Manoj Kanodia, CEO, Inspira explains the dynamics of his solutions and how they are benefiting customers.
What is the operating business model of Inspira and how all does technology drive this business?
Inspira is an IT services company and within IT services, we have focused on particular domains. These include information security, cyber security, data center, and the new age digital transformation technologies. Within the larger bucket of digital transformation, we are focusing more on big data and analytics. We are very focused around four or five key areas of IT and our idea is to get deeper and better.
How does the G-SOC work at Inspira?
At the G-SOC we monitor our customer’s assets 24*7. There are tools available, which basically are like monitoring some probes which have been put in your network or customer’s network which gives us data and that data is analyzed. And there are rules written around how you analyze that data. What those rules do is they help you get alerts. So if somebody is trying to hack or something unusual is happening in your network, you will get an alert.
I will give you an example of a very simple rule. You decide that any employee in your organization is allowed to enter a wrong password three times because you all can forget passwords. But it is understood that mostly within three attempts, we should get our password right. Now if you see that there is a fourth attempt of a wrong password, then it is an alert. Now, it may not be a genuine hacking attempt, but it is still an alert. There are multiples of similar such situations which are monitored across the network to generate alerts. And then these alerts are examined in our SOC. So alerts are generated at the point where the data is being exchanged or at the point where the action is happening. And these alerts then need to be analyzed because once the alert is generated, you do not know whether it is a genuine hacking attempt or it is a false positive, as they call it, in today’s terminology.
All these alerts then go to a central location, which is our G-SOC where there are experts who are monitoring these alerts 24*7/ and this monitoring is a combination of hi-end technology and human intelligence because you cannot do it just through human intervention. There is a lot of automation that we have built in where we try to manage a lot of alerts just through the system itself, or through the software. But obviously not everything can be done in software. So finally, some alerts will come and show up on the screens of these analysts who can then figure out whether it is actually something where an action needs to be taken.
And then there are ways based on the protocol decided with the customer. Either we can inform the customer about some action to be taken with the proper action plan, or we can on our own, take an action. There could be customers who are looking at 360 degree approach where they also want us to do the remedy. So once you have found out that there is a problem, you want to ensure that a remedy is done. This could be either the customer taking remedial measures on his own or we also have contracts where we our own people at customer’s location who would take a remedial action and ensure that the organization is protected.
This is exactly what the G-SOC does. We monitor customers not just in India but outside India too. We have presence in Middle East, Africa, and we have just set up an operation in the US. we have customers in India, in banking vertical, in manufacturing and so on where we do this round the clock monitoring of any security or attempted security breach. We address them so that we are able to protect the assets of our customers.
What were the benefits gained from the pay per use model that emerged from the G-SOC?
G-SOC is a combination of technology, process and people. So it needs a lot of investment and a lot of higher end skills. Not every customer can afford that kind of investment and also have the kind of skills that are needed to actually run that operation. Again there are large customers who will build their own SOC and run it on their own. We also do that for some customers where we build their SOC and we manage it for them.
But many customers cannot afford it. And there are customers who may not want to get into that because that is not their core business. So for those customers, we offer them this ability where they can get state-of-art capability from us on pay per use model. This has many advantages. First it shows the customer has no capex to invest into, and he can get the latest technology at his disposal without having to invest in capex. Also, it ensures he gets high end skill sets and processes, which we have defined over a period of time as part of the package. And there is no technology obsolescence because we are in a kind of a service where there is constant evolving dynamics. So the threat landscape is continuously changing and the technology has to adapt very quickly to it. There are new solutions coming up every day, and which means the customer will have to continuously update his own technology if he’ is building his own SOC.
But if he is on the pay per use model, he does not have to bother about technology obsolescence. And then he has the advantage of paying as much as he uses. So if he decides in six months time or one year time to move on that option is available. It gives them flexibility and it gives them at the same time the latest in terms of capability.
How are technologies like IoT and SDN being leveraged at Inspira?
Large part of IOT is used in our smart solutions. As you would know, IOT in very simple terms could be defined as using a sensor to make any dumb device smarter. This means any device with a sensor can now be monitored and you can basically then remotely manage it. So we have picked up our own areas where we want to use IOT. One of the areas that we have picked up is traffic management.
We have a solution around traffic management where we use IOT. A typical example would be to see how the traffic in a city is regulated. As you are aware, in India there are a lot of traffic jams and partly because the signal systems that we have are not working on the basis of traffic lens. So using IOT, you can actually measure traffic lens and then you can operate the signals smartly. This is just one example I am giving in the area of traffic management.
We also have a solution right now in smart parking. So you can use IOT to have a data on which are the parking slots, which are available. That information can be made available through an app to any user or a car driver who is looking for a parking space. He can also get to know which is the nearest parking space. It can even share information about the charges and he can take an informed decision. These are few examples of how IOT is being used to provide solutions. There could be many applications, but these are some areas where we are currently focusing on and we have solutions in those areas.
SDN is another technology, which basically is being used for remote connectivity or branch networking. It is changing the traditional way of branch networking, where now you can push these software from a centralized location and with very minimal support at the remote end that software can be installed and devices can be made to run. This actually reduces the effort required, the manpower required to run and manage large networks. This is again an area where we are operating and we have customers where we are providing these solutions. Also, manageability becomes easier because if there is a problem at a remote site, you can easily now troubleshoot and fix the problem from a central location ensuring that the downtime is minimal.