Sunil Sharma, Managing Director, Sales, Sophos India, and SAARC

Having spent close to three decades in the IT sector, Sunil Sharma has seen nearly all the evolutions of the industry, including innovations in cybersecurity. He currently heads Sophos’ India and SAARC regions as managing director, sales. As such, he is responsible for growing the company’s business in India and the SAARC region by engaging with channel partners. In the past, he has worked with companies such as Cyberoam, McAfee, and EMC Data Storage.

Sophos offers next-generation cybersecurity solutions and services to organisations of all sizes and types. Sharma points out that the biggest challenge for the cybersecurity sector is ever-increasing cybercrime, both in terms of volume and magnitude. He believes that the ongoing pandemic has accelerated this challenge. “Besides phishing and scamming campaigns, we have seen attacks on remote infrastructure and supply chain compromises affecting thousands of businesses at once. Sophos is addressing these challenges by investing in AI and next-generation cybersecurity solutions; and by offering MTRs (managed threat responses) and RRs (rapid responses) to our customers,” he says.

Sharma believes that remote and hybrid working will continue in the future and businesses will need to formalise their security strategy. Many organisations will look at making investments in approaches such as Zero Trust. On the threat side, criminals are likely to continue using “dirty tricks” while also developing new strategies to subvert whatever new security mitigations get in their way. On his most memorable assignment, Sharma says he finds the entire process of protecting organisations from cybercrime very satisfying. “It is extremely motivating when we hear from our customers how our solutions and services have helped them prevent or reduce the damage caused by cyberattacks,” he says. Another aspect of his job that excites him is working with channel partners. “The channel model helps us to empower many entrepreneurs to run their own show and create an employment base and livelihood for many,” he says.

He likes to follow a transformational and participative management style. He considers his “never give up” attitude and empathetic nature as his biggest strengths.

An electronics and communications engineer by training, Sharma also has an MBA degree. In his spare time, he likes to watch content on OTT platforms and practises spiritualism. His family comprises his wife, their three children, and his mother. His older children are working and the youngest is pursuing a BTech in computer science. “My wife is a homemaker and the backbone of our family,” he says.