“India has one of the fastest growing fintech markets in the world. Cloud cryptography solutions are highly in demand in India,” says Ruchin Kumar, VP – South Asia, Futurex – a Texas, US-based IT company specialising in cryptography.
Cloud cryptography is an added layer of security, which encrypts data stored in the cloud. With more than 2,000 fintech startups recognised by the Indian government’s Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), India’s fintech sector is not only growing fast but also offers huge opportunities for companies like Futurex and others. The market size of India’s fintech sector was $50 billion in 2021 and is estimated to be around $150 billion by 2025.
As the Indian government continues to enable more digital services, particularly in the financial sector, there’s been a growing demand for cloud cryptography solutions in the Indian market as more and more organisations and businesses are leveraging cloud services today than in the past.
In this interview, Ruchin Kumar, VP – South Asia, Futurex talks to TechHerald about business plans in 2023 for India and South Asia, the state of encryption technology, and the Indian government’s strong focus on digitalisation. He also discusses Futurex’s business focus in the Indian market and how its solutions can benefit enterprises in India.
Q1). What is Futurex’s roadmap in 2023 for India and South Asia?
Ruchin Kumar: Exciting developments are occurring in India and the Asia-Pacific (APAC) market in general. India has a fast-growing financial sector which is aggressively pursuing innovative new solutions. Futurex is well-positioned to answer the increased demand for cloud cryptography.
Over the past few years, we have established data centres throughout the APAC region, including two in India. Having a local data centre presence helps us deliver low latency, high availability, and full compliance with data localisation policies for our customers. We have also been partnering with a number of influential Indian IT distributors and consulting firms to extend the reach of our industry-leading solutions. Futurex is committed to the Indian market, and we are excited to see how it develops over the next several years.
Q2). What’s the current state of encryption technology and how is Futurex faring in this space?
Ruchin Kumar: Our philosophy has always been to lead the cryptography industry, rather than follow. We are always listening to customers and paying careful attention to emerging trends. This not only helps us understand what organisations need right now—it also helps us anticipate what organisations will need in the future.
Currently, Futurex has been developing and implementing new cloud cryptography services. A particular area of focus is cloud key management. Most organisations are running dozens of applications, and managing the keys can get complex. Deploying a key management solution in the cloud helps organisations centralise and streamline how they manage their resources. It also opens the door to exciting possibilities such as bring your own keys (BYOK) and external key management (EKM).
Of course, Futurex’s cloud solutions are based on its hardware solutions. While cloud solutions are beneficial to certain organisations, others prefer to deploy HSMs (hardware security modules) and key management solutions on-premises. It is safe to say that the majority of our cloud solutions have on-premises counterparts.
Q3). How do you observe the Indian government’s broad focus on digitalisation in governance, digital and mobile payments? And what role Futurex can play in the Indian market?
Ruchin Kumar: India has been a global leader in payment processing and financial services for a long time. As such, the Central Government has implemented policies to protect data privacy and security. One example is the IT Act, which requires digital signing to authenticate messages. Another example is the Reserve Bank of India’s Directive 2017-18/153, which directs organisations to store payment data within India. That’s one reason why Futurex was the first to offer locally-based cloud services in India—to help companies stay compliant.
In addition to regulations surrounding payments, India has also rolled out a pilot program for central bank digital currency (CBDC), or e-rupee, with user groups comprising retail and finance organisations. CBDC will be stored as tokens and transacted in digital wallets. This will likely entail new cryptographic solutions to keep the system secure.
Q4). Which are the key business segments/ verticals Futurex is largely focusing on in the Indian market? And which solutions and products will be suitable for the Indian market?
Ruchin Kumar: India has one of the fastest-growing fintech markets in the world. Cloud cryptography solutions are highly in demand in India. Futurex cloud solutions offer a full range of cryptographic functionality coupled with the agility and flexibility of the cloud. Some of the other biggest consumers of cryptographic solutions like cloud HSMs are organisations in the government, banking, and retail sectors. It is also common for organisations within these sectors to deploy our on-premises cryptographic hardware. Because India abides by strict international compliance standards like PCI DSS, Futurex solutions that work in other global regions work exactly the same in India.
Q5). Futurex offers both HSM and Cloud-based solutions. So from the enterprise perspective, which would be more suitable to enhance the data security and encryption as well as cost-effective or offer better ROI in the long run?
Ruchin Kumar: Both on-premises HSMs and cloud HSMs have their own advantages, both in terms of usability and expenditures. Purchasing an HSM and deploying it on-premises offers hands-on control, and is a solid long-term investment for organisations that have to protect sensitive data. Licensing an HSM as a cloud service gives you the same range of cryptographic functionality with an opex financial model rather than a capex model. This significantly lowers the cost to deploy an HSM. Futurex’s VirtuCrypt cloud is a fully-managed cloud cryptography platform, which further helps organisations streamline management while increasing data security.