Almost 26% of the proprietorship firm population and 15% of private firm population are at a high credit risk in India, says a report by credit bureau services company, Experian. In an environment of such high vulnerability, it is important to help businesses improve the precision, consistency and agility of their complex, high–volume decisions. Founded in 1956, FICO, an analytics software company, aims to help people manage their personal credit health with solutions such as credit scoring that have made credit more widely available.
Vishal Goyal, Country Manager, South Asia, FICO, in an interview with Techseen discusses how the company is helping organizations identify credit risks and enabling them to make better decisions that drive higher levels of growth, profitability and customer satisfaction.
Techseen: FICO engages in several partnerships like with cybersecurity solution provider EC Wise recently. Why?
Goyal: FICO is primarily a decisions company. So we help companies in taking decisions and these decisions could be in the space of risk management, and risk then goes into card risk, credit risk, cyber security. We help institutions take decision in account management. Primarily, we cater to financial services but we are also branching into healthcare, and we are also catering to other industries like airline, retail, etc. There are a lot of ways in which these decisions can be used in different areas.
There are some people who know that space much better than us. Although we can enable them in taking the decisions, we need professionals who know what are the critical parameters in making the decisions for that industry. So we co-work with partners in enabling decisions in that space.
Techseen: Now that Google has begun exploratory talks with startups and venture capital investors to acquire companies involved in cloud computing and cybersecurity, what kind of opportunities do you think this move will open up?
Goyal: India has a lot of skillsets in the space of knowledge. We have the largest source of mathematical skills, PhD skills. So obviously, all these companies will get attracted towards India. We also as FICO have a large presence in India. We have our global development center in India which is based out of Bangalore, and a lot of work in the space of product development and analytics, R&D also happens out of India.
Techseen: With Internet of Things (IoT) gaining momentum, what kind of threats does IoT pose? How’s FICO looking at the scenario?
Goyal: The way I look at it from a risk perspective, the more devices that come up from a decisions space, the more important it is to identify the right person to tackle with it. So when you look at the challenges that IoT brings to you, it is important to understand how to ensure the decisions which are coming in from these devices. Are the right persons doing the decisions or are these devices being compromised? And that’s where we work in the space of cybersecurity and decisioning saying that how we can use all of the incoming information to ensure that the right person is doing the right decision.
Techseen: According to a report, India ranked fourth on the list of top target countries for Web Application Attacks and 10th in the list of “Global Web Application Attack Source Countries” in the fourth quarter of 2016. What do you think is the need of the hour in fighting such threats?
Goyal: This is a very dynamic world where things are changing very quickly. The security infrastructure also needs to change at par with these changes. So it’s always a cat-and-mouse game, the people who are the bad elements or the hackers are trying to be ahead of the people who are protecting it. So continuous investments and leaderships in the new technologies which are coming in will help resolve this.
Techseen: Do you have any special community events solely directed to engage startups and small enterprises?
Goyal: Not as yet, but this is something that we can definitely look at. So we have started working actively in the cybersecurity space leveraging a lot of technology that we already have. For example, our Fraud Risk Control technology is what we are using in the cybersecurity space. This is used to do profiling to create alerts if there is a likelihood of a problem.
We are still in the mode of putting everything together in place and as we see more traction round it, we will work towards making it available for larger organizations including the technical world of startups.
Techseen: Do you think machine learning and AI is the ultimate key to protecting enterprise IT from advancing cybersecurity threats?
Goyal: There is risk in everything that you do. So when you look at machine learning and AI, you will see challenges coming in many ways. We feel, we are doing enough and we are continuously working towards enhancing the capabilities which are available within our environment, i.e. with our customers and ourselves. Machine learning has been a part of our system for quite some time and there are a couple of exercises that we are doing to enhance our expertise.
Techseen: How do you look at the APAC market in its preparedness for security vulnerabilities as compared to the West?
Goyal: India is probably one of the few regulators where they have done two-factor authentication for e-commerce transactions or card-not-present transactions. So Indian regulators have done a fabulous job in identifying that there’s a risk and adopt preventive measures very early as compared to others. So it’s not that we are behind in any way but there is always scope for more improvement.
Techseen: Do you have any plans of setting up more centers in India? Any hiring plans in line?
Goyal: We always keep up with the requirements that we face. From a short-term perspective, we are expanding our business in India and based on our requirements, we will keep adding our resources. As of now, I look at Mumbai is where a lot of our business is going to come from as it is the financial capital of our country.
FICO has been very active in the space of banking, insurance and fintech which has brought us most of our business. But we would be happy to expand to other cities too as business expands.