Jim Barkdoll: TITUS looks at India market as fastest growth opportunity

Fresh from investments through Blackstone Ventures, data protection company TITUS is on the growth mode globally, and particularly in India, says Jim Barkdoll, CEO of TITUS.

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Since the time you have come on board as CEO, post a four-year stint as Chief Revenue Officer within TITUS, what have been your focus areas?
TITUS is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada and has over 1200+ enterprise customers across the globe. The top focus verticals for us are banking and financial services, manufacturing, government and defence. 

We strongly believe we are a growth company. At the end of last year, we got strategic investments from Blackstone, which is a validation to us in a crowded cybersecurity market. Typically, the cybersecurity space is quite noisy with 3000 odd companies here. So TITUS is primarily trying to maintain and grow its leadership position in data protection, though we are known as a data classification company.   We are looking at building offerings and capabilities for our infrastructure, messaging and servicing our clientele better. 

With GDPR raising the bar on data protection norms and penalties being imposed on revenues, how has TITUS' conversations with customers, primarily the security decision makers, changed?
Gartner pegs spending on information security products and services will reach over $114 billion USD in 2018. In speaking with Indian executives, it is clear that though cybersecurity spending continues to rise, most have not deployed technology to enforce data classification policies.

“TITUS is the first and the only vendor to embrace Machine Learning/AI for classification.”

Jim Barkdoll

CEO, TITUS

In addition, many are struggling to realize the value of their existing data protection investments, including data loss prevention and information rights management. And the challenges don’t end there. Like other nations, India is working to pass regulations to protect data.

The country’s proposed personal data protection bill means corporations will have to ensure that critical sensitive data is well protected, or face serious consequences both to their bank accounts and their reputations. Industry regulators also are driving banks to consider data protection seriously and GDPR is forcing IT/ITES organizations to reinforce data security frameworks effectively. All these create a considerable opportunity for TITUS to expand our global presence and leadership in this market.

What is a specific geo – go-to-market roadmap for TITUS in India?

In India, we started operations in March this year. Since then we acquired a large financial services company and also a very large IT/ITES organization.

TITUS' AI and ML capabilities and overall outlook

  • Continuing to future proof customer cybersecurity tech investments through an open eco system and patented metadata
  • Augmenting granular and context aware policy engine. TITUS ML tool can categorize and classify information accurately based on the information by the organizations data stewards
  • Adding Smart Reg-Ex capability pretty soon into the policy engine to leverage AI to create intelligent regular expression to detect a specific data type
  • Introducing Deep Learning capabilities early next year to effectively identify complex PII combinations that would be regulated in specific regions or by specific industry regulators
  • Including discovery of information on structured databases like Hadoop, ORACLE, SQL etc. This important for customers who are trying to comply privacy regulations like GDPR.
  • Embedding encryption and rights management capabilities into our data protection platform to enforce secure B2B and B2B transactions.

To better address the needs of the critical Indian market, TITUS has brought on Maheswaran as the new regional director to build a team that can work with leading channel partners, enabling their customers to create a solid data protection strategy and get more out of their existing security investments. 

Maheswaran brings a wealth of experience in the cybersecurity market. In only a few short months he has made great headway in acquiring some impressive customers already and building a team of talented professionals.

TITUS is a partner centric and partner friendly organization and is keen to build an effective channel eco system within India.

This is just the beginning of big things to come for TITUS in India. Customers want people next to them. Maheswaran and his team are committed to working side-by-side with our Indian customers and partners to help them develop and deploy a data protection strategy that keeps their critical data safe with minimal operational overheads

TITUS is keen to establish its global market leadership even in India and will continue to make strategic investments in the region. We also see a huge opportunity to align with GSIs in India and tap into their impressive and huge clientele.

India also provides a great opportunity for TITUS to establish several other business functions because of the abundant talent and skill available in the region. We have plans to establish technical support, customer success management, and professional services to address our needs globally.

What is the value proposition to customers that will make TITUS have successful partnerships and conversations?

TITUS firmly believes in making enterprise data protection strategy successful. The most important thing to focus while embracing classification framework is to identify a process to engage users effectively since users typically are unconsciously incompetent with data security and create a lot of risks for organizations. 

... “End users play a critical role in the establishment of an effective data protection strategy. TITUS works with customers worldwide to enable end users to identify and classify the data they create in a way that doesn’t disrupt their workflow.”
Jim Barkdoll
Chief Executive Officer, TITUS

End users play a critical role in the establishment of an effective data protection strategy. TITUS works with customers worldwide to enable end users to identify and classify the data they create in a way that doesn’t disrupt their workflow. This methodology and frameworks helped several large enterprise customers across the globe deploy classification strategies through our technology effectively.

In 2019, we would be also launching Classification as a Service (CAAS) and these will reduce operational overheads significantly for our customers. Our GSIs, MSSPs and consulting partners can also leverage this capability to offer effective services to help customers embrace classification.