Harish Kumar, Head, Enterprise and Government, Check Point, India and SAARC

A mechanical engineering gra­du­a­te from the National Ins­ti­tute of Technology, Calicut, Ha­rish Kumar, currently heads the BFSI, IT/ITES, government and telecom verticals for Check Point Software Techno­logies India and SAARC.

Kumar believes his current assignment at Check Point is the most memorable among all the assignments he has worked on. “I have incubated the telecom vertical at Check Point India, moving away from the key account model to an industry-focused model. Check Point’s 80-plus products that are grouped under three categories – quantum (network security), cloud guard (applications and cloud security) and harmony (end point and email security) – are poised to provide the perfect protection to one of the most heavily attacked verticals of India, the telecom industry.”

Kumar’s first two assignments were crucial as they gave him insights into how the processes adopted on the floor of a thermal power plant and a steel manufacturer for an automotive major have an impact on the overall productivity and bottom line of an organisation. “This exposure helped me immensely when I moved to the IT industry, as I could easily transmute the conversation from feature benefits to value benefits for customers,” Kumar reflects. His next assignments were with IBM and HPE.

Talking about the trends in the ICT domain, Kumar says, “One of the major changes influenced by Covid-19 is a greater adoption and continuation of hybrid work environments. This has led to an increase in the number of supply chain attacks as well as a rise in cloud provider vulnerabilities. “Developments in the mobile landscape are giving rise to smishing (SMS phishing) attacks. Cyberattacks are disrupting everyday life, fuelling the importance of adopting a consolidated approach to cybersecurity,” says Kumar.

He believes that security is moving away from the traditional “castle and moat architectures” to security of users. Check Point has always been at forefront of security architectures, he notes, and has adopted digitalisation and cloud in the last five years. “We have seen a 15-20x pace of adoption along with tremendous changes in the consumption of cybersecurity models,” says Kumar.

The biggest challenge ahead, according to Kumar, is educating customers on protecting themselves against multi-vector Gen VI attacks and adopting a consolidated view of security with an emphasis on prevention rather than detection.

Kumar is an aficionado of Blues music and tries to discover new artistes in this genre during his spare time.