Artificial intelligence technology-based startup, CloudSEK offers real-time information to prevent and monitor cyber threats. Sourabh Issar, CEO, CloudSEK gives an insight into how product based startups can work effectively with partners
CloudSEK is an AI-based information risk management company headquartered in Singapore, with an office in Bengaluru for the Indian market. The company is a brainchild of Rahul Sasi, who established CloudSEK in 2015, and started actively selling it’s X-Vigil Platform only around middle of 2017. “ The initial days were tough. Cyber security maturity was low and no one wanted another line item to budget for. CloudSEK is extremely thankful to the early customers who believed in the product and signed on as the charter clients. I took charge as CEO in July 2018,” says Sourabh Issar, CEO, CloudSEK, who was inspired by Sasi’s visionary technology, and joined to help achieve the vision for an impregnable, revolutionary cyber solution.
According to Issar, 2018 has been a watershed year for CloudSEK, and with high profile breaches happening all over India and South East Asia, the demand for X-Vigil went up rapidly. “With 10+ clients using the X-Vigil platform across India and South East Asia, including three of the top five Indian private banks, CloudSEK is well poised to rapidly expand its footprint in the Cybersecurity space,” he adds. CloudSEK’s X-Vigil platform is an AI driven Unified Risk Management platform delivered to customers in a SaaS based model. It offers unique digital risk management capabilities to its customers.
Working with partners
Artificial intelligence is at the heart of the CloudSEK’s platform. As primarily a product company, CloudSEK works with partners to build capability to service its clients and market reach. “We work closely with our partners in joint value proposition development, prospecting, sales and delivery,” states Issar. The spectrum of partners includes: Global consulting majors, Indian heritage Tier 1s and Tier 2s, boutique service providers, and global OEM providers.
He believes that there are broadly three things which are essential for a product based startup to work effectively with channel partners:
1. Message: Enable the channel partner with a message, pitch, collateral that is hard hitting and easy to understand. The product offering needs to be easy to sell.
2. Sales support: Once the pitch is done, channel partner salespeople will always gravitate towards products which offer great sales support. Be it support for meetings, turning around proposals, pricing, etc.
3. Partner success culture: End of the day, what drives channel success for a start-up is a mindset focussed on making the partners successful. Once that is ingrained, partners sense it and the synergies are win-win for both parties.
“CloudSEK is well entrenched in the Indian cyber security landscape and growing exponentially. The focus moving forward is to replicate that success in SE Asia, Middle East and Europe, in that order,” he says.
Trust, the biggest asset
Reminding that the whole world of financial services, ecommerce and fintech today is based on one premise, trust, Issar states, “That trust, is the biggest asset of any firm leveraging the internet for any kind of business, financial, commercial, customer support, branding, etc. And trust, is today most at risk from actors with malicious intent. This risk, called digital risk, is what CloudSEK helps reduce for its clients.” It helps clients get answer to questions like : Are bad actors spying on their confidential data? Is their brand image at risk from fake sites? How can they prevent costly breaches in their infrastructure? What are hackers discussing about the company?
Issar gives an insight into the business problem CloudSEK is solving, and how they are doing it differently. Indicating that the one thing that CISOs hate more than attackers, are warnings that are late, vague or false positive, he remarks that solving this problem is what CloudSEK had in mind when the Unified Risk Platform was built. According to him most cyber security organisations today, are trying to address the issue with teams of humans, either internal or sourced from service providers. CloudSEK has changed this by aggressively deploying AI and machine learning to completely revolutionise this space.