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We are seeing a growing demand for threat intelligence: Nicholas Drogou of Orange Business Services


“We aim to give the customers sufficiently tailored adapted contextualized threat intelligence that helps in decision making process and enable them in taking the right security posture at one point of time,” says Nicholas Drogou, head – security practice, Asia Pacific, Orange Business Services. He talked about the company’s key business areas and gave a thorough perspective on growing security concerns.

Give us an overview of the company and its line of business?

Orange is a large telecom group that operates both on B2B and B2C markets. In APAC it operate exclusively on the business to business markets and serve essentially multinationals and large national accounts on services ranging from enhanced connectivity, enriched connectivity, development of applications, cloud services, cyber defence, etc. We have operations in 220 countries and have our own network comprising our own fibre optic marine cables with a fleet of specific ships. We are evolving from a network service provider, operator, into basically a facilitator for our customers to go through a digital transformation journey. And we essentially do that with a combination of specialized entities that cover cloud hosting activities, development of applications, enhanced connectivity and cyber security.

How do you see India as a market? Tell us about your CyberSOC security center ?

India for us is a key geographical area where we not only have one of our major service centres, but we have also massively invested in having a cyber security operations centre. We call it CyberSOC which is based in Delhi and enables us to capitalise on our own skill sets. We operate six security operation centres in the world. With our CyberSOC one of the things we can certainly help the institutions, government is by sharing the threat intelligence information. As the threat landscape is getting very aggressive, therefore, I firmly believe that in the fight against cybercrime one can only be successful if he shares information and is willing to collaborate. It is important to share information with government bodies and institutions that facilitate cyber-security in country.

The CyberSOC security centre has been operating for about four years now and we have carried out operations from Gurgaon. With this we are bringing the level of security and the expertise one level higher which goes beyond and above managing security assets. The CyberSOC does cyber security event management and threat management both for the internal needs of the Orange group and for our customers.

Can you share few of the government related projects in India ?.

For the state of Himachal,Goa and Jharkhand we have built the state data centre. We have worked with state of Karnataka to help their Kisaan Connectivity Project. We’ve been working with the government of Bihar for one of their IT related project. We’re working with the government of Gujarat where we have implemented one of our biggest case studies that we use in terms of our data centre. We have moved them from the local connectivity to MPLS. In smart cities projects in India we still see there is a challenge in terms of RFP, as 80% of the component is infrastructure which is largely railway systems, basic roads and infrastructure maintenance. But when it gets into the technology side, we have initiated talks with few of the municipalities, where in a smaller area we would be doing some case studies going forward.

How do you see the cloud market evolving in the APAC region ?

We have done a wave of two series of investments massively in the region around cloud. Around two years ago we created a series of new cloud data centres in the APAC region – Hong Kong, Sydney, and Singapore predominantly. And in the past couple of months we have been investing massively again on the cloud infrastructure in partnership with Huawei. Today we are expanding our cloud infrastructure and our cloud capabilities to basically continue to tap this very promising market around hosted infrastructure, hosted applications in Orange clouds in APAC. We see Asian as a key growth market for cloud. Probably the cloud adoption in APAC has been a little bit slower than what we’ve seen in other regions. And to some extent at least from the security side a lot of customers prefer the idea of having physical, on premise type of appliances. But we are seeing the shift taking place gradually. And ultimately the move to cloud related services in APAC is probably going to certainly accelerate in the next two years.

How do you see the network security market in India ever since you have opened your centre here?

From the network security perspective it’s obvious that today we cannot just sell a piece of pipe. In order to sell that you need to put additional value into it and that value comes from enhancing the connectivity by putting application performance like riverbed binatrace. Putting security clubbed into the pipe itself. So we are walking away from that time when people would buy a piece of pipe and then on top would prefer stack. We are now seeing the convergence of traditional infrastructure security, perimeter security, firewalling anti-malware, outbound internet surfing, content browsing, etc. We are seeing a convergence of traditional infrastructure security now built into pipes regardless of the technology. The other thing that we are seeing today is the desire to basically have an element of visibility and control on what the infrastructure is doing, how it’s performing. We are seeing a growing demand for threat intelligence. We aim to give the customers sufficiently tailored adapted contextualised threat intelligence that can help their decision making process to take the right security posture at one point in time.

If you have an interesting article / experience / case study to share, please get in touch with us at [email protected]

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