"The idea to start up CipherGraph struck me at 4am," said Jitender Sharan, founder and CEO of CipherGraph, in a YouTube video on the YourStory Web site.
One of the most important revolutions in the last few years has certainly been cloud computing and services that revolve around them. Small businesses and startups depend mostly on affordable virtual private network (VPN) services that help their employees to work from remote locations at any given point in time.
Commonly VPN services are not enabled to help SMBs because of the challenges in setting up and their pricing. That's where Bangalore-based CipherGraph offers a really helpful product and helps them out. It has a Cloud VPN service that allows companies to let people to work securely from anywhere, as if they are in their own office.
CipherGraph Networks provides secure cloud-based VPN services. CipherGraph Cloud VPN enables companies to allow employees and external contractors to work from anywhere. The CIO/IT department writes access rules to control access to their network services based on user’s identity or group.
Jitender Sharan, founder and CEO, shared more details about his company with ZDNet.
ZDNET: What's the story behind CipherGraph?
Sharan: "We started in July 2011. Cloud Computing and Mobility are two major trends and we started out to address.
Look at some statistics:
- Average number of devices per mobile worker is 3.5
- 72 percent of enterprises allow BYOD
- 36 percent of emails are opened on mobile devices.
- Global spending on public cloud services reached US$110.3 billoin in 2012
- Expected to achieve a CAGR of 17.7 percent from 2011 through 2016.
- And most importantly, security Remains the number one inhibitor to cloud adoption.
The gap that was opened up with the recent introduction of Amazon VPC and other hosted clouds targeted towards proper enterprise use cases. We realized the enterprises are conmsuming elastic compute and elastic storage, it is only a matter of time they will need elastic security that is enterprise grade. This is how we were born."
What is CipherGraph all about. What problems does it address?
Think of us as a "Software Defined Access Gateway". We solve the problem of cloud access from mobile devices, in a secure manner. Our objective is to enable universal access to all kinds of applications and from all kinds of devices, without deploying any hardware or making any intrusive changes. On the back end we plug in for enterprise class encryption and power Role Based Access Control to ensure that even the strictest of security policies can be enforced by IT.
The business benefits are many, our purely cloud based approach allows IT to secure their entire cloud deployment in minutes as opposed to weeks by the traditional approach. Also, we provide Security-as-a -ervice (SECaaS), this allows subscription based billing as opposed to upfront model (hardware). That is the best part of cloud economics, you only pay for what you use.
Any competitors in the market? What makes your product stand out?
There are a few competitors based in Silicon Valley. We were the pioneers and first to market. Our USP is the widest device support, seamless connectivity to multiple and hybrid clouds and role based access control. Many of our competitors are limited to Windows support only or can work with certain applications only.
Who is your target audience? What verticals do you think your product suits the best?
We target mid to large sized enterprises with focus on healthcare, IT and finance industries. These industries require good security and compliance, we address both these needs. In general anyone who does not want to buy hardware to enable their cloud securely, should go for cloud based security, that is the only future proof way forward.Over 60% of our customers are in US. 100% our partners are in US as well.
What are the key features of your product?
- Full support and security for all major platforms; Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.
- Powerful Role Based Access Control (Network Access Control)
- Hardware free security for the cloud
- Highly elastic service with failure protection
- Low Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
- Simple maintenance using a web console only
How are you funded?
We were funded by Chamath Palihapitiya (founder of $2B + Social + Capital Partnership Fund) in November. He is a highly reputed U.S. based investor whose portfolio include AirBnB, Playdom, Yammer etc.
Tell us a little about your team and yourself.
I did my B. Tech. (CSE) from IIT Kanpur and spent about a decade in Enterprise Security Industry. Our board includes Dr. Parvez Anandam (founder of TappIN, acquired by GlobalScape) and Chamath Palihapitiya. We have employees in Bangalore and all over the San Francisco Bay Area.
How many of you are running businesses that require such secure cloud services and find this useful? Do let us know.