Security can no longer be a response to events

Written by Sudhir Chowdhary | Updated: Dec 24 2012, 21:54pm hrs
IT security has undergone a paradigm shift over the last decade with cybercrime attacks evolving in sophistication, pervasiveness and frequency. Enterprises in India, much like the rest of the world, are looking for cost-effective IT security solutions that address regulatory mandates and mitigate security risk. Thats not all, says Jagdish Mahapatra, managing director, India & SAARC, McAfee: They are looking for solutions that go beyond using security as an instrument to stop bad things from occurring and instead leverage security to enable more efficient, effective, and agile business. McAfee is now an Intel company and Jagdishs key responsibilities include driving enterprise and consumer driven product revenues, strengthening the customer base across verticals and leading channel partner and alliance engagements. The Indian market represents one of the highest growth businesses for us and therefore has top priority exposure within our company, he tells Sudhir Chowdhary in a recent interaction. Excerpts:

After the Intel acquisition, how is McAfee leveraging the synergies from this acquisition

Security needs to do two things to get ahead of the threat: First, we need to know where computing is going. Security can no longer be a response to events. Second, we need to move security from above the operating system (OS) to being a fundamental aspect of the computing architecture, tied to the hardware. That is what will enable security to cut across these OS boundaries. We can move security into the actual physical chip. Thats where McAfee and Intel are innovating together, in a way no one else can.

To put into perspective, Intel and McAfee integration falls into two main areas: co-design efforts and go-to-market efforts. Our joint software and hardware expertise better protects consumers and businesses and drives innovation across Intels product offerings. Bringing software closer to the silicon helps strengthen security to more effectively counter the increasingly sophisticated threats of today and tomorrow.

To this effect, we announced our McAfee DeepSAFE technology co-developed with Intel which is a next generation of hardware-assisted security. We recently launched two new products based on McAfee DeepSAFE technology jointly developed with Intel. McAfee Deep Defender detects, blocks, and remediates advanced, hidden attacks. McAfee Deep Defender is reinventing the industry approach to security and is the first product built on the McAfee DeepSAFE Technology. McAfee ePO Deep Command provides secure and remote security management access to PCs that may be powered off or disabled.

What are the opportunities you see in the Indian market

From being restricted to the walls of an organisation, information is now distributed across a range of geographically dispersed and connected device mechanisms enabling anywhere access to meet the needs of a fast emerging mobile workforce. Enterprise security has undergone a paradigm shift over the last decade with cybercrime attacks evolving in sophistication, pervasiveness and frequency.

As a natural corollary, the industry is steadily witnessing a shift in enterprise security adoption from a traditional anti-virus approach to an integrated security solutions approach. The biggest opportunity is delivering predictive security that secures todays digital lifestyle, from individuals to the largest organisations.

Our new opportunities lie in the following factors: From an IT security perspective, organisations in India, much like the rest of the world, are looking for cost-effective solutions that address regulatory mandates, mitigate security risk, and go beyond using security as an instrument to stop bad things from occurring and instead leverage security to enable more efficient, effective, and agile business.

Can you highlight few opportunities that you see in India in the context of this complex threat environment

Data centres hosted in India are becoming increasingly common. Security for data centres and managed security service provider (MSSP) operations is a focus of many organisations. In tandem with the proliferation of data centres is the massive adoption of bring your own device work practices and mobile solutions such as smartphones.

Because of widespread adoption of mobile devices, organisations and consumers alike in India are concerned with mobile device security. India-specific regulatory mandates are also an increasing concern. The pressure to allow these devices on the network necessarily puts organisations at risk of being out of compliance with the regulations, like those meant to protect electronic patient information in a healthcare environment, industry guidance (like PCI) and corporate policies on which theyve collectively spent billions to both comply and prove that they comply.

What will be the companys strategy to grow operations in India

We have been operating in India for over 12 years and have a strong foothold in the region. Our Bengaluru development centre is a key location from McAfees global R&D standpoint. Since India has been identified as a priority growth market for McAfee and Intel, we are investing in people, infrastructure, service and locations. The Indian market represents one of the highest growth businesses for us and therefore has top priority exposure within our company. In terms of our customer base here, the government sector is a big focus for us.

How was McAfee Indias performance in the last fiscal and what is your roadmap for this year

McAfee has been growing above the industry growth rates for the last three years. We grew by 20% in FY 2011 and will continue the trend in the current year as well. According to IDC report, the total enterprise security market in India is forecasted to be $255 million in 2011. According to IDC, McAfee is the fastest growing security vendor in India.

We have made key investments in verticalsgovernment, banking, financial services and telecom in our enterprise business. We expect to capture significant market share in technologies like Web security, enterprise mobility management and next generation firewalls and vulnerability management.

Speaking of B2B strategy, McAfee has three focused sales segments for India, namely enterprise, commercial and SMB. On the consumer side, we work through OEM partnerships and retail route.