Making cybersecurity practical for SMBs: Why we invested in Sequretek

Making cybersecurity practical for SMBs: Why we invested in Sequretek

India is home to 3.36 lakh small and medium businesses (SMBs), which account for ~38% of the gross domestic product (GDP). Most of these businesses digitised during the pandemic to ensure continuity of operations and to keep in touch with customers. However, security and safeguards of their IT infrastructure lagged, resulting in increased cyberattacks. According to a survey of SMBs by Cisco, 74% of the SMB respondents from India experienced a cyberattack in 2020-21, of which two-thirds suffered a cost of over Rs 3.5 crore.

The average cost of recovering from a data breach in India in 2022 was Rs 17.6 crore, while that of a post-breach response was Rs 7.1 crore. For SMBs, whose annual turnover is between Rs 10 crore and Rs 250 crore, this damage can be an existential threat.

Unsurprisingly, there is rising awareness among SMBs about the risks of cyberattacks, and a greater willingness to spend on cybersecurity tools and products. However, they still suffer from several gaps, such as a lack of skilled manpower in cybersecurity teams, a lack of solutions directed towards SMBs, slow response time to a cyber incident, and increasing compliance requirements.

Sequretek, founded in 2013, addresses these problems and offers a cloud-based threat management platform that includes three SaaS products. Co-founders Pankit Desai and Anand Naik have over 25 years of experience in the IT and cybersecurity sectors, having worked at Indian and global tech majors throughout their careers. They understand the market and its challenges well.

Sequretek’s key customers are mid to small traditional businesses that are digitising and need security solutions for compliance and minimisation of business risk, but lack internal resources and expertise. Such enterprises, with small teams and budget constraints, require a one-stop,  efficient, automated products which can solve each of these challenges. Moreover, SMBs do not have the time to negotiate or re-negotiate contracts based on complicated security jargon and pricing structures. Finally, to compensate for lack of internal skills and capacity. Besides, it offers 24x7 support for its products, so SMBs can reach out to them with ease.

Business model and team

Pankit has over 25 years of experience in the IT industry, with over 10 years in global management roles. Before Sequretek, he wasPresident of International Operations at Rolta India, responsible for driving sales of their IT- and IP-based business globally. Anand has over 25 years of experience in sales and leadership in cybersecurity. Prior to Sequretek, he was the South Asia MD at cybersecurity major Symantec.

Sequretek has evolved and matured through several iterations, refining its products at different stages. The cutting-edge products also integrate AI/ML technology to increase the efficiency of threat detection and response. Sequretek’s platform has three main SaaS products:

  1. Percept XDR: The Extended Detection and Response is the company’s flagship product that provides end-to-end security solution and uses AI-based algorithm for advanced detection of threats. In addition, 24X7 customer support is offered to guide client’s security team to remediate and address the detected incidents.
  2. Percept EDR: This is the Endpoint Detection and Response, which secures all devices, by automating the detection and response using AI/ML.
  3. Percept IGA: This is the Identity Governance and Administration, which uses zero-trust authentication to manage employees’ data access depending on their designation or status within the organisation.

The SMB market in India has unique challenges, which make it difficult for cybersecurity providers to effectively reach this market. Sequretek, in addition to its highly tailored products also has strong appreciation of the needs of SMBs and the channels to reach them. This is a critical factor for small businesses that often find it hard to approach existing players.

Sequretek’s Percept XDR specifically addresses the challenges faced by SMBs to adopt and integrate cybersecurity solutions. The solutions integrate easily with existing IT infrastructure of an organisation. The pricing structure is simple, single subscription model based on volume, and no underlying costs or overheads. Moreover, to overcome the lack of internal cybersecurity capacity and expertise in SMBs, Sequretek offers 24*7 customer support to handhold the client’s team to resolve the threads and incidents identified by XDR solution.

Sequretek’s ambition now is to support SMBs across India and the US. While the focus in India is primarily on the banking, financial service and insurance and manufacturing sectors, healthcare is the key area of focus in the US. Over the longer term, it plans to expand its offerings to cover the e-commerce and hospitality segments as well.

Our thesis

Driving greater adoption of security products by small and medium businesses will make the digital world relatively safer for all consumers, especially the Next Half Billion. Sequretek’s commercial success has the potential to become a category-defining business. It will demonstrate the business viability of catering to SMBs, a segment that is currently not well understood and, hence, gets ignored.

In the last decade, large enterprises have been able to adopt cybersecurity measures and employed skilled security teams. However, as the world moved towards digital, especially post the pandemic, SMBs have become a key target segment for cyberattacks. The breach of data in these attacks make the customers of the SMBs vulnerable to digital frauds and risks. SMBs are lagging in adopting cybersecurity measures.

Even though there is rising awareness about the importance of being safe online, SMBs often suffer from attacks and losses due to the following reasons:

1.    They buy products but don’t have enough talent in-house to patch them properly and respond to incidents when needed.

2.    They face a lack of attention and poor support from global or large cybersecurity providers. Small local players offer lower or sub-par services.

3.    Managed services are either expensive or low quality, exposing SMBs systems to vulnerabilities.

These challenges often demotivate SMBs from adopting cybersecurity solutions altogether.

Sequretek is working towards bridging these gaps for SMBs by improving access to quality products, structured to cater to their specific needs. We believe it will increase the adoption of cybersecurity solutions bySMBs and in the long run, managing cyber risks will make the digital world safer for the users and customers of the SMBs.