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The covid-19 pandemic has given a shot in the arm to startups offering cybersecurity products as businesses seek to thwart remote work threats, particularly with companies allowing their employees to work from home.

Startups Lucideus, WiJungle, Uniken, Kratikal and others are creating products for businesses and governments both in India and globally in a boost to the industry.

Palo Alto-based Lucideus, incubated at IIT-Bombay in 2012, enables enterprises to measure and mitigate their cyber risks in real-time.

“The June quarter has been one of the best quarters for our company. We have won multiple Fortune 50 logos, which are now using our platform. However, while order and revenue bookings are at an all-time high, cash collection has been a challenge," said Saket Modi, co-founder and CEO, Lucideus.

Lucideus’s top clients include HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Tata Sky, Pizza Hut and WhatsApp.

The Indian cybersecurity services industry is expected to grow to $7.6 billion in 2022 and register an average annual growth rate of 21% by 2025 to reach $13.6 billion, according to a recent Nasscom-Data Security Council of India (DSCI) report.

The sector has also attracted investors as global spending on security is expected to accelerate following the pandemic. According to the World Economic Forum, cybersecurity is the top man-made worry for CEOs globally, and the industry is poised for significant growth in the next decade as it continues to become a business enabler for all organizations.

Lucideus’s Modi said covid has seen businesses come under multiple and sophisticated phishing and ransomware attacks while grappling with work from home policies.

For WiJungle, whose clients include government departments and private firms across hospitality, healthcare, education, financial services, retail, defence and transportation, covid has been a mixed bag.

“Post-covid, the contribution of private sector in top line has significantly gone down, while government business is consistent…there are verticals which have become almost dormant, like hospitality etc.," said Karmesh Gupta, CEO and co-founder of WiJungle.

The pandemic is changing cybersecurity businesses in different ways. Noida- and Atlanta-based Kratikal Tech Pvt. Ltd, incubated by the ministry of telecommunications, has seen a shift towards going completely digital. The company offers solutions related to email authentication and anti-spoofing, among others.

“This has given us the opportunity to expand our reach... we are actively exploring opportunities in the European market," said Pavan Kushwaha, CEO and co-founder, Kratikal.

However, cybersecurity firms are also dealing with many challenges. “The biggest challenge has been quantifying risk. No organization can confidently predict the risk posture of the organization and hence budget planning/risk analysis is flawed," said Modi.

Gupta adds that the problem with cyber security is that on a superficial level everyone in the community is aware of its growth aspects but when it comes to investment, there are only a handful of people in India who possess the vertical understanding to build conviction around an enterprise product.

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