The average US household today has around 24 connected devices. An internet-connected home can make over 50,000 internet requests daily and the average phone app collects 24 pieces of information about its user. A connected home today has enough computing power, storage capacity, and networking power to rival a small enterprise from two decades ago. These data points represent a large and growing cyberattack surface that can be exploited by both hackers and marketing companies. This problem space led Vikram Venkatasubramanian to further investigate the issues around online privacy and security in home networks – an investigation that led to many shocking findings pertaining to our online privacy and security.
Vikram says, “The average home could see up to 12,000 cyberattack attempts per day! On any given day, on average, 10% of the internet traffic is related to gathering data about us. We are all literally one click or less away from a cyberattack, and in many cases, we have been attacked, and we just don’t know it.”
Vikram strongly feels that online privacy and security is a fundamental right. Passionate about solving the issue of privacy and security, in March 2020, Vikram founded Nandi Security, an online privacy and security company for the entire connected home.
The Cybersecurity Expert
Born and raised in Chennai, India, Vikram Venkatasubramanian immigrated to the United States during the mid-90s to pursue his second Master’s degree. Today, Vikram is a technology industry veteran with over two decades of experience across healthcare IT, telecom/CRM, and cybersecurity. Vikram considers the dozen or so years of experience in cybersecurity to be the most personally and intellectually rewarding time of his career.
Vikram’s academic qualifications include a Master’s degree in Mathematics from the Indian Institute of Technology – Madras, a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Missouri – Columbia, and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Cornell University. However, Vikram feels education is not only the primary driver for him; the profound learnings he accumulated over the years interacting with the some of the most well-known cyber security experts on the planet helped shape his passion for personal privacy and security space.
Cyber Security Solution for Connected Homes
Vikram says, “We cannot have a conversation about cybersecurity in the connected home without addressing privacy. We also cannot speak of comprehensive security and privacy in the connected home with device-by-device-based solutions.”
Nandi Security’s Kavalan is an online privacy and security product aimed at making the task of protecting connected homes easy for the average consumer. It protects all the devices in the connected home from cyber threats, including malware, botnets, phishing sites, etc., while protecting the privacy of all individuals in the connected home by blocking ad networks, data brokers, trackers, pixels and other privacy violating entities. With Kavalan, there’s no software to install or devices to buy, and the best part is the product can be set up within 5 minutes or less for uninterrupted protection against cyber threats. The product’s ease of deployment, coupled with its comprehensive protection capabilities, is unparalleled in the entire industry.
Helping with Comprehensive Privacy and Security Services
In 2020, IDC published a connected home security research that identified seven different categories of products that a consumer would need to buy in order to enjoy comprehensive privacy and security. Nandi Security saw an immediate need to build a better solution for the average consumer, as there was no other way for a person with no cyber security expertise to have the awareness and technical expertise to find and use such solutions. Additionally, the combined cost of such products often makes them financially unviable for the average household. Under Vikram’s leadership, Nandi Security’s mission is to simplify and make it affordable for everyone to enjoy comprehensive privacy and security in the connected home.
Tackling the Pandemic
The pandemic has proven to be an accelerator in the cyber security industry. With remote work becoming an immediate requirement, companies soon realized that their network perimeter extends into the connected home. The initial attack vector to penetrate a corporate network may not need to be the corporate device; it could be a camera, thermostat, wearable or any other device in the employee’s home. Further from a consumer perspective, there has been a surge of interest in privacy issues amongst the general public given the post-pandemic events surrounding the US elections and the recent US Supreme Court rulings. This has resulted in a greater need and awareness at both the corporate and consumer levels for privacy and security products.
Vikram states, “While we did not see a pandemic coming, we saw the fundamental issues around privacy and security brewing a long time back, and we believe we are at the right time with the right product to address the problem.”
Preparing for the Future
Vikram is a believer in a free, open, safe, and equitable internet, and he understands that Nandi Security can make a significant contribution to the ‘safe’ and ‘equitable’ parts of that conversation. His primary goal is to make Kavalan the single most trusted name for families worldwide when it comes to protecting their online security and privacy. The organization is going about it by keeping simplicity, transparency, and quality as the prime pillars of focus for its product.
“Protecting your home and your family should not be as complex as it is today, and as broadband coverage expands across the world today, safety and privacy should come with it by default. The very fibers of connectivity that promise to improve our lives are already being used to shift the balance of equity both in terms of cyberattacks and surveillance capitalism. I believe that with Kavalan, we have taken the first step towards shifting the control back into the hands of the consumers.”- Vikram states.
Nandi Security is already working on evolving Kavalan into a full-fledged Intelligent Digital Safety Solution for the connected home.