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Digital Envoy

With a focus on security and protection, Digital Envoy draws a client list that any business would envy. Co-founders Rob Friedman and Sanjay Parekh chat about anonymity, perception, and living in the real world.

It’s a customer list that any company would envy: Disney, eBay, Ask Jeeves, Microsoft, and VeriSign, just to name a few. Makers of IP-based intelligence technology, Atlanta-based Digital Envoy draws the heavy hitters with its focus on security and fraud protection, two things a company of any size needs nowadays. Co-founders Rob Friedman and Sanjay Parekh chat about anonymity, perception, and living in the real world.

What does your technology do?

We allow companies to create anonymous profiles of their users. By using this information in certain ways, such as to determine if the actual location of the user matches the location given in a registration form, it greatly enhances a company’s ability to flag fraudulent transactions.

Why do you think there’s a need for the services you provide?

Restriction and customization of content is a continual issue on the Internet. Our technology allows for accurate, immediate control and personalization on the Internet in a way that makes sense to businesses that work in the offline world.

What got both of you personally interested in doing this kind of work?

It was the understanding that people in the “real world” are the same as people on the Internet. They all have likes and dislikes, currencies, and legal restrictions that depend on geographic location. With Rob as a reformed lawyer, the legal restriction use of our technology was particularly important to him. Just because you’re online doesn’t mean that you’re no longer subject to the laws of your state or country. Our technology helps Web sites obey the law, through controlling access to content or downloads based on user location, so they can comply with contractual or governmental legal restrictions.

Do you think that companies have finally begun to understand the need for stricter security and fraud protection methods?

I think we’re at the very early stages of understanding this need. Companies are starting to understand how to combat fraud, and our technology is pretty far advanced from what companies have traditionally done to monitor Internet transactions. However, companies have also been taught that the Internet is “anonymous” and there is nothing you can do to examine the profile of an Internet user. So, we have a fair bit of education in the market still to do.

What kind of challenges do you face in providing your services?

I think the market is still in its infancy, and we need to educate customers about what is and isn’t possible. Once they’re armed with the additional information we provide, I think it will then enable the traditional security and fraud applications to be far more useful than is possible today.

What are some protections we can look forward to in the future?

Credit card fraud protection and intrusion detection are two areas that we can help. Using our Internet intelligence technology combined with existing techniques, I think fraud can be significantly decreased from where it is now, and intrusion detection can be greatly aided, protecting corporations from unwanted attacks.

What do you like best about what you do?

We’re changing the way the world works and making it easier for users to interact with content online. Our technology is allowing individuals to access and understand information that, even with the Internet, would have been difficult for them before. It’s also fun to know that you’re doing something that’s important for the future of the Internet.

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