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Battling worsening ransomware threats is worrisome for early-stage start-ups, says Commvault's Marco Fanizzi

Working in a highly dynamic environment with vast amounts of data, Marco Fanizzi, corporate senior vice president and general manager at Commvault International, believes that data management and protection will become a top-tier priority for start-ups this year

Battling worsening ransomware threats is worrisome for early-stage start-ups, says Commvault's Marco Fanizzi
Marco Fanizzi, corporate senior vice president and general manager, Commvault International
POSTED ON March 11, 2023 12:03 PM

Since entering the Indian market 17 years ago, Commvault International has steadily augmented its presence in the country. It has over 900 employees working out its Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai, and Delhi facilities. Four years ago, it launched its global Center of Excellence in the country, which houses the New Jersey-based data services company's largest R&D team.

Amongst its varied customer base is the fast-growing digital-first, new-age start-up sector. Marco Fanizzi, Commvault International's corporate senior vice president and general manager, tells Outlook Business in an exclusive interview why he has high hopes for this domain, which is driving a lot of investment, considering that it is always focused on 'what's next'.  

Edited excerpts: 

Will a recession in major markets increase the demand for enterprise software adoption?  

According to Research and Markets, the global enterprise software market size is expected to reach $404 billion by 2028. For example, according to Gartner, we are witnessing an increase in IT spending in geographies like the EMEA region, where it will grow by 3.7 per cent in 2023. 

If the enterprise software market grows in one economy, there is a ripple effect and every economy will be affected by this, including India. Currently, the start-up ecosystem is extremely solid, and driving a lot of investment. It is, in fact, one of the markets where technology and talent are always focused on 'what's next'. Thus, we will definitely see an increase in innovation and enterprise software adoption in India in the coming years. 
What data management trends are likely to impact India's start-up industry this year? 

With start-ups today working in a highly dynamic environment with an immense amount of data, data management and protection will become their top-tier priority in 2023. Early-stage start-up founders will find it concerning to battle worsening ransomware threats. 

As per an IDC-Commvault study, 37 per cent of organizations surveyed had their sensitive or secret data exfiltrated and 53 per cent even paid the ransom. To tackle this and become future-ready, they must prioritize proactive data protection and recoverability. Security capabilities like cyber deception will be the game changer and solidify their privacy landscape.

Additionally, new-age start-ups will have multiple private and public cloud environments and migrate workloads and data between them. This will compel them to adopt an aggressive SaaS security posture management to protect the enterprise's data assets adequately. Entrepreneurs will also need to re-assess their data infrastructure with a five-point focus approach of scalability, flexibility, agility, security, and cost.

Many start-ups are analyzing customer data patterns to fix issues, drive growth and deliver customer satisfaction. How can Commvault help them in this regard? 

The extraordinary rise in user-generated data has propelled start-ups to consider it an essential asset and rework their data landscapes.

According to McKinsey Global Institute, data-driven organizations are 23 times more likely to acquire customers, 6 times as likely to retain them, and 19 times as likely to be profitable. By analyzing raw data efficiently, organizations can get insight into their daily operations, develop better working methods, mitigate price risks, and predict market trends.  
How has the threat landscape evolved in the past few years? 

The threat landscape has evolved drastically over the past few years. A recent Commvault-IDC study revealed that nearly 49 percent of Indian companies cited malicious attacks damaging their backup and data recovery. With the prevalence of ransomware attacks and threat actors, security consistently screens as the first priority investment for organizations. 

Marco Fanizzi
Commvault International's corporate senior VP and GM, Marco Fanizzi, at the company's Partner Executive Connect meet in Bengaluru in March 2023

Another year of high-profile data breaches in India has compelled chief information security officers to realign their strategies to implement a proactive, multi-pronged approach to protect their infrastructure. This is where we expect cyber deception technology will come into play in 2023.  

Commvault has taken a comprehensive approach to an integrated data protection strategy through cyber deception. Though a relatively new approach to cybersecurity, it is a reliable cyberweapon strengthening an organization's defence capability. 

Can analytics coupled with AI and ML help these start-ups match their cybersecurity workloads with their existing software services by right-sizing their data management software?

In today's evolving security environment, conventional security approaches are not effective anymore. AI has proved to be a double-edged sword for organizations. While attackers are weaponizing AI with a deluge of automated cyberattacks, it is simultaneously helping organizations augment their defences. 

According to an IDC report, the top three business processes in which APAC enterprises are expected to incorporate AI/ML will be IT operations, security, and customer support and service. It has become imperative for start-ups to regularly assess cyber-attack vulnerabilities to ensure they are prepared to face them.

How is the data management software domain evolving globally and in India? 

Businesses were already implementing the blueprint of their digital transformation journeys and the pandemic catalyzed this process. With multi-generational data sprawl and cloud security cropping up as aftereffects of their digital journeys, business leaders must now look towards thriving and anchoring through the next phase of this digital era.

Founders will need to re-assess their data infrastructure with a five-point focus approach of scalability, flexibility, agility, security and cost

According to IDC, by 2025, worldwide data will grow 61 per cent to 175 zettabytes making data management and protection to take center stage. Effective data management software will enable organizations to ensure that IT infrastructures remain in control, compliant and cost-effective. Grandview Research expects the global enterprise data management market size to grow at a 12.1 per cent CAGR from 2023 to 2030 due to the rising volume of data and the growing security concerns. 

With today's enterprise landscape characterized by diverse workloads, cloud platforms and SaaS solutions, protection and data recoverability will be essential components for organizations.

How is Commvault augmenting its Indian footprint in terms of facilities, people, and customer base?  

Commvault entered the Indian market 17 years ago and today has over 900 employees in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai and Delhi. Our customers are spread across industries, including new-age technology, healthcare, retail, manufacturing, government and public sector, banking and financial services.

In 2019, we launched our global Center of Excellence in India to build a microcosm of the company representing nearly all parts of our business and driving value as part of our global integrated fabric. India has the first-ever GCOE of Commvault with the largest R&D team, providing a platform for attracting equipped workforce, driving product innovation, reducing time-to-market, and delivering tailored business solutions for our regional customers. 

What percentage of your global business comes from India and how will this needle move in the next three years?

India is a very crucial market for us, and we have a large customer base here, including Wibmo, Evalueserve, Apollo Tyres, Sify Technologies and Orchid Pharma. We are witnessing excellent business momentum for our newly launched SaaS portfolio, Metallic, in India, since its launch in 2021, which has benefited many Indian customers, including IndiGrid, Indiassetz, Marcellus, and India Glycols. 

Last year, we expanded our Metallic portfolio with Metallic ThreatWise cyber deception service. These intelligent data services with early warning signals and rapid response capabilities enable companies to proactively detect and lure malicious actors into engaging in fake datasets that will not damage any production or business backups before they cause harm.

Since its launch in India last year, we have been receiving an excellent response, with companies increasingly understanding the value simplified, modern data protection brings toward effective data security.

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