Data security has become a critical part of IT infra nowadays. Businesses have started spending a lot to deploy best solutions for smooth digital journey. The government is also proactive on this front as upcoming Data Protection Bill will effectively address the challenges and policies for security of sensitive data. Exterro is one of the fastest growing player in the Indian market enabling organizations to gain control of organizational data and minimize the risks posed by hackers. In this line, Rajeev Ranjan, Editor, Digital Terminal talked to Rajkumar Manickam, Sales Director, South Asia, Exterro on various hot topics from the data privacy industry, upcoming Data Protection Bill 2023, adoption of digital forensics solution in India, and much more. Here are the excerpts from the conversation, take a look:
Rajeev: What expectations do you have with the upcoming Data Protection Bill tabled to be enacted in 2023?
Rajkumar: The new Digital Personal Data Protection Bill 2022 calls for organisations to establish legally defensible data privacy programmes. In 2023, we will see businesses in India focus on building holistic data privacy programmes. But with data volumes skyrocketing, revamping legacy processes can be arduous and it cannot be without the right technology. In the year ahead, many businesses are expected to invest in data privacy software. This can help them establish a defensible and scalable data inventory, automate data subject access requests, tackle cyber risk, and automate data minimisation and retention.
Rajeev: Will there be a rise in the adoption of digital forensics solutions in India in Year 2023? If yes, then why?
Rajkumar: Yes, we are expected to witness an increase in the adoption of digital forensic solutions in 2023, simply because of the growing cases of insider threats and theft of intellectual property. India remains one of the most challenging economies when it comes to protection and enforcement of intellectual property for businesses. Since the hybrid model of work became the norm post-pandemic, in house investigations have become challenging. When conducting a covert investigation, it’s no longer a case of physically borrowing the laptop of the user in question. Organisations need to obtain remote access to that device, in order to scan and image it. This is a relatively difficult process as there is always a possibility of the user detecting covert activity. What Indian businesses need are digital forensics solutions that centralise data and analyse it so it can be sent to relevant investigative teams. These solutions will be a gamechanger in 2023 as businesses veer towards workflow automation to cut costs amidst turbulent economic conditions.
Rajeev: How challenging will it be for the organisations to comply with the Digital Data Protection Bill? How can organisations move forward?
Rajkumar: Currently, businesses follow the Security Practices and Procedures and Sensitive Personal Data or Information 2011 and the Information Technology Act 2008 as guides to data protection. But with a new law, the transition can seem challenging but it doesn’t have to be. Data Fiduciaries of organisations must have a defensible inventory of data that resides across departments, in one centralised repository. With the right technology, the sheer volumes of data currently present can be easily streamlined. This would provide a roadmap to meet compliance needs, identify existing vulnerabilities, and also establish accountability. Automated tools can make the process of complying with data subject access requests easier, as it can collate the necessary information within minutes and also identify which data must be retained to meet parallel compliance norms. With the right technology, businesses can also address third party risk of non-compliance. A unified solution can make the process of transitioning easy, without which businesses will risk non-compliance and will have to pay hefty fines.
Rajeev: Please tell us about Exterro’s performance in CY 2022
Rajkumar: The year 2022 was an exciting one for Exterro. We achieved a valuation of over $1 billion with the latest round of investment. We also increased our workforce in India significantly and rolled out plans to grow our research and development team in Coimbatore. Becoming a unicorn was never the ultimate goal but it does put Exterro on the map as a multinational company of scale. It proves we are solving major problems for businesses and are ready to move to the next level. Businesses trust us and our employees share in Exterro’s vision of innovation and finding solutions to complex problems that exist in the market today.
Rajeev: What are your growth/revenue targets for FY 23?
Rajkumar: We have IPO plans for 2023, which means more growth. We’ve identified a massive problem set in the governance, risk and compliance sphere. And it’s constantly evolving. In the future, we plan to solve these problems in an impactful manner. We already have a strong growth pipeline and strategy. Our acquisitions in recent years, makes us strong contenders in the market with a great USP. In 2023, we plan to grow aggressively across all areas, both organically and through acquisitions. We are also planning to invest more in India as it is a big area of growth. In the past, Europe and the US have been big markets for Exterro and we will continue investing in these markets but also across Asia.