Deepankar Biswas, Co-Founder & CEO Ask Meera

Phishing messages or social engineering has become common these days to trick people and make them part with financial information. Ask Meera, a citizen safety initiative by Clear Trust is a service provided free of cost to end consumers to help prevent phishing messages. The chat bot has so far help identify 100,000 phishing messages and aims to solve more than 5 million queries in the coming quarter. Deepankar Biswas, Co-Founder & CEO of ClearTrust said this in an exclusive interview with Business News This Week.

Excerpts of the interview:

Business News This Week (BNTW): What are phishing messages and what are the risks involved with such messages?

Deepankar Biswas: Phishing messages are messages intending to trick you so you can give them your personal and financial information. Phishing is a part of a technique called as Social Engineering.

These messages can steal your passwords, account numbers, and cvv code and essentially harvest it. The messages often tell you a story and are evolving to be incredibly genuine, to play with you.

The risks are multifold. You lose your credentials, money and as a business you lose data.

Deepankar Biswas

BNTW: How does your chatbot Ask Meera prevent phishing messages? What is the modus operandi?

Deepankar Biswas: AskMeera is a Citizen Safety Initiative by ClearTrust. It is a Whatsapp chatbot to find phishing messages. All you have to do is to save our Whatsapp number and interact with the chatbot by saying “Hi”. On the chatbot, you will get an option for verifying any message. Once you click on verify, you need to copy-paste any message and within few seconds you will get to know whether the message sent is fraud or clean.

BNTW: How many queries have you resolved till date?

Deepankar Biswas: We have scanned more than 100K messages. We are looking to scan more than 5 Million messages in the coming quarter. This will help us to make the system more smarter and improve the accuracy rate.

BNTW: As a start-up founder, what is your success mantra?

Deepankar Biswas: The bottom line for any startup would be – Don’t give up and keep innovating.

Given the fact that the digital ecosystem is evolving at an astronomical speed, it’s important for a startup to be razor-sharp focused and score high on customer success.

BNTW: How much investment have you put into Ask Meera? What is your business model?

Deepankar Biswas: We’ve invested ₹10 lakhs into version 1 of AskMeera. Since it’s a citizen safety initiative, the service provided by Ask Meera is free of cost for the B2C version. Having said that, we offer a Phishing Security solution for businesses and that is available on subscription pricing in a SaaS model.

BNTW: How big is your team?

Deepankar Biswas: In total, we are 10 in number. It includes the founders, tech,  marketing and a couple interns who work with us in the hybrid mode. (Work from home and office)

BNTW: What other services does Clear Trust offer besides Ask Meera?

Deepankar Biswas: We are a SaaS Cyber-Security Company and we provide two products. One is an Invalid Traffic Management Software for AdTech and the other is a Phishing Security Solution for businesses.

BNTW: What are the future plans for your company?

Deepankar Biswas: We have the vision to make the digital journeys of businesses safe and secure.  To that effect, we look at innovating in areas where cyber safety is either getting breached on a daily basis or is going to be a hotbed for fraud. Our products are a testament to that fact.

By Rekha