Straight Talk With SonicWall Inc Vice President, Regional Sales, Debasish Mukherjee


-Swaminathan Balasubramanian

SonicWall Boundless Cybersecurity is well-known among IT as it safeguards organizations with seamless protection. It stops the most evasive cyberattacks across boundless exposure points and increasingly remote, mobile and cloud-enabled workforces.

In conversation with Debasish Mukherjee; Vice President, Regional Sales APAC at SonicWall Inc, we learn about the need for boundless security, the relevance for it among the current threat, and key future predictions.

Q: What is the need for boundless security and share some insights on the same?

In today’s world, business needs  and uses  are more complex than ever before. Organizations are now protecting a boundless workforce with boundless exposure points. The pandemic has made it clear that there is no code of conduct when it comes to cybercriminals, their methods of attacks and the selection of their targets. Technology is moving at an unprecedented rate. Threats that were once thought to be two or three years away are now a reality, with do-it-yourself, cloud-based tools creating an army of cybercriminals armed with the same devastating force and impact of a nation-state or larger criminal enterprise. Organizations have no choice but to be ever more vigilant and proactive in hardening their cybersecurity posture.

SonicWall’s Boundless Cybersecurity approach helps solve the cybersecurity business gap as workers prove to be less secure when working from home, leaving companies more exposed today. This platform delivers seamless protection that stops the most evasive cyberattacks across endless exposure points and increasingly remote, mobile and cloud-enabled workforces.

Also SonicWall addresses this new challenge of ever-increasing threats and cybercrimes with the scalability and flexibility of its Secure Mobile Access (SMA) series, which has experienced a 2,348% increase of user licenses since February 2020.

Q: How APAC as a region reacted to security threats during the COVID pandemic and what is the relevance of boundless security?

Even before the novel coronavirus disrupted businesses, only a handful of organizations across Asia and India had the robust cybersecurity capabilities required to combat growing attacks. The pandemic has invariably expanded that risk multifold, given the shift in work patterns and operating models. The region is rife for cybercriminals to thrive (some reports suggest that Asia is 80% more likely to be targeted by hackers) due to poor cybersecurity awareness, growing cross-border data transfers, weak regulations and low cybersecurity investment.

The current era of the ‘anytime, anywhere business’ is  forever changing the shape of the IT and business landscape. The massively expanding distributed IT reality — fueled by the proliferation of apps and devices, the pervasive cloud, borderless organizations, sensors everywhere — is creating an unprecedented explosion of exposure points for businesses.

The important question now is  how do organizations protect the integrity of their business when nearly 100% of their workforce is remote, everything is open and accessible, breach is inevitable, conventional solutions fall short, and increasing scrutiny creates mounting pressure?

The need for a radical  shift is inevitable.  A new Boundless Cybersecurity Model that  can mobilize organizations for the new business normal while breaking free of the constraints of the past is the solution. This new model can move organizations from conventional and constrained strategies to a modern, proactive and boundless model.
A Boundless Cybersecurity solution can proactively mitigate cyberattacks across organizations’ boundless exposure points, including a ‘boundless’ workforce of remote, mobile and cloud-enabled users. This model can see the unknown while detecting the evasive and cutting-edge threats, gains Gain unified visibility and control that integrates the technology, services and solutions while architecting ways to leverage truly disruptive and scalable economics to make the solution cost-effective to protect any enterprise, SMB, organization or government

Q: How  is APAC as a market different from others, and what are the areas where this region is superior and where it lacks?

Asian consumers are primarily followers and not risk takers, which is one-way right approach once majority of the world already used one technology and proven, we confidently can consume that, which save cost of evaluation and minimizes risk. When we talk about security suggestion is customer should continuously evaluate risk and think ahead of time and can’t be a follower. Time is essence here you will have early movers advantage like a game of chess, if you don’t move correct step on time chances are you will be check mate and in cyberworld cost of getting check mate is pretty high.

Q: Off-late, many enterprises feel that cybersecurity has become too expensive. What is your view on cost as a factor playing a role in finding the right solutions?

This pandemic has brought in many changes, the “new normal” expands in many directions. As countries are slowing reopening and trying to get used to these new normal, organisations too need to re-architect for the ‘new business normal,’ which includes implementing cost-effective, software-defined networking and security principles and services across the business.

At SonicWALL, we are focused on providing platform based, integrated solutions, workflow, management and reporting to reduce the overall admin time and provide deeper insights into their environments. With zero touch deployments, automated workflows and integrated solutions, we are paving the way for our partners and customers to do more with less.

In addition, our solution bundles and simple upgrade plans enable our customers the flexibility to upgrade seamlessly whilst retaining the ROI they expect and need from a trusted vendor.

Q: Considering the current scenario, the work-from-home concept is likely to evolve. What is your view on the preparedness of APAC enterprises in securing their infra?

Much before the pandemic hit the world, only a handful Indian and Asian companies/ organisations had any sort of robust cybersecurity capabilities to combat cyber-attacks.

Now the pandemic has gone and increased this risk factor on a gigantic scale, given the shift in work patterns and operating models. The APCA region is rife for cybercriminals to thrive (some reports suggest that Asia is 80% more likely to be targeted by hackers) due to poor cybersecurity awareness, growing cross-border data transfers, weak regulations and low cybersecurity investment. Yet another report suggests that India witnessed the second-highest number of cyberattacks in Asia-Pacific in 2020 (second only to Japan), and accounted for 7% of all cyberattacks seen in the region.

Adding to this further, a data from the 2021 Cyber Threat Report shows that while Europe saw an average of 21% more encrypted attacks in 2020, in Asia, year-over-year totals increased by a mammoth 151%. Ransomware, too, saw a mind-boggling 455% spike in Asia.

Besides the lack of IT security-related awareness and limited budgets, the skill gap in the cybersecurity domain is another impediment faced by businesses in the region. And this gap continues to widen, with many cybersecurity experts constrained by the lack of career development and training offered to them and little strategic planning by organizations when it comes to cybersecurity.

The solutions to mitigate the situation have to be multifaceted. Building a robust, viable cybersecurity system takes more than technology. It also demands long-term commitment and developing an array of strategic capabilities. While companies rolled out remote working security measures that included VPNs, endpoint protection and advanced authentication, they could not fully mitigate the inherent weaknesses in WFH models.

It is vital to continue ongoing measures such as continuously evaluating and adjusting technology standards, providing security awareness training to employees, and maintaining a security baseline for WFH. It is also essential for businesses to reassess and stay on top of their security capabilities as they modify operations for the post-pandemic world.

Over time, the cybersecurity business gap will continue to grow, threats will become more oblique, and skilled staff will be increasingly harder to find. It is vital for businesses to bridge the gap now, lest they fall victim to a cyberattack. Knowledge and business insights from assessing research and trends can alert you to the threats out there, but to become a truly robust and secure organization, cybersecurity should be a central pillar of your IT strategy supported by solutions that can identify and prevent sophisticated threats.

Q: What the key trends (interesting insights) have you noticed in the APAC region in the past 6 months and what are your key predictions in the future?

In past couple of months customers has witnessed new sophisticated threat vectors, customers also started adopting new changes and realized importance of agile and elastic security framework.

We have seen Major increase in ransomware attacks, sophisticated Supply Chain Attacks, we have seen increased in IoT attacks and targeted industry specific attacks like Healthcare, Education and Retail sectors.

We can expect more sophisticated and targeted state sponsored attacks in coming days.

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