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Cloud Security: Blog Post

Pindrop Launches Phoneprinting

RSA Interview with Vijay Balasubramaniyan, co-founder and CEO

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Please tell us, what is Pindrop Security all about and what do you do?

Vijay Balasubramaniyan: Pindrop offers solutions to detect threats, deception and suspicious behavior from phone calls.

Can you tell me a little bit about your new product announcement for Voice Biometrics?

Balasubramaniyan: Pindrop has a technology called Phoneprinting which can examine a call's audio to figure out where the call is coming from, what kind of device made the call and other information. We can tell you all sorts of things about the call. By adding voice biometrics, we've added the ability to track a specific caller.

Who is your target audience and how do you intend to reach them? What is the biggest challenge you face right now in telling your story and winning over new clients?

Balasubramaniyan: Our target audience is fraud, security and call center executives at large enterprises. Our biggest challenge is explaining that, whereas it used to be there was no way to know who was calling or if they were up to no good, our solutions now provide a wealth of information on calls and let you protect your call centers, your customers and your employees from attacks.

I'd be curious to hear any general thoughts you have on market trends...

Balasubramaniyan: The success enterprises have had in locking down the pnline channel has led fraudsters back to the phone channel. Pindrop's own research has shown an uptick in phone-based attacks on both enterprises and consumers and also recently released research demonstrating this trend.

What's the business model? How will you make money?

Balasubramaniyan: We charge our customers per call analyzed. Currently, we estimate that phone fraud costs large financial institutions $.57 for every single call they take in their call centers. Our cost is much lower than that and that doesn't count the money they save in time lost and authenticating customers due to fraud. So the ROI is pretty clear.

Who are your competitors?

Balasubramaniyan: There are several competitors that offer voice biometrics as an anti-fraud tool but no one has the anomaly detection component that Phoneprinting offers. The combination of the two is very effective and highly trustworthy.

How do you differentiate from your competitors?

Balasubramaniyan: Pindrop is the only solution that lets you detect fraud and social engineering call within 15 seconds of the call starting. Our technology is also extremely difficult to spoof.

How does your technology differentiate from the competition and can you elaborate on the different technology deployed?

Balasubramaniyan: If you only use voice biometrics, you can only detect fraudsters that you have previously identified and created a voice print for. This creates a weeks or months long lag between the attack and deploying a countermeasure. It's also vulnerable to poor call quality. With Phoneprinting, you can identify suspicious behavior within 15 seconds of a call starting allowing you to take immediate action. And our technology is highly resistant to spoofing both since we rely on so many different factors and because the audio content we analyze is created by the action of making the call - you can change the input at the origin but you can't impact what happens to the signal as it travels.

What business or technology could yours disrupt?

Balasubramaniyan: First and foremost, we are disrupting the fraud industry. We know these organizations have callcenters and other organized activities. We have clear evidence they have retargeted to non-protected enterprises. As those enterprises deploy Pindrop, they bad guys will have to find new liens of business. Beyond that, the biggest disruption will be subtle - we will replace Caller ID with a trustworthy alternative.

Who founded the company, when? What can you tell me about the story of the company's founding?

Balasubramaniyan: The company was founded in 2011 by Vijay Balasubramaniyan while finishing his PhD at Georgia Tech. Vijay had demonstrated the Pindrop Phoneprinting technology in a research paper and immediately received interest in a commercial product from several large banks. The first commercial product shipped in 2012 and we're now deployed in 2 of the top 5 US banks and 2 of the largest online brokerages.

What is your distribution model? Where can someone buy your product?

Balasubramaniyan: We sell direct and through select partners.

What's next on your product roadmap?

Balasubramaniyan: We just announced the addition of voice biometrics to our anti-fraud solution. Look for us to introduce a dedicate authentication solution later this year.

What else would you like to add?

Balasubramaniyan: Thanks for your interest!

Thank you for your time!

More Stories By Xenia von Wedel

Xenia von Wedel, Tech blogger and PR Consultant in Mountain View. She mainly writes about B2B solutions, social media and open source software. She is an SVP with a full-service PR agency, serving clients in a variety of industries worldwide. The agency is focused on thought leadership content creation and syndication, media outreach and strategy. Buy her a coffee if you like her article:

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