Vinod Philip, Editor, IIFL recently met Mr. Manoj Taskar, Country Manager, India & SAARC, Tenable Inc. to understand their India focus and vision, the effect of digital revolution on enterprise security and how its three-tiered security program will change India’s emerging IT landscape with the launch of its innovative product, Nessus.
Tenable is a fairly old company with Nessus being a product known in the market for several years as the only vulnerability analytics (VA) tool widely accepted holding the single largest market share across the globe. Nessus is a market-defining vulnerability management solution. With the industry’s broadest vulnerability coverage and technology support, Nessus helps organizations identify and prioritize vulnerabilities across mobile, cloud and virtualized environments.
In India, predominantly, Nessus is known more than the company Tenable itself and we want to change that by creating awareness of Nessus as a brand of Tenable which offers so much under its banquet of offerings.
One of the areas we are focussing on is to make the company known, the brand known and its products known.
What is the geography you cater to?
We have a presence across the globe but our focus is on India as an emerging market. We are trying to increase our foothold in the market, not only from a Nessus perspective but from our entire product offerings. Nessus is a stepping stone, there are far richer analyses available and we want to provide you as a solution.
What is your positioning for the India market today?
Today, we companies use manual data with the help of excel sheets but we want them to step up and take a look at the broader picture. Organizations in India have reached a maturity point where they look at security as a business enabler.
We provide Visibility followed by Prevention.
Tenable is a market leader in vulnerability assessment and by virtue of that leadership position that we carry, we are in a phase of educating the customer that vulnerability assessment is just one piece of your entire security paradigm. You have matured to a stage where security is paramount to your organization and that is a statement that drives your business.
Because of the evolving nature of the business and the threat landscape, it’s a complete fluidic situation. What is secure today might not be secure tomorrow. We are telling our customer how can you monitor on an ongoing basis rather than just looking at threats from a point basis.
Education to move up the value chain to continuous monitoring is what customers need as a tool in their arsenal today to stay on the top of the game.
What would be your goals for near time goals FY17 this year?
India is a fairly new market for us. While it’s at a nascent stage, Nessus already has made its presence known in Singapore, Dubai and some nearer geographies. What we are focusing now is to educate all these customers on our new positioning with India being our key focus area at this point in time. While we have existing customers in India using the Nessus platform, we want them to know that there is a broader opportunity to navigate the threat landscape beyond Nessus which we are offering you.
What differentiates Tenable from its competitors in the enterprise security space?
We are not talking about point based security. We are saying you need to be secure today, tomorrow and long term. Visibility is paramount in this space and the evolving threat landscape is looking at that one single opportunity window to break you open. We believe in making our customers aware of what is visible in their network, the impact of these threats to your business and how do you remediate that using Tenable’s expertise.
So, the three pillars are visibility in terms of vulnerability actions, impact on your security, and lastly remediation measures. This entire piece is woven together and presented on a dashboard to the satisfaction of our customers.
What are the key sectors Tenable is focusing on in India?
It is largely BFSI and IT. We do work with service providers and the manufacturing sector as well.
What is your business presence in India?
Our business is channel driven with our sales office in Mumbai.
What is your take on the $230 Million Series B investment last year?
Tenable has been an industry leader in the vulnerability assessment space and we continue to lead and put our expertise to good use in that area. The investment is to continue our engagement to stay ahead of the curve in this space as market leaders.
What is your India focus vs. global market model?
The India focus is to ensure that my partners, who are selling the Nessus Pro, are enabled enough to carry forward the value of Tenable to its customers aligned to its vision and to convince and educate customers to manage security on an ongoing basis rather than a point based basis.
How would you summarize Nessus as a product and what is its USP?
Vulnerability Assessment is a commodity in today’s market. There are a lot of players in the market who do vulnerability assessment but when it comes to vulnerability assessment and management, it’s a very specialized area. You need to be able to track vulnerability and correlate them to your networks, to events that occur in your network and then present to your user something that is understandable and can be actioned upon. That’s where Tenable’s leadership in this space comes about from active scan to passive scan to events giving you holistic understanding.
How much does Asia contribute to your market share?
We are a predominantly US centric company but for the last 6 years we have entered Asian markets and it continues to grow.
Where do you come in while entering a deal with the customer?
It’s mainly a partner driven model. We ensure the partner is enabled enough to talk to the customer, tell him what he can derive from the solution. We have Sales Engineers from Tenable who provide the Proof of Concept. I typically step in when a customer requires me to assuage any concerns that it’s a partnership and we are there to provide them holistic solutions. It’s otherwise purely a channel driven structure.
What is the vision for India markets?
Today, we are starting out to educate and migrate our customers to a better platform. The long term vision is to ensure customers can utilize the automated platforms that we bring to drive seamless growth of their business.
Our key focus is to enable our channel partners to take the right story of Tenable to our customers by educating them and ensuring they understand the product and carry the right message.