IoT Security Should be an Emerging Priority for India

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Subex is today a leading provider of security solutions for various verticals globally. Subex is working with stakeholders across the IoT ecosystem to enable and sustain success in terms of value and revenue from a security perspective. The company has successfully showcased the significance of security and continues to grow from strength-to-strength with comprehensive investments in threat research, cross eco-system collaboration and in new and emerging technology paradigms around IoT.

In a face-to-face interaction with Aamir H Kaki, Prayukth KV, Head of IoT Marketing, Subex, talks on a range of topics from Subex’s IoT solutions to its business, awareness about IoT security to IoT deployment and much more.

Excerpts:

Q. Please brief about the IoT solutions Subex is offering.

Prayukth KV, Head of IoT Marketing, Subex

We are offering an end-to-end Internet of things (IoT) security solution – Subex Secure, which is designed to secure IoT assets and data. Data is the life blood that runs across the infrastructure upstream and downstream while connecting disparate elements. We secure the whole IoT and OT infrastructure starting with data and the networks associated with it.

Subex Secure is an agent less product enabling networks to secure multitudinous types of devices. It is capable of monitoring billions of devices and their data transmissions. Using a three-tier detection strategy, it identifies and mitigates threats as they occur on the network. These three strategies are signature-based detection, heuristics and anomalies. Risks are identified, flagged for investigation and eliminated early thereby allowing firms invested in IoT to function securely and seamlessly without any disruption.

In addition, we also offer consulting and managing services around IoT security. We conduct vulnerability assessment and penetration testing (VAPT) services for enterprises as well.

Q. Are you the creator, enabler or integrator of your solution?

A: While we focus on the solution aspects, we also cover the entire nine yards linked to IoT security. Subex Secure, our IoT security solution, has been developed in-house using our own IP and investments. The threat intelligence that powers Subex Secure is gathered from our own honeypot network which is one of the largest in the world. We do work with our partners to cover deployment aspects.

Q. How are your solutions unique from those of your competitors?

The unique and interesting thing about us is that our threat intelligence infrastructure is so unique that it generates as much as 30 per cent more threat intelligence as compared to others. Another interesting fact is that we are an IoT security focused vendor with unrivalled research capabilities across verticals and deployment complexities. This makes us unique and the depth of knowledge that we have gained working in diverse deployment such as smart cities, oil and gas establishments, telcos and others. All these has transformed us into an entrenched player in this arena.

Q. There is not much awareness about IoT security today. How do you approach, with your solutions, to customers who are not aware about security threats?

There are multiple ways to approach them. At the awareness level, we do work with government agencies, analysts, media, prospects and other stakeholders to increase their knowledge levels and the evolving threat environment. We do publish our threat research findings frequently which helps stakeholders in understanding various aspects of IoT security.

Q. Is Subex a fully IoT solution-based company?

Subex, our parent company, has other products in telecom domain, focusing on fraud management and revenue assurance. However, our line of business is focused only on IoT security.

Q. So your 100% revenue is from IoT products only?

I would rephrase it to read 100 percent of our revenue is drawn from projects that concern IoT. In addition to IoT products, we do offer consulting, VAPT and other allied services as I have mentioned before.

Q. What are your main strength in the development of products?

Our strength lies in our workforce and our research capabilities. Our threat research team is exceptionally skilled and understands the dynamics of IoT security and IoT. Our exposure to different verticals, deployment complexities, communication flavours and protocols has helped us scale up and expand globally. This has not just led to the creation of vertical focused threat libraries but also expanded our domain knowledge and our ability to understand the evolving threat environment and other complexities it translates to.

Q. We have seen that there a lot of solution providers in the IoT domain, but there is a lack of customers. Is this a challenge for you?

Definitely, there is a challenge as it is an evolving market. IoT adoption has only started picking up momentum in the last couple of years. If you look at published data on IoT deployments, people are now beginning to understand the value coming out of their IoT investments. With this understanding, there will also be a parallel evolution in terms of businesses investing in understanding the value of IoT security as an enabler of business continuity, innovation and brand credibility. We are optimistic about our prospects.

Q. So you are confident about the market. How do you see the growth of IoT market in India in next 2-3 years?

Definitely! If you look at the projected volume of connected devices poised to come online, even by a conservative estimate, run into millions (not counting PoCs). So that’s really an opportunity and a challenge for India. Because of the diversity of the devices joining the IoT ecosystem presents a series of challenges not only from a security perspective but also from a logistics perspective. We have seen some interesting use cases emerge from India that can be replicated elsewhere and that will not just drive innovation but also facilitate the expansion of IoT into newer areas. India is ready for IoT in more ways than we can imagine. There are so many challenges concerning governance, infrastructure, healthcare, supply chain and others that are ripe for an IoT intervention. These are exciting to be in this field.

Q. What do you think government of India is doing for IoT deployment? What are your expectations from the government?

In fact, the government is already doing a lot. In his 2018 budget speech, the then Finance Minister mentioned IoT, which is a morale booster for all of us. With initiatives like Digital India, Make in India and benefit transfer, the government has shown its intent and focus. All these are opportunity areas for IoT and IT. However, all of us have synchronise our efforts to work toward promoting IoT so that we move towards monetisation faster. The whole ecosystem is quite fragmented right now because of the diversity of players, technologies and business objectives. We expect the government to continue its focus on IoT while promoting a nurturing policy environment.

Q. According to you, is there a need of compliance or regulation in IoT security?

Yes, sometimes compliance mandates can help businesses and others understand the significance of security. Because businesses are often focused on revenue outcomes, security takes a backseat. It is in such instances that a policy guideline or a compliance mandate can help.

Q. Which are the major sectors you’re targeting for your solutions?

We are working with telecom partners globally. As of today, we have deployments in the oil and gas, smart cities, telecom and connected cars, among other verticals.

Q. So you are basically an Indian company serving the global customers? What are your plans for expansion in India?

Absolutely! We are headquartered at Bangalore. Being an Indian company, we want to see how we could do way more in India. We feel that there is more potential to be tapped here, not only to deliver but also to collaborate. As I said, IoT value is what we target as we feel that these projects must succeed for India to move into the Digital India future envisaged by the government. We intend to amplify our investments in India while expanding our engagements with businesses and central and local governments here.

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