Welcome to the SampleCon 2021 Highlights Series. Recorded live in Pasadena, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors, speakers and attendees at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Vignesh Krishnan, CEO of Research Defender.
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Jamin Brazil: Hi everybody. Another interview from SampleCon. This is actually the last interview that I’m doing at the show, live on the show. I’m with my good friend Vignesh. SampleChain been rebranded Research Defender. Huge honor to have you.
Vignesh Krishnan: Thank you.
Jamin Brazil: What do you think about SampleCon?
Vignesh Krishnan: It’s great. It’s my favorite of the year. I was fortunate enough to go to the first one and I think I’ve been managing to go to each one since. I have to admit I might have snuck into a few. But that was because I was in New Orleans and the hotel was down the street and so on and so forth, so you just go to meet friends. It’s great so far. And I love Pasadena, I love the hotel. It’s great.
Jamin Brazil: Of course SampleCon started by Patrick Comer and crew at Lucid. Then was it Fulcrum? No Federated Sample.
Vignesh Krishnan: Federated Sample.
Jamin Brazil: Federated Sample. I always call it Fulcrum, I don’t know why.
Vignesh Krishnan: That’s the other division that they had. But I think it’s all rolled up into this one.
Jamin Brazil: Lucid. Anyway, so of course it gives you probably access to the show if you needed it. So you weren’t being too sneaky?
Vignesh Krishnan: Exactly, yeah.
Jamin Brazil: It’s not like me in high school, sneaking into the movie theater?
Vignesh Krishnan: No, exactly.
Jamin Brazil: So Research Defender, tell us about it?
Vignesh Krishnan: So our job is to help improve the data quality in the industry as well as fight fraud. We do a few other things including helping suppliers and buyers increase their conversions, because as you can imagine it’s a pretty highly connected industry via API’s. So a lot of the work we do is on that front trying to fight fraud. Like I said, increase data quality, increase conversions. Just have a better cleaner healthier ecosystem specifically on the quant side, but we do qual work as well obviously online.
Jamin Brazil: So when you think about the issues of fraud, what do you think is driving it?
Vignesh Krishnan: It’s easy, money. So that’s usually the fundamental driver. Because if there isn’t that, then there is no incentive and hence you don’t have fraud. So I would say that continues to be the biggest one. I think there are some theories about potentially changing opinions and so on and so forth like we saw around the election situation again in the last few years. I personally don’t think that’s the biggest driver around fraud in the industry. I simply come, think it comes down to incentive.
Jamin Brazil: Monetary framework. That’s right. On social media I’ve been experiencing about 18.5 percent fraud. By fraud I define that as somebody says they are somebody else. In other words they are not who they say they are. Sometimes it’s, you can detect them through VPN. Or otherwise how are you detecting fraud?
Vignesh Krishnan: A lot of things. So definitely we wanna track device, digital fingerprint, you’re looking at different aspects. VPN, of course there are good VPNs. There’s nefarious VPNs and that is a way to tell if they’re true. So we do a lot of that kind of work on the digital sense. I think in future we’ll probably include an entity tracking and so on and so forth. Of course we need to be respectful of the privacy guidelines. And an interesting aspect is in, if you look at the discussion between privacy and fraud in a specific angle, they’re almost the opposite thing. Because the more you know about the person, the less chances they can be a fraudster. But on the flip side, the less you know because of privacy, then there’s the option of you knowing more about that person is very low as well. So it’s a very fine balance. And obviously we need to be legal and find the right ways to find it. But it is an interesting evolution of what’s going on right now.
Jamin Brazil: That is interesting. I think fraud is something that we’ve heard a lot about SampleCon. Are you seeing it, because you sit in an interesting spot where you’re actually monitoring it. Are you seeing an increase in it over the last few years through COVID?
Vignesh Krishnan: Yes. And I would specifically put it around the election cycle. That’s when there was a noticeable spike. Generally yes, there has been an increase because as you know, demand has been outstripping supply. In fact, I think they’re talking about that right now. And as such when you have more demand than supply, the people who are there for nefarious purposes are gonna take much more of the demand than an average person.
Jamin Brazil: Because the average person doesn’t scale.
Vignesh Krishnan: Exactly. Whereas –
Jamin Brazil: But whereas fraud does scale based on demand.
Vignesh Krishnan: Does scale. Exactly. And that’s the model to scale. So generally speaking, it has been going up. I would say the spike was in October, November during the election. I would say that’s the highest peak. It did come down by the way between November and the rest. But if you look at it over a linear scale, you would still see it going up and up. And at some point obviously when it peaks to 15, 20, obviously it’s pretty worrying. So yes, it has been going up.
Jamin Brazil: If somebody wants to get in contact with you or somebody at your company Research Defender, how would they do that?
Vignesh Krishnan: So LinkedIn Research Defender. One of the reasons we rebranded was to keep it simple. So LinkedIn is probably the best way. Email is vkrishnan@researchdefender. One word,.com.
Jamin Brazil: That’s firstname.lastname@example.org just like it sounds.
Vignesh Krishnan: Well vkrishnan.
Jamin Brazil: Vkrishnan? Not at all like it sounds.
Vignesh Krishnan: Yeah. But either way, you’ll find me on LinkedIn for sure.
Jamin Brazil: Perfect man. Thank you for joining me.
Vignesh Krishnan: Of course, thank you.
Jamin Brazil: Have a good rest of your show.