threat response, thus ensuring that any attack is effectively remediated, and the area of impact is minimized. This allows smart cities to improve their security profiles and readiness in the face of a rapidly-evolving threat landscape.