Kishor Sonawane: Leading the Information Security Industry with a Zeal

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Today, with increased digitalization and the advent of modern technologies such as IoT, AI, blockchain, cloud services, threats like phishing, ransomware, IoT based attacks, zero-day exploits, DDOS attacks, cyber terrorism are also increasing and making almost every aspect of the digital world vulnerable. Cybersecurity plays a critical role in protecting data privacy, brand reputation as well as addressing the regulatory and compliance needs for all business sectors. Anticipating the intensifying need for software, network, and cloud security, Kishor Sonawane (CEO of Infoshare Systems, Inc) founded Varutra Consulting in 2013. He always had the thirst for innovating new things and wanted to run a company on his own. Thus, identifying the plethora of opportunities, and mainly his passion for information security, he decided to step into the cybersecurity landscape. Working with a couple of startups in the cybersecurity industry was a big learning for Kishor as he understood the importance of resource optimization, productivity, and quality-consciousness. Consequently, with the successful execution and delivery in the given capacity of his roles during his career accompanied by more than 15 years of experience, he decided to pursue his dream and established Varutra Consulting.

In conversation with Kishor Sonawane, we will understand how he has transformed information security especially in times of crisis. Here are the snippets,

Please share your entrepreneurial journey.

As an entrepreneur, it was indeed not an easy but surely quite exciting and equally enjoyable journey for me. Since its inception, Varutra constantly received acquisition offers from several companies including the Big 4. However, I kept marching ahead till Varutra was acquired by Infoshare Systems Inc., USA, in 2018. The acquisition made Varutra part of a larger organization having a presence in the US as well as other regions of India. Presently, I manage the responsibility of the CEO at Infoshare Systems Inc, USA.

What are the leading-edge services currently Infoshare Systems offers?

Alongside cybersecurity and assurance services, Infoshare Systems provides industry-best and highly commendable services along multiple business verticals. The company also provides IT Services, Strategic Consulting, Big Data Solutions, Web and Mobile Applications Development, IT Security Services, Audit & Compliance, and Professional QA & Staffing Services. It also develops Artificial Intelligence integrated products in Healthcare and IT Security domains. Furthermore, with upcoming cyber breaches and vulnerabilities in the digital world during the pandemic, Infoshare Systems launched the Cyber Threat Post (CTP) to spread awareness about the upcoming threats and attacks along with recommendations to patch them. It also helped a few of its clients in securely setting up their own enterprise solutions for the COVID-19 situation, knowing the critical importance of security in terms of data privacy. We also delivered multiple Information Security Awareness sessions to our clients and their employees and helped them being secure during the pandemic where attackers are targeting the digital world. Under my auspices, both—Varutra and Infoshare, have received numerous awards and recognitions and have emerged as successful organizations.

How have you managed to turn ideas into reality?

Speaking about turning dreams into reality, I am passionate about working smartly with innovative ideas and bringing them into reality. Under my leadership in Varutra, there were several products developed like MASTS- Mobile Application Security Testing Suite, MVD-Mobile Vulnerability Database, OWASP KALP, and MSSP Dashboard. Alongside ideas, I believe business ethics, quality work, adopting research-oriented & innovative approaches, commitment, and a good team following the culture are have been the ingredients for Infoshare’s success. I feel grateful for having got constant support from all my teammates, clients, and family throughout the journey. Furthermore, I always believed in sincere working, taking responsibilities from the front, and making sure of completing them with utmost quality. Over the years, these qualities have been instrumental for the company in winning client trust.

How has COVID-19 impacted the operations and services of Infoshare Systems?

The COVID-19 pandemic brought a massive cultural shift among employees and employers across the globe. Companies that were reluctant about remote working before the pandemic have also adapted to the new normal. Infoshare Systems too was flexible about its operations during these critical times. Our first priority has been, and will always be, the safety and health of our employees and their families. So, we have all been working from home since March 2020. During the pandemic, we further added that the company introduced new processes and HR and Project Management applications to track the work progress. Moreover, with the right procedures in place and ample support, the company didn’t let the pandemic affect its productivity to a large extent. Its service offerings and deliverables were planned considering the pandemic situation and delivered flawlessly. With these initiatives, I ensure to keep the employees concerned and driven without any impact on business.

WFH is the new normal for the majority of businesses. How did you deal with the WFH situation?

As work from home became the new normal, we introduced new technology and built effective & secured infrastructure for the virtual workplaces. We also arranged training and security awareness workshops to enhance skills and implemented some digital tools for project management, remote onboarding, and communication purpose. While the COVID-19 pandemic is a still learning experience to industries around the globe, Infoshare-Varutra was among those first few companies who started the WFH with effective coordination, motivation to employees, knowledge sharing sessions to real-time status updating of the tasks and projects for highly successful client deliverables. We started motivational engagement activities to allow employees to improve and boost their confidence and spirits. It also conducted an employee engagement virtual event to keep the teams connected and lift their morale. We continue to deliver on our product roadmaps, deliverables, and services to our customers globally 24/7, deliver projects on time and continue to engage both new and existing customers.

How have you inculcated the innovation in Infoshare Systems?

I believe that being innovative is the way for success and need of today. Thus, Infoshare is determined to use the technology to the fullest to accelerate its business functions and enhance work efficiency & productive environment. The company aims to train its employees with the required skills and technologies. We are going to be on the path of becoming a stronger secure development center using vast platform capabilities on the web, mobile, cloud, along with Artificial Intelligence and ML. Staying continually motivated is vital for any leader to achieve the desired milestones. For me, alongside my passion for cybersecurity, there are several other sources of motivation such as reading books, success stories, and articles from industry leaders.

According to you, what are the facets of Successful Entrepreneurship?

Having successfully led an organization, I believe that enthusiasm, dedication, genuineness, understanding the customer needs with domain expertise, and a pleasant state of mind towards the industry as well as the competitors is the key to successful entrepreneurship. I believe that not losing hope, building a core team with setting up smaller goals is also critical to keep on progressing at the entrepreneurship ladder.

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