PUNE: India is becoming a ‘mobile-first economy’, with smartphones playing a central role in daily life. With 97% of users using the Android ecosystem, it is a breeding ground for latent malware that moves seamlessly from one unprotected phone to another, posing an increasing risk. I’m holding it. The impact of this digital crisis extends far beyond individual devices and penetrates deep into the core of an organization’s ecosystem. The financial sector has found itself at the epicenter of this storm. Mobile banking apps, insurance platforms, and stock trading interfaces, the gateways to our digital existence, are not immune and are constantly under threat of hacking, tampering, and manipulation. Amid this digital upheaval, Manish Mimani is recovering from a deep tech startup in the form of Protectt.ai, which provides his platform for mobile app, device, and transaction security on SaaS (Software as a Service). We have begun a strong response.
“While we have introduced digital and mobile transformation, identity theft, data breaches, cyber incidents with businesses as well as individuals, and other types of fraud have emerged as a dark side. Protectt. ai was our idea to create India’s first mobile threat protection company that offers a complete mobile application security platform that includes mobile devices, mobile applications and mobile transaction security,” said Manish.
Leading up to the founding of Protectt.ai, Mr. Manish’s impressive 18-year career in the banking and insurance sector included a key role as Chief Information Officer at Aviva Life Insurance India and an integral part of the global IT leadership team. contributed as. . His extensive experience spans various geographies and he has made notable contributions to digital transformation, cybersecurity and mobile in various companies such as Aviva, Howden India and Star Union Daiichi Life Insurance Company.
“During the research and program development stages, I personally observed that there was a significant gap in the market. Every company was developing mobile apps, but mobile application security, cybersecurity, and identity management There was a clear lack of a comprehensive solution for the There was no solution. This realization inspired me to embark on an entrepreneurial journey to build a robust solution, knowing full well that building such a solution would not be easy. ” he said.
Currently, India boasts of over 750 million smartphone users and over 200,000 mobile apps have been developed in the country for the local market. This massive uptake is reshaping and revolutionizing India’s digital economy. There are 50 million mobile apps around the world, and businesses provide a vast array of services through these apps.
“Consider the scenario of a bank that provides mobile banking services to hundreds of thousands of customers. This challenge arises from the diverse state of the devices used by these customers. Because we use mobile phones and are connected to millions of networks, there are countless threats that arise from these network connections. Unfortunately, many users are concerned about the access granted to various apps, They are unaware of the privacy implications of their actions, including the potential risks associated with downloading apps,” Manish said.
“Our response to these challenges is a robust mobile application security platform designed specifically for the needs of enterprises. Through our platform, we ensure runtime protection for organizational apps and support them in today’s dynamic digital environment. “We provide solutions that protect apps from the wide variety of threats present in the world,” he said.
Manish said: “In June 2020, we dedicated a year and a half to research and development and began a journey to create a comprehensive solution. Two years ago, we confidently introduced our product to the market. In a short period of time, banks, insurance companies and stock exchanges have adopted our solution to protect their mobile apps.”
Having a leadership role in a large company, a big budget, and a big team makes your job easier. But Manish left his comfort zone, especially during the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Contrary to his expectations, Manish began to see opportunities in the post-corona era with the expansion of the digital environment.
“Every company needed a security solution. However, there was no such solution on the market due to the high barriers to entry associated with research and the challenge of keeping up with technological advances. Worldwide. Looking at, there are only around 8-10 companies operating in this space, highlighting the difficulty in developing robust products.Currently, we are launching India’s first mobile app security platform. We are proud to offer organizations a variety of solutions to protect their mobile applications. Our comprehensive approach protects against cyber threats, identity theft, code protection, and online transactions. “Security addresses fraud risk,” he said.
expose the gap
A certain level of security is essential during the development of any app. Manish and his team focus on app security as part of the mobile app development process, as many companies lack skilled talent and struggle to keep up with the ever-changing security landscape. I have observed that you are treating it as a “checkbox activity”.
“Security inherently requires continuous upgrades, but this aspect often loses focus when mobile app development becomes the primary focus. We have started discussions with Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs). The challenge lies in the extensive research required for its development. Given India’s predominant service-oriented mindset; Addressing the talent shortage was imperative. The shift to a product-oriented mindset required recruiting and developing a diverse team, including both new and seasoned professionals. The market response was overwhelming. The response was positive, with many organizations showing strong interest, including insurance, banking, and stock exchanges. The initial goal was to rapidly implement 3-4 companies, and that goal was successfully achieved. ” said Manish.
Commenting on the solutions his platform offers, Manish said, “Through device-to-SIM binding, we establish a connection between the user, device, mobile phone number, and SIM ID, creating a secure identity that prevents unauthorized access to mobile applications. It aims to harden applications against hacking attempts. In the area of fraud and risk management, it provides solutions that perform thorough analysis to distinguish between safe and fraudulent transactions. This real-time assessment allows you to classify transactions instantly, all performed directly on your mobile device. Our solution suite includes a mobile antivirus component and a feature specifically designed for privacy concerns: MProtect Safe Security. Includes the free downloadable B2C product “MProtectt”. ”
Some organizations believe that the responsibility for securing apps lies solely with the consumer device owner. However, Manish says this is not accurate. “It is incumbent on organizations to ensure that their apps are free from potential compromise or compromise of their customers’ digital identities. This difference in thinking can sometimes create challenges,” he said. Ta.
“Recognizing the vital importance of digital payments security, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has introduced guidelines known as Digital Payments Security Control (DPSC). Now, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has also We are in the process of developing similar guidelines to protect the interests of consumers who use them. It is expected that other regulatory bodies will similarly issue guidelines to address these concerns,” Manish said. Ta.
Privilege Escalation: In the era of the Internet of Things (IoT), where mobile apps control many aspects of their surroundings, a compromised mobile device can extend beyond personal security concerns. Once a mobile device is compromised, an attacker can gain control of the device, leading to what is known as privilege escalation. For example, an attacker could manipulate smart home devices such as fans and lights through mobile apps, highlighting the broader implications of mobile device security in an interconnected world. .
Screen mirroring: In screen mirroring, certain apps silently duplicate your activities and send them to an external server. In a high-profile incident with a banking customer, the Protectt AI solution identified numerous instances of screen mirroring and provided critical protection. Previously, consumers were unaware of such events, highlighting the importance of proactive alerts from banking apps.
Rooted devices: Users can unknowingly compromise their devices by installing unfamiliar certificates or clicking links that lead to the installation of unknown certificates. These network certificates monitor both incoming and outgoing internet traffic on your device, allowing access and potential interception of all data passing through it. One significant risk is tampering with the operating system, commonly referred to as a rooted device, which is particularly prevalent in India.
Speaking about our future plans, Manish said, “As part of our international expansion, we will start operations in Dubai, UAE and the Gulf region from next month.Following this, we plan to enter the US market within the next three to four months. These strategic moves are in line with our global expansion goals and contribute to the continued development of our products. We have also established a dedicated R&D center in Chennai. We are also working with the Data Security Council of India. We are actively working with the government as the Indian market is heavily involved in government-to-citizen apps. There are over 800 government apps in India. We recognize that it exists and we are exploring partnership opportunities.”