The increased adoption of digital platforms has bought in numerous benefits, but, at the same time, there are also attendant threats in the form of cybercriminals.
Given how data seamlessly moves from a laptop to a smartphone and desktop, there needs to be heightened awareness about the various online threats.
Skynet Softtech — a Mumbai-headquartered customer-centric cybersecurity tech startup — founded in March 2019, aims to protect both individuals and enterprises from ever-evolving cyber threats.
The startup offers a one-stop solution for both smartphones and PCs, which encompasses guidance, resources, and safeguards that are required.
In a conversation with YourStory, founders Nitish A Desai (Managing Director) and Nikhil S Mahadeshwar (CTO) spoke about their journey and various facets of cyber security.
Edited excerpts from the interview:
YourStory [YS]: What was the driving force for you to turn into a tech entrepreneur?
Nitish Desai [ND]: I was heavily invested in technology. My time in the US exposed me to more nuanced aspects of technology, one of them being cybersecurity.
While there were statistics of individuals and organisations becoming victims of cyber-attacks and facing huge reputational and financial losses, a robust solution was lacking. This lack was more evident among the Indian audience.
To fill this gap, I envisioned creating a one-stop solution for all cyber-security related needs. An app that would help individuals and organisations find if any spy applications are installed in their devices, alert the user of any data theft, as most of us are hooked to our respective mobile phones, which has all personal and work-related data in them.
YS: Hailing from a family-run business in the construction industry, how did you make the shift towards the cyber security segment of technology?
ND: It was not easy to leave a well-established business, but I was blessed to have my family’s support to make the shift and explore the technology world. I wanted to start my own company and create a product where the entire world is the market.
Unlike real estate, wherein you are restricted to a specific market space, technology is a field you can expand your wings and create an array of products essential in today’s world.
For me, that was HackShield. I wanted to design a product that would be the answer to all cybersecurity-related issues across the globe.
YS: What kind of business opportunity do you see for Skynet Softtech in the Indian market?
ND: While cybersecurity and digital privacy were slowly gaining prominence earlier, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the whole process. There has been a surge in cyber-attacks as per the latest statistics, and the number of cybercrimes is growing by the day. Individuals and organisations are becoming its victim every second.
Considering the current trends in the cybersecurity sector, we need an easy to use solution that will address multiple threats in one go.
Skynet Softtech is an organisation that is not an app-based company for individuals but also provides all types of IT security services to organisations.
There is a lack of knowledge and a certain level of negligence when it comes to cyber security and data protection. Simply having a firewall and endpoint security solutions in an organisation does not safeguard from all kinds of cyber-attacks. Various factors need to be considered to safeguard from cyber-attacks and prevent a data breach from the server.
We offer services to protect the organisation from every possible type of cyber-attacks. We have expertise in handling pre- and post-incident cyber-attack cases and in digital forensics investigation, which makes us stand out in the traditional market.
YS: What are the broad trends you see in the world of cybersecurity globally today?
Nikhil Mahadeshwar [NM]: With the world adapting to the ‘work from home’ culture, cyber-crimes like ransomware attacks and phishing are increasing rapidly.
Many companies have lost millions of dollars to recover from such attacks. At times, it’s not just financial loss, but reputational loss, data loss, and customer credibility loss. Financial loss could be recovered, but reputational loss cannot be recovered easily. As the market of cloud solutions flourishes, threats are evolving around cloud security too.
Nowadays, storing data on non-reputed cloud solutions has become a risky business. Social engineering attacks are increasing too.
At present, as everyone is using WiFi, be it home WiFi, office WiFi, or public WiFi, the threat persists for all. Usage of vulnerable WiFi results in data leakage and devices can be compromised easily.
Mobile hacking is also one of the biggest cyber threats, no matter whether it is Android or iOS. The recent Pegasus attack has set a benchmark for the spyware industry and has created fear among both iOS and Android users.
Just like Pegasus, there are several other spyware present in the world.
YS: As businesses and consumers in India get further ingrained into the digital world, how as a nation do we safeguard ourselves better against various kinds of cyber threats?
NM: Here are a few things one can do to safeguard themselves against cyber threats:
- Policies should be on paper and implemented.
- Individuals should take up mobile security solutions seriously.
- Desktops and laptops should be safeguarded with security solutions.
- A paid anti-spying solution should be preferred for better safety.
- One should always verify the WiFi for safety before connecting to it.
- Businesses should conduct regular vulnerability tests and address the issues if any.
- Companies should participate in bug bounty programmes so their network, infrastructure, and products are checked for vulnerability with the help of various hackers who hunt for bugs.
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