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From hacking his chemistry paper to being a cyber security expert: Saket Modi’s journey with Lucideus

Ganesh Nagarsekar
30th May 2013
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Saket’s romance with hacking began in school, during a run up to one of his exams. He had just discovered the art of hacking into secure computer systems and his chances of clearing the chemistry paper were looking bleak, so he hacked into the school computer and stole the question paper. He eventually ended up confessing to the teacher, but the thrill of hacking lingered on. Thankfully he realized that his skills could be utilized in more constructive endeavors, and so at the age of 21, he decided to set up Lucideus - a cyber security company.Lucideus is a complete cyber security solutions provider that enables clients to secure their web-based resources. They assist clients eliminate risk of unauthorized access to key systems, files or databases by identifying vulnerabilities in web spaces. They also organise ethical hacking and web security based workshops and seminars.

Saket, who also happens to be a pianist in a band, leads a team comprising of cyber analysts and security experts, all in the age group of 18-30. He speaks passionately about his team as he says: “The one common element that resonates amongst the team members and drives us is our passion for cyber-security. We find great thrill is utilizing our skills to make cyber space a more secure place.Our team comprises of experts who have a strong liking towards reverse engineering. They are selected based on their hands on knowledge and experience.”

Their marketing strategy is pretty unique.They give their entire scan free of cost. What this means is, they approach their clients and request them for an authorization letter which allows them to scan the client's website for a couple of days at the end of which they give the client a binary response saying 'Warning! Your servers are hackable' or 'Congratulations, you are safe'. If they are not able to find any flaw in the client's website, they do not charge. If they are successful in penetrating the web space of their client, they give them a proof of concept, post which they generate a comprehensive VAPT (Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing) Report which is chargeable. Hence, the client only pays if there is a flaw.

Their revenue model is majorly distributed across two verticals - Lucideus Training and Lucideus WSPT (Web Space Penetration Testing). E-commerce gateways, banks and insurance agencies form a large chunk of their customers. Since a lot of static sites don’t have dedicated servers,they become more vulnerable to attacks; and hence use Lucideus’ services too.

Till date, the company has conducted over 100 workshops/seminars in academic institutions throughout the country including IIT Delhi, IIT Mumbai, IIT Guwahati, IIT Gandhinagar and IIT Mandi along with training over 10,000 individuals on cyber security, ethical hacking, system security, website security and mobile phone hacking. They have also worked with corporate clients like IBM, Microsoft, Cognizant, IEEE and RBI.

Lucideus envisages a world where all internet users are at level footing, and no one can take advantage of others or be taken advantage of by porous web security. Their plan is to accomplish this by actively strengthening their clients’ websites, and by disseminating instructions to the trainees through workshops, equipping them with the skills required for a safe web experience. They want to provide services that make the internet a virtual utopia – a place where knowledge is nestled in a package that is beautiful yet strong, and where that knowledge is completely safe from prying eyes and devious hackers.

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