Akhil Rapelli, Information Technology Security Analyst & CTO
Over the past few years, numerous businesses have encountered locked files—containing companies’ trade secrets and information about client, employees, and vendors—encrypted by malicious programs designed for extorting money. Collectively known as ransomware, these attacks have become a real scourge, placing businesses in a dire need for efficient cybersecurity solutions to keep financial and reputational losses at bay. Having worked as a Cyber Security Researcher for over six years and a regular participant at bug bounty programs, Akhil Rapelli firmly believes enterprises can beat the hackers at their own game by thinking like a hacker. Thus, Rapelli, along with fellow ethical hackers and cyber security experts—Sreeja Manchala, Spandana Bussa and Prasanna Reddy, laid the cornerstone for SwiftSafe in 2016 to manually find and eliminate vulnerabilities in the IT infrastructures.
SwitfSafe’s humble beginning comprised a compact workforce across Australia, India and the US, working remotely and in close conjunction with each other to perform network backbone designs and bug reporting for IT firms. Today, SwiftSafe has positioned itself as a service-based company with over 25 clients across the globe, offering robust manual penetration testing to detect and eliminate false positives in automated scanners. At the helm of SwiftSafe as the Information Technology Security Analyst & CTO, Rapelli leads his team to actively research on new technologies, harnessing the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to develop propitious cybersecurity tools to detect and counter advanced cyber threats. “In order to secure an enterprise infrastructure from cyber attacks, we put on the mentality of a hacker and directly hack into it to provide real-time penetration testing,” says Rapelli.
SwiftSafe’s penetration testing portfolio serves to eliminate vulnerabilities in the Web, cloud, network, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile applications.
Although the scanners currently run on beta versions, SwiftSafe’s innovation-driven and experience-rich team works to enhance their products by integrating a Security Operations Center (SOC) tool to scan numerous possibilities, keep track of the system log, and monitor the flaws in the network. However, implementing a cybersecurity solution requires appropriate security auditing, to which Rapelli points out most enterprises today are unaware of the right element to confide in. SwiftSafe mitigates this malady with an unabridged security audit compliance assortment comprising PCI DSS for e-commerce companies, HIPAA for healthcare and hospitality sectors, and ISO 27001 for information security management systems within an enterprise.
SwiftSafe also offers holistic database and web service assessment—from deep drive performance and tuning to backup, recovery, and maintaining quality of web services (QoWS)—to ensure accurate macro-level database health-checks, and fortified website security against hackers. Additionally, the company provides managed SIEM services to identify, track and record malicious and non-compliant activities with a central collection point for security events, empowering clients with valuable insights into potential breaches within their IT infrastructures.
On understanding clients’ requirements pertaining to enterprise security, the company records and analyzes all possible scenarios to construct a cybersecurity solution. Recently, one of SwiftSafe’s clients, a Middle Eastern e-commerce startup was faced with ceaseless distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks by hackers employed by its competitors. With zero visibility of the startup’s back-end processes, SwiftSafe’s Incident response team initiated basic penetration to examine server logs and procure the competitor’s IP address. The team then detected and eradicated vulnerabilities at the network level with accurate PCI DSS security auditing and compliance, ensuring a safe and secure business ecosystem for the client.
SwiftSafe actively continues to research on cyber threats, and caters its clientele with robust bug reporting, bug hunting, and manual penetration testing services. “Working with medium-level companies, we are looking forward to expanding our services to the high-level companies,” Rapelli adds. The company’s R&D is currently working with numerous government agencies and forensics departments to develop new and exciting tools for striking an innovation chord in the cyber-forensics arena.