We are proud to be the first company enabling organizations to manage their entire cybersecurity risk portfolio on a single platform and make informed decisions by understanding quantifiable risks on a scale from zero to ten.
Media 7: Can you describe your professional journey, emphasizing the pivotal moments that have motivated and influenced your decision to pursue this career path?
In 2013, when I started this company, the real challenge was identifying the actual needs of IT professionals who had recently graduated from colleges or universities. The IT industry was already crowded with a large number of unemployed individuals. I read a report from Nascom that indicated a demand for 77,000 security professionals every year. Since I was deeply involved in cybersecurity and had authored a few books on the subject, I saw an opportunity to train people in this field. Thus, I believed it was the right industry to be in and to educate college and university students, so that they could pursue a career in cybersecurity.
The demand for cybersecurity professionals was significant, with a need for close to 100,000 experts annually in the country. That's how our journey began. We progressed from working in enterprise security to becoming an Enterprise Product Company, collaborating with law enforcement defense organizations worldwide, not just in India. We also engaged with the banking and financial ecosystem both nationally and globally. Currently, we work with Fortune 500 companies globally, always striving to address cybersecurity needs.
Over time, TAC Security created a niche market that didn't exist before. We brought together various elements on a single platform, allowing diverse leaders to use multiple tools while gaining visibility into their organization's IT security posture. We are proud to be the first company to offer such a solution, enabling organizations to manage their entire cybersecurity risk portfolio on a single platform and make informed decisions by understanding quantifiable risks on a scale from zero to ten.
We also introduced cyber scoring, another pioneering feature. With this system, risks are quantified on a scale from 0 to 1, and the dollar impact of each vulnerability or risk within the IT stack is visible. Our journey has always been driven by passion and dedication to solving problems in the cybersecurity world. Moving forward, we aim to continue this mission and shape the future of cybersecurity.
M7: Tell us the story of TAC Security as a safeguarding agency of UPI-based applications?
We are currently working with the National Payment Corporation of India since the early launch of UPI. Our role is to help them identify and manage the risks in their UPI applications as their trusted cybersecurity partner. When we look at the UPI's transactional value, it surpasses even American Express, a globally renowned company. This fact makes us proud to be associated with such a prestigious organization from the very beginning. Our efforts aim to protect their systems from cyber threats, enabling them to expand into different areas and countries.
M7: How can businesses communicate their commitment to cybersecurity to customers, investors, and other stakeholders, and why is that critical for establishing credibility?
Today, everything around us, from home appliances to the cars we drive and the phones we use, revolves around SAP technology. Technology has become the centre point of our lives, and at the core of it lies cybersecurity. Without proper cybersecurity, we are vulnerable to disarray in this interconnected era. It's an indispensable aspect of the industry and our lives.
We take pride in working in an industry where cybersecurity plays a vital role, not only in the banking sector but also in healthcare. Even in the healthcare sector, where surgeries are performed using AI machines, cybersecurity remains crucial. To effectively convey commitment towards cybersecurity, businesses can adopt various strategies. Firstly, transparency in security policies is essential. Secondly, robust data protection measures must be implemented and diligently maintained. Compliances like GDPR and data localization need to be in place as well. Another vital aspect is third-party assessments. Engaging external security assessors can help identify and evaluate critical risks in a company's cybersecurity infrastructure. Quantifying the results of these assessments is crucial as it helps maintain the organization's reputation.
By employing such strategies, businesses can effectively communicate their dedication to cybersecurity, establish credibility, and build trust with customers, investors, and stakeholders. Cyber scoring or quantification of risk in dollar value allows management to understand the potential damage to the company's reputation if a breach occurs, enabling them to take prompt and appropriate actions in response to the risks.
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Real-time AI can not only analyse vast amounts of data but also quickly detect patterns that could potentially lead to breaches.
M7: How does your company leverage digital marketing channels, such as social media, email marketing, and online advertising, to reach and engage with your target audience?
We believe in effective communication with our customers, addressing their problems, and providing assistance on a larger scale. By being customer-centric and solution-oriented, we don't feel the need to invest in marketing or advertisements. For young companies like TAC Security, social media can serve as a free platform to raise our voice and showcase our values and commitments to our customers. However, given the nature of our business, which revolves around trust and confidentiality, we are cautious about disclosing customer information on social media.
Instead, we utilize social media to help both enterprises and individual users understand how they can mitigate risks and address problems within their ecosystems. For instance, we conducted a survey on vulnerability management last year, in which the National cybersecurity Coordinator of the country, General Pant, and over 100 CSOs from the country and globally participated. The survey was widely read and appreciated by various cybersecurity leaders worldwide, which indirectly benefited our reputation and opened up new opportunities for us.
Our primary intention was to educate, but it ended up generating additional opportunities. We understand that providing educational content can be beneficial, whether through social media or any other platform. Ultimately, the goal is to make people more aware and informed about cybersecurity matters.
M7: What value propositions you consider are important in terms of content creation?
Content serves as a means for me to share my thoughts and ideas with others. When using content to educate people, it can be quite effective. However, if the primary purpose is self-promotion, it may not yield the desired results. Therefore, it is crucial to utilize content primarily for educational purposes.
M7: What types of content creation formats work best according to you in the IT industry? Also, what are some examples of effective content marketing strategies that have helped companies like yours to establish themselves as thought leaders?
Cybersecurity is a vast and ever-evolving industry in today's time, with information becoming irrelevant rapidly. To be most effective, we must focus on ensuring that the content we put out is informative, accurate, and relevant. Keeping up with trends, educating people, and spreading awareness are the types of content that work well for our industry and a company like ours. Therefore, it's essential to prioritize sharing such valuable information.
M7: How does TAC security use data analytics to obtain insights into customer preferences and behaviour, and how can these insights be used to enhance the customer experience?
Data is the most important thing in today's world. As someone once said, there are only two things you can trust: God or data. It's the only way to believe in what is truly accurate. So, our approach involves collecting data from various sources, including customer interactions, website behavior, and surveys. The most crucial aspect is understanding customer preferences and their problems, as we are a problem-solving company. Talking to customers and collecting data helps us gain insights into their needs.
We utilize data analytics techniques to identify patterns, trends, and historical data. Additionally, we have a unique feature in our platform, a prediction model based on machine learning. This model not only reveals past and present vulnerabilities and risks in our customers' systems but also predicts future vulnerabilities and risks.
Continuous improvement is vital, and we use data analytics to identify areas for enhancing customer support. Analysing customer feedback and behaviour provides us with valuable insights into pain points and areas where we can enhance the customer experience. This approach helps us optimize our offerings and make data-driven decisions.
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Keeping up with trends, educating people, and spreading awareness are the types of content that work well for our industry.
M7: What do you think will be the most important advancements in retail cybersecurity in the coming years?
TA: Artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms will play a critical role in identifying and responding to cyber threats. Real-time AI can not only analyse vast amounts of data but also quickly detect patterns that could potentially lead to breaches. This enables many of our customers to proactively use AI and machine learning for threat intelligence, helping them stay one step ahead of criminals and adversaries.
Another crucial area is Zero Trust. The United States Government is also focusing heavily on this approach. Traditional parameter-based security is no longer sufficient to face real cyber-attacks. Zero Trust architecture emphasizes strict access controls, continuous authentication, and ongoing monitoring of user activities, regardless of their location or network connection.
IoT security is another important aspect, and cyber risk quantification is yet another approach. These strategies enable retailers to strengthen their cybersecurity posture and protect their customers' data, which is of utmost importance to any company. By implementing these measures, retailers can proactively mitigate cyber threats. However, it's essential to recognize that the threat landscape is continuously evolving. Retailers must adapt and stay ahead by embracing emerging technologies and best practices to effectively safeguard their systems, IT assets, and customer information wisely.
M7: What key elements and best practices contributed to TAC Security's global recognition and the prestigious Best Enterprise of the Year award?
TA: There are many factors, but awards are never even a byproduct. You should not focus on awards; rather, you should focus on your work. That's what we believe. I think the innovative solutions TAC Security brings forth help us stay ahead of the times. We have launched more than three solutions in the past year, showcasing the speed of innovation in the cybersecurity field.
Innovation is crucial for delivering exceptional results and ensuring customer success, which is a critical element for us. Customers act as the real brand ambassadors for a company. After innovation, customer success is parallel, meaning one relies on the other. The center point of both these aspects is our exceptional team. Talent management is something we prioritize at TAC Security, building a diverse workforce. We take pride in having a substantial number of female employees who contribute significantly to building the future of cybersecurity.
These are the parameters that have led us to achieve not just one, but countless awards. From being recognized as part of the 30 under 30 or Fortune 40 of 40 to receiving the Entrepreneur of the Year award by Entrepreneur magazine, all these accolades are centered around innovation, customer success, and, most importantly, our amazing team - the rock stars of TAC Security.
M7: Lastly, as a young business leader, what have been the most valuable lessons you've picked up in your inspirational career trajectory?
TA: The first lesson that inspires me is learning from failure, not success. This idea recently came to my mind, and it's so true, yet not often discussed. Success has many fathers, but failure has none. However, failure provides numerous learning opportunities, unlike success. When you succeed, there may be no room for further learning. In a concise manner, continuous learning is vital. Another crucial aspect is building relationships, not just with shareholders but also with customers. Understanding their problems and finding solutions to address their needs helps us grow.
Emotional intelligence plays a significant role in leadership. Exceptional leaders emphasize emotional intelligence, valuing the perspectives and feelings of others. Actively listening and showing compassion around their needs and challenges creates a supportive environment that brings out the best in any team. Maintaining work-life balance is equally important.
Taking calculated risks is essential, but knowing when to step back and stop a wrong decision is crucial. Stepping out of the comfort zone is necessary for growth. As a leader, I encountered a product launch failure multiple times, but I persisted and made it work after several attempts. Timing plays a significant role, and persistence comes with various costs - financial, emotional, and physical. One should consider these aspects and develop a sixth sense as a key metric for successful leadership.