Nanda Chougule: Vitalizing Businesses with Industry-Dedicated Security Services

DigiSec360 is a cybersecurity firm enabling organizations to manage their cybersecurity effectively. DigiSec360 is located at the IT hub of India, Bangalore and working with companies across India and the USA. It offers comprehensive solutions covering three tenets of cybersecurity: PEOPLE, PROCESS and TECHNOLOGY. The company’s solutions assess, analyze, prevent and protect organizations in the ever-expanding cyber threat landscape. The goal of DigiSec360 is to help organizations building better cybersecurity posture.

An Intellectual Leader

Nanda Chougule is the Founder and CEO of DigiSec360 and takes care of overall operations, planning and strategy. She is a Computer Engineer with 18 years of experience in software product management. She started her career with TATA Elxsi as a campus fresher and then worked for Samsung R&D India for 11 years. Nanda worked at Samsung as Group Engineering Manager, managing multiple projects with a team of 50+ members as well as working on flash memory products. She was instrumental in setting up a dedicated lab for memory card qualification in Samsung’s Bangalore campus.

Nanda left her successful IT career to start on her own venture. She believes ethical use of technology leads her to the cybersecurity sector. As the cybersecurity situation across the world is worsening at an exponential rate, most of the internet users and businesses are already affected by it. So, Nanda started her entrepreneurship journey to address this situation to a certain extent. DigiSec360 was founded with the mission to help organizations manage their cyber threats effectively.

Delivering Comprehensive Solutions to Mitigate Risk

In India, rapid technological adoption is increasing organizations’ exposure to cyber threat vectors. 60% of the MSME (medium to small business) have already encountered cyber attacks. The number of attacks, specially targeted attacks is increasing. Though the IT infrastructure has significantly changed with cloud, endpoints, mobile devices, etc, cyber hygiene and process adaption is the weakest point for many organizations.

DigiSec360 is helping MSMEs which do not have dedicated cybersecurity resources by providing comprehensive cybersecurity solutions to create the culture of cybersecurity. The company offers a cyber essential plan which covers Cybersecurity Awareness Trainings, Policy Development, Vulnerability Assessment. It also provides SaaS products for software vulnerability and Cyber Risk Management.

DigiSec360 have worked with Karnataka government’s CID cybercrime department (CCITR) to deliver a cybercrime analytics solution to enable them for targeted awareness campaigns and capacity building. Additionally, the company provides training to police officers for cybercrime awareness.

Experiences that Nourish the Accomplishments

Having worked with corporates like TATA and Samsung helped Nanda to master in technology product management. Their strong policy and process culture, helped her to develop a methodical process-based approach to problem-solving. Working with global teams and customers across Europe, USA, Korea, and India gave her a good insight into various work cultures and best practices and processes.

Nanda’s fast track career with early leadership roles helped her in developing leadership skills.

Streamlining Clients and Workflows to Position at Top

Nanda thinks strong customer orientation is a starting point for every innovative leader. She believes that:

– Determination/ grit, never give up attitude are the key attributes.

– Innovative leaders should develop plans to minimize the risk and assess the viability of their products.

 Evolving with Advanced Products and Policies

DigiSec360 follows the foundations of cyber essentials including continuous assessment and policy framework. The company’s offered solutions are based on the NIST cybersecurity framework and ISO 27001 best practices. In addition to continuous assessment and awareness, DigiSec360 does Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing as per OWASP Top 10, using automation tools. The company has a product partnership with Israel firm for software vulnerability management SaaS product, which detects and protects organizations from application vulnerabilities. DigiSec360’s product uses advanced Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to identify vulnerability targets before cyberattacks occur by providing sourceless, patchless protection.

Winning Over Challenging Stairways

The biggest challenge for Nanda was entrepreneurship itself. She feels the shift from a comfortable corporate career to entrepreneurship was the giant leap of faith. Being a first-generation entrepreneur, she had to learn the basics of business management when DigiSec360 was founded. Its incubation center NSRCEL, IIM-Bangalore played an important role in this journey.

“There are very few women in the cybersecurity business. Getting the first few customers who can believe in your capability was a challenge. Right from pricing to marketing, early customer traction was a roller-coaster ride full of learning,” Nanda said.

Cyber Compliance-Driven Future

Nanda believes as the cyber threat landscape is constantly evolving, cybersecurity has its own challenges. Though there are more AI/ML-based technology products making its way, security solutions will need to be comprehensive to cover all 3 tenets of PEOPLE, PROCESS and TECHNOLOGY. The future of cybersecurity lies with strong regulations and governance structures. Social engineering being the biggest threat, as the human factor continues to be the weak link in many cybersecurity environments. Much of cybersecurity now and in the future relies on educating and creating a culture of cyber awareness amongst individuals and teams, as this is the best path forward to reduce the risk of human error.

Essential Advice to Leaders

Nanda advises emerging business leaders to do what they are passionate about. They should utilize their skills and talents for the betterment of society by delivering innovative and simple solutions. Great advice on being an effective business leader comes from many sources – mentors, consultants, coaches, and friends. “The important point to remember is to stay open, listen to everyone, but also develop your own leadership style,” she added.