Cybersecurity to power digital transformation: Learn more on protecting applications, employees, and networks

Cloudflare’s Shrenik Bhayani participated in YourStory’s TechSparks 2023 Mumbai edition and shared his views on the essentials of building a secure and future-ready business.

Cybersecurity to power digital transformation: Learn more on protecting applications, employees, and networks

Thursday April 06, 2023,

4 min Read

From the office to the cloud and beyond, security is paramount. With hybrid workplaces coming into being, it is even more important for businesses to make everything they connect to the internet secure, private, fast, and reliable.

Enter CloudFlare, a web performance and security company. The privacy-first firm with end-to-end encryption has a single core element: data protection.

Cloudflare’s unified cloud platform is helping businesses improve security, reduce complexities, and innovate with confidence.

“In the three years that I have worked at Cloudflare, I have seen that most startups start their whole application stack with a cloud platform provider but as the workload and traffic starts to grow, they start feeling that their framework isn’t enough, especially from a security perspective,” said Shrenik Bhayani, Regional Sales Leader at CloudFlare. He was speaking at a fireside chat on Everywhere security: Protect applications, employees and networksat the Mumbai edition of YourStory’s TechSparks 2023. 

Bhayani mentioned that startups come to platforms such as Cloudflare and begin using the services from an application security standpoint since most of their traffic is API-driven. They eventually deploy the application security stack, which further expands to using services such as Cloudflare in making remote working more effective for their employees.

“So eventually, they [startups] are starting from the application level, getting into the network level, and eventually the collaboration ends up with endpoint security,” he said.

Current market scenario

With more than two decades of experience, Bhayani has deep knowledge in building and strengthening direct and indirect go-to-market strategies and sales to achieve competitive advantage and bottom line gains.

“I have moved from the hardware to software side of the business and through my journey learned that there are three layers of security. The first layer is at the application security level. The second is a network security level. And third, I believe, is endpoint security,” he said.

Bhayani stated that this is primarily how security architecture would be built for any organisation. “For digital natives, complexities are lesser since they start with cloud infrastructure,” he added.

Drawing on anecdotes from conversations with customers, Bhayani said startups today are focusing on “what is relevant for their business now [in terms of security solutions] as well as what will be important as their businesses shape up in the future”. 

He also spoke about the state of endpoint security, stating that it has matured over the years and that the growing traffic on the internet paved the way for innovations in cybersecurity. 

Security shouldn’t be an afterthought

Talking about the lack of understanding when it comes to investing in a full security stack, Bhayani said the fundamental problem with the industry is that “people do not invest in security until something goes wrong. The day the application goes down because of an attack and business is at a standstill, security takes centre stage,” he said.

He also gave insights on how the focus is at times on fixing an existing problem (security-related issue the business is facing at that time). Elaborating with some examples, Bhayani said, “In the startup world, once they solve the problem at hand, they’ll ask you for specific issues such as helping them with firewall or bot management or API-related queries. My recommendation would be to look at it from the perspective of the whole stack, look at it in terms of application, network, and edge. It will be more cost-effective for you.” 

He also stressed on the lack of visibility on apt security solutions. Conversations around security often get lost in industry jargon and understanding the meanings of popular terms such as zero trust, SASE, etc. People should be focusing on understanding their security needs and priorities, and then take a decision of working with an ecosystem partner, he said.

Road ahead for Cloudflare

Bhayani said Cloudflare launched its IPO in 2019 and is a $1 billion company, but aims to be a $5 billion company in the next three years.

“We are also aware that we can’t get there with just application security, performance and reliability, and hence for the past few years we have been building our cloud network steadily.”

Currently, Cloudflare’s global network provides direct connections to all major cloud providers and interconnects with nearly every service provider around the world. It has data centres in over 285 cities that deliver sub-50-millisecond latency to 95% of internet users in the world.

Addressing emerging and high potential startups, Bhayani concluded the chat by talking about Cloudflare’s flexible and programmable global network that has the ability to serve companies and organisations of all sizes - from individual developers to large corporations - in a “seamless and cost-effective way”.