For businesses around the world, rapid digitisation in the past few years, including a large-scale migration to the cloud, has led to heightened security threats. While breaches were reported and averted across platforms, notably, privilege access users have been witnessing a bigger increase in attacks. Research and advisory firm Forrester reported that 80 percent of breaches involved privileged access abuse.
Such a challenge is only amplified in a cloud-focussed environment — which saw accelerated adoption during the COVID-19 pandemic — as companies moved to remote working or migrated to the cloud. Two long-time colleagues, Prashant Chavan and Nitish Kumar, noticed that a change was needed in the way organisations moving to the cloud should secure privileged access. Guided by this thought, they founded Sectona, a privileged access management (PAM) startup to build and develop new ease-of-use standards for securing privileged access for cloud-first organisations.
With a vision to build a single-stack platform that cuts across IT including applications, endpoints, and workloads, Sectona combines customer value and competitive advantage in its strategy, helping it build on sustainable growth. Four years since inception, the company is profitable and maintains a consistent growth of 150 percent year-on-year. Its primary revenue model involves distribution of product licences and services.
“We’ve onboarded more than 100 enterprise customers across India, the Middle East, Africa, the United States and Southeast Asia. Governments, telecom firms and many mid-sized enterprises are leveraging Sectona’s platform,” says Nitish Kumar, CEO, Sectona. Today, its customers are spread across 15 nations.
The company’s focus on customer value creation comes out through a collaborative culture with partners and employees. Along with a healthy model for innovation, Sectona has underpinned rapid growth in a short span of time.
But, at its core, Sectona also remains an Indian company with a global mindset. “We are leveraging large Make in India initiatives and are working with large Global System Integrators to deliver globally,” adds Nitish.
One of its key strategies is leveraging strategic partner relationships. . For instance, to solve the problem of security product packaging, the company teamed up with Oracle MySQL to build the platform with embedded technology. “For market penetration, we work with growth-based channel partners like Airtel Business, Inspira and Paramount Computer Systems,” Nitish adds.
Sectona’s platform works towards defining new standards and has a modern approach in privilege management. In fact, its mission is to enable companies globally to unlock productivity and simplify security to improve adoption of privilege management.
And, it is in this direction that the company is moving to a platform approach that combines several privilege management components for easy deployment by customers. It also recently completed a rebranding exercise to aid this transition.
Widening the net
The company now plans to promote its frictionless and better-value privilege management product in mature markets of Europe and Australia. “We’ve already made initial hiring in Europe and have plans to hire more in Australia, Nitish says. “With more businesses moving online and the exploding digitisation, the need for governance and control over applications and endpoints is higher. We introduced privileged access governance and endpoint privilege management recently with plans to launch DevOps Secrets Vault very soon…”
The journey so far and the road ahead
The journey so far for Sectona has been filled with learnings. “Every entrepreneur takes time to discover strengths of the team and acceptability,” Nitish says, while talking about their “toughest challenge initially” to achieve a product that was market fit and scalable. Sectona’s biggest achievement has also come from winning success with large government organisational support.
Going forward, Sectona is focused on entering adjacent market segments of account analytics, while also improving regional presence in key markets.