How Hyderabad startup Ensurity aims to ride on Microsoft to tap global cybersecurity markets

How Hyderabad startup Ensurity aims to ride on Microsoft to tap global cybersecurity markets
From left: Rajkumar Kotha (Co-founder), Amit Mathur (COO) and Chakradhar Kommera (co-founder)
25 Oct, 2019

Earlier this month, Hyderabad based cybersecurity startup Ensurity Technologies became the only Indian firm out of five globally to partner with Microsoft’s  Intelligent Security Association (MISA). The startup aims to leverage the partnership to tap into what could potentially be a $24 billion market opportunity for its product.

Under the partnership, Ensurity will integrate its ThinC brand of FIDO/FIDO2 certified biometric USB authenticators for password-less access with Microsoft products. The integration will enable it to offer clients better protection, detection, and response to over 800 million users of Windows.

“The MISA membership forms the basis for us to monetize our various technologies in collaboration with Microsoft and other MISA members for the common good of cybersecurity. We would now use this association to work towards integrating our other solutions with MS platforms,” COO Amit Mathur told TechCircle.

Further, the programme enables the startup to reach out to Microsoft partners and SMEs (small and medium enterprises), and get early visibility into the Redmond headquartered technology giant’s product road map and a host of other benefits.

Founded by Chakradhar Kommera and Rajkumar Kotha, Ensurity offers seamless, password-less identity and access experience to users (for cloud, mail and server access) which dramatically reduce phishing attacks while making identity management highly convenient.

Kommera and Kotha, alumnus of Osmania University whose families knew each other, spent more than two decades across multiple functions in the technology sector before starting Ensurity. When Kommera decided to leave his investment banking job in the UK and come back to India, he spoke to Kotha and they hit it off. Kotha started the company and Kommera joined him later. They started the company as Unik Systems in 2014 and rechristened it to Ensurity Technologies in 2017. 

The founders initially invested Rs 15 crore from their own savings, and received an angel funding of Rs 16 crore from friends and families. 

The partnership with Microsoft materialised when Ensurity pitched one of its other products, a secure computing device, to the technology giant at its US headquarters. Microsoft, in turn, came up with the idea of a passwordless authentication device and the conversation led to the partnership.

“We already had products for the enterprise space. This happened more than two years ago. Since then we were actively engaged with the teams at Microsoft to develop testing and then integrate our solutions with Azure AD,”  Mathur said.

Digital identity is still driven by legacy technologies such as passwords and OTPs, which are complex to manage, less secure and also expensive for both enterprises and consumers. Ensurity’s solution claims to improve security significantly by mitigating phishing attacks which account for 91% of all security breaches. It also improves convenience, through one-touch access to everything, while reducing the life cycle costs.

For example, the solution enables enterprise and retail users to have a one-touch and single sign-on access to cloud services. Users will be able to securely log into email servers with the one-touch or second factor authentication of their device. Banking customers will be able to log into banking servers and undertake transaction validation, replacing the need for steps such as OTPs and cards, which require a credit card-based validation.

“Before the launch of our products and services, it witnessed many iterations. To be exact, it was more than five iterations in firmware and three iterations in hardware. The business model has also undergone a pivot. We started by securing government and defense clients, but pivoted to enterprise markets as our products matured to address the scalable market needs,” Mathur added.

With large enterprises and government clients, Ensurity claims to currently have 12 paying clients and expects to grow up to 25 by the end of December. 

The global identity and access management market is expected at $24.5 billion by 2025, a 13.1% CAGR, according to US-based market research and consultancy firm, Grand View Research. Similarly, the global cloud security market is expected to grow to $12.6 billion by 2025.