Firewalls, despite their presence, are no guarantee that organisational data has not been “unknowingly” compromised, says Praveen Jaiswal, Co-founder and Director of Kolkata-based security solutions firm Vehere Interactive.

According to him, organisations generally realise data breaches many days post an attack. Work from home (WFH), artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have also increased the risk of enterprise databases to hitherto unheard attacks.

In an interview to BusinessLine , Jaiswal talks about threat perceptions and Vehere’s growth plans, among others. Edited excerpts:

How true is the perception that security threats are on the rise?

On an average, there are hundreds of breaches happening every day. However, these remain undetected for almost 270 days on an average. As AI and machine learning evolve, more attacks, particularly, new ones that previously have not been reported or heard of will come up.

Covid-19 triggered remote working or WFH in India. This ultimately led to a fundamental shift in the work environment and opened doors for more security breaches and issues that one could not have thought of. The small issues which could have been resolved sitting at office, now these security problems have become really distributed.

There are many loopholes which hackers exploit over a period of time ― ranging from a few days to even years. Firewalls and anti-viruses will work only on known security threats. Unknown ones or new threats can get overlooked.

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Between individual users and enterprises, which are at higher risk?

Generally, attacks are higher in case of organisations like government enterprises, especially the ones dealing with security solutions or enterprises in the banking or financial services sector, electricity grids, or even utilities. Individuals are generally not targeted unless it’s a phising attack.

The attack is primarily for data access, data ex-filtration and data damage.

Sometimes it may be months before organisations find their data crop up on the dark web. That is when they realise their security was breached. Organisations, on an average, can take at least 93 days to realise that hacking has taken place.

Do you see any change in investment patterns (on security) post pandemic?

Investments in cyber-security have gone up across organisations, especially after they implemented WFH. This trend is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

Vehere has witnessed phenomenal growth during this period and during the pandemic period. We have closed deals with three of the largest financial institutions in the country.

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Considering the current scenario, what are your growth plans?

Post our R&D expansion and following a fund-raising of $3 million from Enam Securities in early 2018, we re-worked our offerings. The portfolio now includes solutions for the enterprise segment. Our clientele covers defence agencies in the region, defence contractors, telecom companies and financial institutions. Smart city deals are also in the works.

In the last three years, revenues witnessed a CAGR (compounded annual growth rate) of 100 per cent. Apart from India, we expanded to some other key markets like Singapore, Middle East and South Asia. We have also invested in an R&D centre in Armenia.

We are now focusing on our growth plans and are planning to enter the US market around Q3 (July-September) 2021.

Do you have any plans to raise funds?

We will be requiring growth capital as and when we enter the US markets. Vehere has been profitable (EBITDA positive) and we are cash positive. Although plans are not yet finalised, we may look at fund-raising in 2021 for expansion in the international markets.