Anant Deshpande, DigiCert Regional Vice President, India & ASEAN
Anant Deshpande, DigiCert Regional Vice President, India & ASEAN

By Anant Deshpande, DigiCert – Regional Vice President, India & SAARC

DigiCert aims to act as a trusted partner in their security journey, organizations, individuals and decision-makers can enable the next phase of innovation and digital transformation, and protect their digital footprint via a strategic approach to digital trust.

With India undergoing a massive digitization drive, the potential of cyberthreats has increased manifold. DigiCert, being one of the leaders in ensuring Digital Trust, empowers Indian businesses to secure their online presence, safeguard sensitive data, and build trust with their customers.  The company does this through cutting-edge encryption technologies and robust certificate management. As cyber threats continue to evolve. DigiCert, through its advanced security solutions, ensures that businesses navigate the digital landscape with confidence.

Anant Deshpande, DigiCert’s Regional Vice President for the India & ASEAN region had spoken to us on a range of security issues. In this exclusive interaction with Mouseworld Now, he discusses how DigiCert is enabling Digital Trust for its customers; on leveraging AI to help deal with cyberthreats; hurdles facing Indian businesses in dealing with cyberthreats; his cybersecurity forecasts for 2024; and much more. Edited excerpts…

“DigiCert’s comprehensive portfolio of digital trust solutions allows organizations of all sizes to enable and manage trust against a dynamic threat landscape while driving value for their organizations.”

Anant Deshpande, DigiCert Regional Vice President, India & ASEAN.

How is DigiCert enabling Digital Trust for its customers in India?

Digital Trust is a parameter of our confidence in our organization, customer or partner’s security architectures.  With India rapidly progressing with digitization, a plethora of threats are facing the country’s businesses. DigiCert, being one of the leaders in ensuring Digital Trust, empowers Indian businesses to secure their online presence, safeguard sensitive data, and build trust with their customers.  We are able to do this through cutting-edge encryption technologies and robust certificate management. As cyber threats continue to evolve, DigiCert’s commitment to providing advanced security solutions ensures that businesses in India can navigate the digital landscape with confidence. Our advanced digital trust solutions, including encryption options, SSL certificates, and strong authentication services, empower both businesses and individuals in India to protect their sensitive data, transactions, and online communications effectively. By enabling a secure and trusted online environment, DigiCert contributes significantly to the growth and success of its customers, reinforcing the foundation of digital trust in the Indian market.

With AI coming into vogue, the threat landscape has undergone a sea-change. How do you leverage AI to help deal with cyberthreats?

We have only begun to explore the potential of AI in cybersecurity, and we have just scraped the surface of what it can do. Artificial intelligence will be leveraged both to initiate and prevent cyberattacks. However, it is imperative that businesses recognize the risks and begin putting solutions in place right now, bearing in mind that AI will never be able to completely replace people.

Maintaining the integrity of digital communications and safeguarding against new AI-related dangers, such deep fakes, can be greatly aided by the deployment of technologies like Public Key Infrastructure (PKI).

For example, the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA) is a standard being developed by a group of prominent industry participants, such as Adobe, Microsoft, and DigiCert. Through this endeavor, an open standard was established to address the difficulty of proving the authenticity of digital files. By using PKI, C2PA creates an unquestionable trail that enables users to distinguish between authentic and fraudulent media. Users will be able to determine the origin, author, date, place, and history of any changes made to a digital file thanks to this specification. This standard’s main objective is to promote trustworthiness and transparency in digital media files, particularly in light of the growing challenge of separating artificial intelligence (AI)-generated content from real content in the modern world.

What major challenges are faced by Indian businesses in dealing with cyberthreats?

Firstly, a significant share of Indian businesses lacks actionable insights from qualified cybersecurity experts. This deepens the gaps that make it challenging for businesses to establish and sustain strong defenses. Rapid advances in technology and digitization have also increased the attack surface, making firms more susceptible to a variety of cyberthreats.

The dynamic nature of cyber-attacks, where attackers are becoming more skilled, presents another difficulty. Because of this complexity, it is difficult for organizations to predict and protect against the most recent strategies, methods, and approaches used by cybercriminals.

This worsens the situation for a lot of Indian companies, particularly small and medium-sized firms (SMEs), who have limited cybersecurity resources. This makes it challenging to invest in cutting-edge security solutions.

Without addressing these challenges, Digital Trust cannot be strengthened in a country like India. What remains crucial is to develop a comprehensive incident response plan that outlines the steps to take in case of a security breach. Indian businesses need to regularly conduct security audits and vulnerability assessments to identify and address potential weaknesses in the infrastructure.

Which verticals are you currently focusing on? Are there any major product launches in the pipeline?

Digicert is a well-known name with the India Inc and is fairly ubiquitously deployed across segments and verticals in India notably in the Banking & Insurance, IT &ITeS, Telecom, Manufacturing and Digital Native Sectors to name a few. Our solutions are an integral part of meeting compliance requirements be it GDPR, PCI DSS , NIST, ISO and many more.

We recently announced upgrades in DigiCert ONE – our unique and powerful industry leading platform to enable Digital Trust. The DigiCert ONE platform enables companies to secure servers, devices, users, software, documents and other content across their digital infrastructure. Additionally, DigiCert is also looking at machine learning and AI-driven security analytics to detect and mitigate emerging threats in real-time.

As a leading security player, what major cybersecurity trends would you forecast for 2024?

In 2024, the field of cybersecurity will undergo significant changes as a result of artificial intelligence’s influence on the speed and adaptability of cyberattacks, as well as on matters concerning identity and origin.

  • In 2024, senior executives are anticipated to enhance their understanding of post-quantum computing, resulting in a surge of investments by companies. The focus on education and planning activities is expected to expedite the allocation of resources in this domain.
  • The bedrock of content authenticity will shift towards identity and provenance. Identity-based cyber attacks, having affected 72% of APAC organizations in the previous year, will prompt a transformation where verified identity becomes fundamental to establishing trust in the source and authenticity of content.
  • Zero trust architecture will experience widespread adoption, rooted in digital trust. Forrester’s data reveals a growing recognition of the advantages offered by zero trust in Asia Pacific organizations, with 71% of business and technology professionals planning to implement zero trust edge within the next year. The prevailing approach will transition from implicit trust provided by networks and VPNs to “Never trust, always verify” architectures across IT, product security, and consumer ecosystems.
  • A notable development is the emergence of Chief Digital Trust Officers as integral members of the executive team, steering the business. With an increasing focus on tying digital trust investments and strategies to business outcomes, these officers will play a pivotal role in establishing a foundational element for business resiliency and customer retention.

DigiCert recently acquired DNS Made Easy. How does the integration of DigiCert and DNS Made Easy add value to your customers?

Paired with DNS Made Easy’s expertise in efficient domain resolution and management, the integration offers a seamless and secure online experience. Customers benefit from the synergy of these platforms, ensuring not only the integrity and authenticity of their digital assets through DigiCert’s solutions but also the reliability and speed of DNS resolution provided by DNS Made Easy. This collaborative integration empowers customers with a holistic solution, addressing both security and domain management needs for a more resilient and efficient online presence.

Secondary DNS ensures the availability of DNS records, while DNS failover enhances investments in application redundancy. Continuously monitoring critical services, the failover system automatically updates DNS records if a service is slow or unavailable, directing traffic to a healthy instance. Monitoring includes availability, response times, and other metrics, redirecting traffic in case of failure. This guarantees seamless user access to a functioning application, minimizing downtime and frustration.

DNS failover and secondary DNS work synergistically, offering a comprehensive business continuity solution for risk management and compliance. Together, they provide high availability by directing users to healthy servers and offering redundancy for name records. This combination optimizes server selection, improves DNS query resolution speed, and enables global service delivery with minimal downtime.

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