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This AGSM MBA’s Cloud Security Startup Is Backed By Google – He’s Eyeing BYOD Market, IoT

CloudCop protects company data stored in mobile devices that people bring to work

By  Marco De Novellis

Tue May 24 2016

The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend is taking off. Employees are using their own laptops and mobile devices at work, raising security concerns for companies conscious of the need to protect their corporate data.

Consequently, the mobile data protection market – which marketsandmarkets.com reports will be worth $3.5 billion by 2019 – is opening up new opportunities for tech-savvy entrepreneurs.

Krishnadas Manghat is an MBA student at Sydney’s Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) who co-founded CloudCop, a cloud security start-up backed with funding from Google.

Set for release in November, its first product provides a cloud-based solution to secure company data stored in BYOD devices. In the future, Krishna aims to create security solutions for networks in the Internet of Things (IoT) space; smart homes and smart grids.

Previously, Krishna worked in technical roles for British Telecom and US tech firm Cisco. He’s a serial entrepreneur, having set up a customizable clothing brand and an e-commerce platform for books and products focused on spirituality in India, prior to his MBA.

How did the idea for CloudCop come about?

The idea came from a discussion on corporate security issues with colleagues on Stanford’s Ignite program.

Enterprise data is critical and loss means billions worth of data exposed. Our solution solves a prevalent problem in a unique way which is cost-effective and user-friendly.

What makes it stand out from the competition?

Existing solutions are mostly hardware-based which means more costs, more need for technical product expertise, less scalability and less flexibility.

They’re also less effective, providing only around 50% security cover. CloudCop’s unique cloud architecture, context-based algorithms and intelligent caching mechanism ensure that our services are at least 90% effective and get closer to 100% through our unique adaptive learning algorithm.

What challenges have you faced?

Our solution’s self-learning algorithms rely heavily on analytics. To be able to hire a data science expert full-time was important but expensive, especially during a stage when our startup was boot-strapped.

Another challenge was finding our first large corporate customer who was willing to test our product. Our typical customers are enterprises across industries like finance, healthcare and IT. Given that corporate data is very sensitive in nature, we first had to gain more of a footprint in the market.

How do you explain your passion for entrepreneurship?

The kick that I get from coming up with an idea, refining it, converting it into a product, and hearing how my customers liked it, is unparalleled. Passion and resilience keeps me going through this adventurous, hectic, yet completely fulfilling journey.

What advice do you have for MBA students looking to start their own business?

Don’t settle for anything less than a path-breaking idea that creates value for a large customer base. And always test your early-stage product with customers before adding any non-basic features or benefits.

Resiliency is a key attribute every entrepreneur should embrace. Learn from your mistakes and quickly bounce back. Remember, time is the greatest asset!

Why did you decide to pursue an MBA at AGSM?

I realized that an MBA from a top business school would help me to move from the technical to the strategic, to become an effective leader in a large organization and to fulfil my long-term vision of scaling my startup.

AGSM’s truly international program, its exchange partnerships, and its small yet tightly knit cohort, made it a no brainer when deciding on schools.

How have you profited from your MBA experience so far?

It’s been an incredible experience.

Attending insightful lectures, working with distinctive individuals on group assignments, participating in insightful workshops and training sessions around entrepreneurship at the Michael Crouch Innovation Center; if one is passionate, there’s no dearth of activities to participate in.

And the MBA class is made up of around 20 different nationalities and backgrounds. I doubt if there can be a better place to network and learn.

What are your plans for the future?

I aim to gain experience as a leader for a large tech company in the areas of strategy and product management. I will connect this experience with my vision, which is to scale my cloud startup strategically and geographically.