Parag Khurana Country Manager, Barracuda Networks (India) Private Limited

Over the past few years, there has been an increased penetration of digital technologies in the information technology (IT)/information technology-enabled services (ITeS) and business process management (BPM) sector. Enterprises in the sector are now deploying advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, big data, conversational services, robotic process automation and machine learning (ML) to enhance productivity and improve customer experience. The shift from traditional analytics to solutions based on new-age technologies is enabling the companies to implement intelligent solutions and improve service delivery. Industry leaders share their views on the uptake of ICT solutions across organisations in the IT/ITeS and BPM sector, key trends and the way forward…


What are the key digital trends dominating the IT/ITeS and BPM/BPO sector at present?

After the Covid-19 pan­de­­mic, technology and businesses have become increasingly intertwi­n­ed. Leading organisations in the IT/ITeS and BPM/BPO industry are focusing on digital transformation and establishing clo­ud-enabled, secure, stable and cost-eff­e­cti­ve operations that can keep their businesses afloat. They are betting big on technologies such as cloud, AI and IoT to streamline and enhance their business operations. With a growing remote working culture, cloud migration has emerged as a key trend, and we are seeing new applications being delivered as software-as-a-ser­vice (SaaS) instead of on-premises im­plementation. However, increased techno­logy adoption and massive business migration to the cloud have created serious security issues. The disappearance of the traditional corporate perimeter has provided increased attack surfaces for malicious attackers, which requires businesses to prioritise cybersecurity initiatives and inc­re­ase security spending.

What changes are you seeing in customer requirements post Covid-19? What opportunities or challenges has this presented for you? 

With the massive shift to remote workforce amid the pandemic, there has been a significant growth in Microsoft 365 adoption, mi­gration of workloads into the public cl­oud, and replacement of the traditional network perimeter to a flexible SASE model. The protection of digital assets and data stored on the cloud and web applications is customers’ key focus area.

As a leading provider of cloud-first se­cu­rity solutions, Barracuda Networks protects email, networks, data and applications with innovative solutions that are easy to buy, deploy and use. While we see business­es move assets to the public cloud and re­qu­ire better protection for distributed enterprise, we expand our cloud-native security ca­pabilities to accelerate SASE deployme­nts and enable businesses to control access to data. The Barracuda SASE platform bri­ngs together secure SD-WAN, firewall-as-a-service, zero trust network access from Ba­rracuda and offers immense value to bu­sinesses that have cloud-first prior­ities to move network infrastructure, ro­ut­ing, security and remote access to the public cloud.

In addition, we are seeing the growth of Microsoft 365 data as businesses accelerate cloud adoption amid the pandemic. In add­ressing the increasing demand for Micro­soft Office 365 data protection, Barracuda introduced the re-architected Barracuda Cloud-to-Cloud Backup to deliver fast search and restore experience for Microsoft 365 data including Teams, Exchange On­line, SharePoint and OneDrive. Recently, Barracuda also added a new data centre in India to help local customers in meeting the strict data protection requirements.

How are you leveraging new-age technologies such as AI, IoT, cloud and blockchain?

Today, cyberattacks are becoming more complicated and capable of evading traditional safeguards. Barracuda leverages new technologies to enhance its capabilities in protecting customers’ business journey. For example, to neutralise highly advanced email threats, Barracuda leverages AI and ML capabilities in its email security products like Barracuda Phishing and Im­per­sonation Protection and Barracuda Acco­unt Takeover Protection, to detect behavioural, content and link-forwarding irregularities in the user company’s email conversations and protect users against social engineering attacks. We also leverage ML in the Barracuda Cloud Application Pro­te­ction platform to process threat intelligence data and provide real-time responses and advanced bot protection to defend businesses against OWASP top 10 web and API threats. As threats evolve and be­come more costly, Barracuda continues to drive innovation and deliver relevant technologies to secure its customers’ businesses and data.

What are some of the key challenges for your company at present? How are you addressing those?

The pandemic was surely a period of tribulation for the entire industry. How­ever, it also acted as a veritable growth catalyst that allowed us to maximise our po­tential in securing and fortifying businesses during the new normal. With businesses embracing the global digital transformation and cloud adoption at the pandemic’s behest, the attack surface has vociferously widened due to the withdrawal of the traditional corporate perimeter. At Ba­rracuda, we envision to build a safer world and protect our customers’ email, networks, data and applications by offering innovative security solutions that are easy to buy, deploy and use.

With secure remote access and corporate data becoming imperative for distributed workforces during the pandemic, we introduced zero trust capabilities with Ba­rracuda CloudGen Access to secure apps and lend scattered enterprises a new way to enforce access controls without co­m­promi­sing on productivity. As we witness the su­rging demand from customers to safeguard their data locally, we have also introduced the Barracuda Cloud-to-Cloud Backup and added a new regional data centre in India to assist customers in meeting their data protection requirements by extending fast and dependable backup for their Microsoft 365 data.

Going forward, what are going to be the key digital trends that will shape the sector?

Amid the massive technological advances that we expect in the coming years, digital security concerns will increase as vulnerabilities persist and existing solutions will have to evolve to stop malicious activities. Some of the trends that we have identified to be on top in the coming years are:

More attacks through remote work

Since the pandemic, hackers have adapted far better than employers and governments in terms of digital behaviour. As we look further, the threats that took advantage of the remote work set-up will continue to prevail. We should expect to continue to see a proliferation of distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks, ransomware, business email compromise and malware-based attacks. These attacks will be more successful as companies deal with a series of events that have changed the attack surface.

Privacy requirements will drive security decisions

Privacy will dominate the security conversation in the coming few years because data can no longer be leveraged without acc­ountability. India’s Data Pro­tection Bill has been proposed to review the country’s current data protection policies. Com­plying with data privacy standards can be overwh­el­ming, so businesses must protect and en­rich any data they collect from custo­mers in a way that respects their privacy requirements. These conversations about privacy policy also come up in the context digital transformation.