We Are Targeting 30% Of Our Revenues From SMEs

Updated: Mar 25 2004, 05:30am hrs
Internet security is crucial in todays environment as any lapse can lead to loss of customers as well as revenue. In an interview with Sibabrata Das, Trend Micro India country manager Niraj Kaushik says that the next big wave in Internet security will be from the small and medium enterprise segment. Excerpts:

Do small and medium enterprises (SMEs) offer a big potential in offering Internet security
SME is the fastest growing market segment today. It is estimated that in India, 44 per cent of the total IT spend of Rs 26,100 crore comes from the SME segment. As enterprises grow, they will increasingly understand that antivirus is no longer a desktop utility; it is a security issue in a networked scenario. It is being increasingly understood that desktop anti-virus deals only with a copy of the infected file. The original stays at the mail server. If the server isnt protected, the virus can replicate itself into an enterprise-wide infection that could cost a company dearly. Hence, protection at the Internet gateway is important and critical.

Are companies launching specific SME solutions
Trend Micro has recently launched the first-ever product designed for the SME segment. Generally, the products that are launched for the smaller businesses are toned down versions of the same product used for the large enterprises. What we have launched this year is a completely separate product, specifically tailor-made to suit the requirements of an SME. We define SME as any customer with less than 500 seats. In fact, we are targeting close to 30 per cent of our revenues from that segment alone this year.

How are you going to achieve this
Increase partner reach across more geography in India. The better functionality and price point would add to the momentum. Also, the response that we witnessed when we went to over 33 cities in India for the launch of this product was enormous. And we feel this is just the beginning of the next big wave in Net security for the SME segment.

How do the features and pricing on offer for this segment compare with that for larger enterprises
Typically the SME needs most of the functionality of an enterprise class product without the complexity of the same. Hence Trend Micros SME products are designed to be simple to install and manage. The pricing has been kept at a very attractive level and hence these products are cheaper than the enterprise products.

Is integrated security devices picking up in India
The growing SME segment is likely to fuel the need for integrated security devices. But the enterprise customers prefer specialised devices.

Are anti-virus vendors looking at spam as a big focus area in India
With the growth of the Internet, e-mail has undoubtedly become the core, if not the most essential service for enterprises. However, with the widespread adoption of e-mail, a new headache has been created for corporate IT administrators which raises legal issues, impacts network efficiency, and affects employee productivity.

By ridding themselves of occupational spam, companies can save employees 30 per cent of the time it takes to manage their e-mail, according to Gartner. Anti-spam is a major focus for several vendors like ours. Today, virus can generate spam and spam can carry virus. The incidence of spam is already reaching alarming levels in India.

What is the solution
The anti-spam solution we offer sits at the gateway of the customer, where all e-mail comes in, and filters out spam. Our solution utilises a high performance Heuristics scanning engine. This Heuristic technology is the science of calculating the probability that a particular message is spam based on the collective occurrence of a set of characteristics of the message. This technology adds an additional adaptive layer of detection to the commonly deployed unsafe list or signature-based scanning provided by most enterprise anti-spam vendors, including Trend Micro. While signature-based scanning can be updated to block known sources of spam, heuristics-based scanning can be quickly adapted to detect entirely new categories or methods of spamming.

Are Indian companies geared up to face the speed and complexity of attacks
Majority of Indian companies are not geared to effectively counter such new threats and still need to do a lot more to protect themselves. They are becoming increasingly aware of the need for a well-defined security policy, though it is a fact that more than 70 per cent of corporates in India still do not have a formal security policy (as per KPMG Consulting).

Do you see any shift
We see a clear paradigm shift in corporate attitude towards security. This is governed by the move away from the desktop. There is also the need to protect an organisations intellectual property and critical data - which explains the burgeoning market for content security. And as Indian companies build up Internet access and rely more and more on the Net to do business, security awareness is expected to grow higher still. Enterprises, while planning their Internet and e-business infrastructure, need to consider a policy-based, network-based comprehensive security system.

Are you planning to partner with Linux to provide security
Trend Micro is the only AV company to have native solutions for Linux. Working in native mode means that Trend Micro can detect virus in real time mode. In fact, Trend Micro has solutions for 3 flavours of Linux - Red Hat, SuSe and United.

Is Linux less prone to viruses and security attacks
Trend Micros understanding is that virus writers are looking to maximise their returns on any virus they write. Hence they tend to target the most popular environments. However, in recognition of Linuxs growing popularity, more than 300 new virus have been released on Linux in the last few months alone, and this number is growing.