Kaspersky lab the Cure for Cyber Threats : Altaf Halde

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Altaf Halde, Managing Director- South Asia, KasperSky Lab

With the use of Internet increasing on several devices, cyber threats are also expected to increase in the long run. Altaf Halde, Managing Director- South Asia, KasperSky Lab, in conversation with Nirmal Anshu Ranjan of Elets News Network (ENN) talks about the various solutions to get rid of these risks

Tell us something about your security solutions.

Kaspersky have been into the business of providing security for digital assets for the past 17 years. We started with the consumer security segment, and then headed towards home users, followed by small offices. After that, we stepped towards the SMB space. Having covered these three segments, now we are getting into the enterprise segment.

What mobility solutions does Kaspersky offer?

When you talk about mobile security, there are two kinds of security solutions. The first one is protection from malware for your particular mobile phone or smart phone. For instance, we have a solution which is an anti-malware on mobile and works on Android. However, from a corporate perspective, it is not only about being anti-malware. For example, if there is an employee who is getting his own personal smart phone or personal tablet, the corporate’s IT security head wants to make sure that by allowing an employee to use his personal device, he is not compromising with corporate security. That is where the mobile device management solution provides the bridge. We have a solution to address the issue of security both from malware perspective as well as mobile device management. This is a solution which can be managed to a centralised control, as it works on Android, iPhone as well as Windows.

Which are the segments you primarily cater to?

Our traditional solutions include end-point security, which talks about anti-virus in a device. So, irrespective of verticals, a virus or malware can attack any of the segments. As of now, we are quite strong in education space and are thinking of getting into the enterprise. Our focus is going to be IT/ ITeS, BFSI and government segments.

Talking about BFSI, we have specific solutions for this sector. We have seen a number of banks and financial institutions going for virtualisation. They have invested a lot of money on VMware, and we wish to protect that through our mobile device management solution. So, BFSI is the segment which we will be able to take care of with our existing solution and we are also looking at our fraud prevention solution.

Today, banks have got the best amount of security installed within the office network. However, people also use banking on their smart phones or tablets. So, we are talking about the protection of users when they connect to banking networks. That is where our fraud prevention service comes into the picture. There are different options in which a bank or a financial institution can go, but we also have an option of having an SDK which can integrate in their existing mobile application.

It is a Software Development Kit which gets integrated into a mobile app. For instance, someone uses HSBC mobile app on his mobile phone. The minute he connects to the internet and opens the HSBC app, Kaspersky will automatically do the scanning (if it has tied up with HSBC) before connecting him to the office network.

How has been your experience of working with the Government of India’s concerns? Do you think environment is conducive enough?

When we look at the government departments as our customer, we find it good enough. Currently, we are into the process of getting the license from the Directorate General of Suppliers disposal to sell our product in the government domain, which is at the final stage.

We further wish to tie up with the government to provide our technical expertise. We have a MoU with Cert-In. So, whenever our researchers come across any threat that is targeted towards the Indian Government or towards the Indian portals, we share that information. Moreover, if there is anything specific with the Cert-In department, they contact us. For example, we have got a cyber security department where we can conduct training for the government cyber cell. We can go and tell them how to do forensics and how to look at the malware etc. In short, we are going in the right direction with the government.

Cloud is a big thing these days. Do you offer security solutions for that as well?

Around a year ago, we did not have a Cloud solution, but now we have two of them. The first one is for the consumers, which we don’t sell them directly. We appoint a service provider for that, like Airtel or Vodafone. These will charge subscription for end-point anti-virus security on the Cloud just as it takes charges for a ringtone on a monthly basis. We recently launched it globally. Now, we have done the first step of tying up with one service provider, who is based in Mumbai right now. The MoU is going to be released in 10-15 days time.

The second solution is for the SMV organisation, which says that there is no requirement to put a dedicated server or appoint a person etc.

Today, there is no solution which can offer 100 per cent security. Nonetheless, what the customer should look at is that if there is a problem, how fast the company reacts to give him a solution, and that is where we feel lies our expertise

With initiatives like Digital India, cyber threats are also set to increase. How do you react to it?

Earlier, we used to sell our solutions only to Local Area Network companies. However, now people have got several
devices like tablets, smart phones etc to access internet leading to the increase of threats. Today, there is no solution which can offer 100 per cent security. Nonetheless, what the customer should look at is, if there is a problem, how fast the company reacts to give him a solution, and that is where we feel lies our expertise. We have a very strong team of researchers who are looking out for threats which are coming up. Kaspersky is one of the organisations, which comes with the maximum number of detections.

What is the next big thing at Kaspersky?

For us, protecting our users is the biggest thing. Further, we need to sell our solutions to get into this particular space putting the money back again. Kaspersky is an organisation which develops its own solutions. For instance, other leading companies in the space first acquire a company, which makes integration a huge problem. At Kaspersky, we have developed everything on our own. Our mobile device management (MDM), data encryption, virtualisation security, system management, all are developed in house. So, what we believe is that probably developing everything ourselves makes integration much easier.

We have also got a programme called Kaspersky Kids, which we run with schools to provide newsletters or do events in schools and to talk about how to be safe with Internet. We believe in educating the users. These involve not only the corporates but also the children, who are going to be the next generation internet users.

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