Safety Detective’s Aviva Zacks sat down with Ashish Patel, Zimperium’s Vice President of Sales in the UK and Northern Europe, and learned just how necessary his company’s mobile threat defense systems are.
Safety Detective: How did you get into cybersecurity?
Ashish Patel: I came to the industry in the mid-90s. A number of years after university, I noticed the cybersecurity market was growing, and it became an area of interest to me. Cybersecurity conversation back then then was in the server room, and then it moved to the boardroom, but today, cybersecurity discussions are everywhere and is affecting the very devices in many people’s pockets and purses.
SD: What do you love about cybersecurity?
AP: What I really enjoy about cybersecurity is the ever-changing environment. It’s an area that doesn’t stand still. With Zimperium, the global leader in mobile threat defense, we see the issue of cybersecurity coming to our hands in many ways.
Even as you’re working, you probably have some sort of mobile device in your hand. The world of cybersecurity has become very real for individuals now, particularly as mobile computing has ended up in individuals’ hands—whether they are in the office, a sales meeting or drinking coffee with a colleague. I like how the industry is continuously evolving and changing.
SD: What industries does your company service and why those specifically?
AP: Global mobile threat defense is very much a new and emerging market. What we’re seeing in the industry is that large enterprise, financial, central government, key manufacturing, and critical national infrastructure are our key verticals. The reason for the focus in these areas is that hackers will generally go where the biggest wins will be for them. Hackers look at their target audience, as a business case where they can put in the least amount of effort for the biggest return.
SD: Can you give me an overview of Zimperium’s solutions?
AP: As I mentioned before, Zimperium is the global leader in mobile threat defense. We have machine learning technology that sits locally on the device and protects it from device level, network level, and application level attacks. Most importantly, we do that locally on the device without invading the privacy of the user. Today, a corporate device can be given by that organization or you can bring your own personal device to use on the job. One of the key aspects of Zimperium has been to develop a technology that allows you to protect your device while still ensuring the users’ privacy is maintained at all levels.
SD: Do you have any interesting stories about a customer you helped?
AP: Absolutely. Our customers are enterprise organizations and government agencies with employees performing business on or through their mobile device. This includes healthcare, financial services, insurance, legal, pharmaceuticals, retail, and mobile operations.
What I can categorically tell you is every single one of our enterprise customers have seen some sort of attack on their mobile device.
Once, a hacker put up a fake WiFi point on a bus that took employees to and from the train station to the clients’ office. During this process, every day from 7:00 am to 9:00 am and 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm, a hacker gave the access point the same name as the corporate network’s WiFi. So, as all the employees jumped on the bus, their phones were automatically connected to the fake WiFi hotspot, where the hacker was capturing information from those devices.
SD: How do you see cybersecurity developing in the next five years?
AP: A lot of organizations liberated their employees, allowing them to work from anywhere and allowing their customers to shop from anywhere. What we’re seeing is a blurred line between the world of work and the world of play—if you think about your mobile device, maybe given to you by your organization, you’re likely to have private conversations with your family, photographs, your personal email account, and your work account on that device.
Mobile devices are now the de facto platform for productivity in business. Today, the traditional computing devices – servers, desktops and laptops – upon which enterprises have focused their security and compliance efforts represent only 40 percent of the relevant endpoints. The remaining 60 percent of devices are mobile.
Over the next five years, it’s going to be very difficult for organizations to draw a line about what they can look up or can’t look up in terms of securing their environment and making sure they’re not infringing on individual civil liberties.
Zimperium has done that with our machine learning technology which protects the device without compromising any privacy.
At the end of the day, the employee and the individual need to make sure that they apps they download are safe, they’re not unnecessarily clicking on malicious links , and that when they connect to a WiFi network, it’s not compromised.
We need security vendors like Zimperium to work collaboratively with other security vendors to bring our solutions together, to make sure we are working as partners to provide complete solutions. We as an organization do that in many ways. We partner closely with McAfee, MobileIron, Blackberry, AirWatch, and many other security providers because it’s critical to provide visibility into an organizations entire security ecosystem.